It takes serious effort to create a training program that actually sticks after your employees have gone through it and started their jobs. The thing is, if you’re using boring old lectures to convey important information, you may be putting your organization at risk. Whether your company operates heavy machinery, works with others’ money, sells products for babies or children, or otherwise has an easily identifiable risk associated with the work – which most companies do – you want to make sure your rules and procedures stay with your workers over the long term.
How, you’re wondering? Use the right training methods. Stuffy training methodologies that rely on rote learning often won’t do the trick. Many workers aren’t scholars, and traditional classroom learning needs a serious tune-up in order to reach them. That’s why you need to adopt training methodologies and tools that reach your learners where they’re at, taking into account their specific needs, their learning styles, and the goals of the training. This often involves software coupled with a more hands-on, on-the-job approach. Read on to learn more about how you can train your employees, deliver material, use classroom-style training effectively, and more.
Employee training methods
There are several employee training methods in the workplace today. Which employee training methods end up working for you will depend on your own personal style, the structure of your workplace, how many employees you need to onboard, what you’re teaching, what your employees need to learn, their individual learning styles, whether you’re teaching brand-new employees or helping older ones brush up on material or add to their preexisting knowledge base, and more. Although it can sound confusing to take all these factors into account, all you really need to do is consider the current types of training methods in human resource management available to you and choose the one that seems to fit your needs the best. Although there are many types of training available, let’s go over a few of the most common.
Classroom-style training is still one of the most effective training methods for new employees. However, you have to be careful to approach it correctly, as many employees won’t respond well to being handed a book and expected to learn. You have to interact and engage learners and make the knowledge stick by using real-world examples and drawing clear applications to your organization. If you can do all this, your training program will likely be very successful. Often it helps to use software, which responds readily to the needs of various learners, can go at different paces, and adapts to a variety of training situations.
Other effective business training methods include 1:1 training, which matches one learner with one instructor to show them the ropes. If you can spare the resources, this can be an excellent way to quickly familiarize a new employee with their job-to-be. Methods for employee training in the workplace also include job shadowing, which is similar to 1:1 training in that the trainee will follow an experienced worker around to learn their job. However, they are supposed to play the role of a “shadow,” meaning that there is less interaction between the experienced worker and the new employee, as the latter just watches and learns and sometimes asks questions. This is a better way to get a feel for what an actual day, or week, or more, will look like for that new employee.
Self-training, which relies on the new employee conducting research to learn what they need to know for the job, is also an employee training method learning style. Other types of training methods in training and development include bulk training, where you train large numbers of employees at once, and automated training, such as we offer here at Lessonly.
Automated training can help you reach large numbers of employees all at once, or it can allow you to train individual employees as they come on board quickly and easily, so that you don’t have to waste time waiting for a large enough batch of employees to justify a classroom series or other group training approach. By using tailored software, you reach employees immediately, giving them the skills they need to become valuable employees right away.
Training delivery methods
Once you know what you want to teach the employees you’re onboarding and have decided on a training method, you’ve still got to figure out how to get it to them. This can be a tough prospect, especially since many companies aren’t even working with a solid training delivery methods definition. In essence, a training delivery method is the way you get information to your employees. There are lots of ways to do this.
Oftentimes, organizations decide to mesh a little job shadowing with a little 1:1 training with a bit of book learning and maybe a training program on the side, but this might not be the best approach. Especially not if you’re looking to streamline your training delivery methods in order to routinize your onboarding process and keep costs down in the long run.
Instead, choose one or a few complementary types of training and stick to those, using them each time. For everything your trainees must learn outside the classroom (such as on the floor or in the field), build a routine training program around that. For everything inside the classroom, choose a training delivery method that keeps all the information together where it is easily accessible to learners day after day. At Lessonly, we believe firmly in the power of software to build solid training programs that meet learners where they’re at, stay organized, remain customizable and flexible, and work for you year after year.
Lots of companies are still stuck in the past, handing out disorganized Word documents to their employees and hoping the learning sticks. Often, however, it won’t, especially when that employee has a hard time finding the loose sheet of paper or sorting through the messy binder to locate it. Such mysteries don’t encourage learning, so avoid them with a highly streamlined, effective software training program dedicated to encouraging employee growth and building the work environment you dream of.
Traditional training methods
Traditional training methods for employees are still wildly popular for many organizations. While this is a great way to bring new hires up to speed, this method, and many other traditional training methods, are rapidly changing. Here’s a look at just a few traditional training methods:
Instructor-led classroom training: Classroom-style training is still the most traditional training method and most used. In fact, nearly half of a company’s training hours are used for classroom training. This method features a subject matter expert or training manager and a lecture-style presentation. It allows for a lot of personal interaction and ensures that everyone attends the training session. However, it’s also easy for this type of training to take a long time and become less engaging for learners.
Interactive training methods: Interactive training puts a spin on classroom-style training. This training method combines instructor-led training and lectures with group activities, workshops, and role play scenarios. While interactive training is great for outgoing teammates, it can intimidate some of your quieter employees.
Hands-on training: This type of training method usually jumps right into practical training. Sometimes, this means that new hires are paired with a trainer or buddy to learn and complete tasks. This approach is preferred by adult learners and gives new hires the chance to dive in and help their team from day one.
When considering the traditional training methods advantages and disadvantages, you must also take into account the fact that newer employees may prefer digital training methods. Let’s learn more.
Online training and development methods
Online training software, also known as computer-based training software, delivers training through computers or mobile devices. This type of digital training can mimic classroom-style training, support different training formats like video and quizzes, and empower learners to complete training at their own pace.
Here are just a few of our other favorite advantage over traditional classroom-style training:
- It is more efficient, requiring fewer resources in the form of training personnel.
- It is more effective, teaching in a way that allows learners to retain information for longer.
- It is often easier to use, because employees can use the software in the way that suits them best, rather than making do with the trainer’s teaching style.
- It has increased tracking capabilities, allowing managers or trainers to see where each student is at and provide additional help where needed.
- It is more cost-effective because training programs can be reused for years on many different employees.
Effective training methods
When you’re in charge of training employees, whether one at a time or dozens or even hundreds, you want to make sure you use the right methods. Training is a tried-and-true process that dates back to the invention of apprenticeship, but these days it’s become much more high-tech. Although many training methods work, when you are training employees for a team environment, software is often one of the most effective training methods. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Software keeps all employees on the same page at all times, on all sorts of topics.
- You can train a full team of employees while still respecting their different learning styles and allowing them to go at their own paces, within reason.
- Management has unprecedented tracking abilities, allowing them to stay up-to-date on their employee’s progress, offer help when necessary, make plans for improvement or enrichment, and more.
- Real-time tracking of a student’s learning is easier and more cost-effective than ever before.
- You can combine software training with other types of training, such as 1:1 training, job shadowing or more traditional classroom methods.
- Software is highly customizable, both for management before they distribute materials, and for learners as they use it.
Other effective training methods work well when they’re paired with software training, to ensure that learners receive the full breadth of necessary knowledge. You may even be wondering what training methods are effective in training executives, but good news: even with top-level employees, software training is highly effective.
Selecting the right training methods
When selecting training methods, there are lots of factors to consider. If you’re in between a few different choices, we suggest using a training delivery methods comparison or training delivery methods matrix to compare the different types of training and see which will best meet your needs.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much time, effort, or money you spend on training if it’s the wrong training delivery method. That’s why we suggest considering the answers to a few important questions to find the best training methods for your employees. Here a few questions we suggest walking through:
What’s the purpose of the training program: The first step is always to identify the objectives of your training program. Depending on your training goals, certain training methods will deliver better results.. For example, more traditional training methods, like classroom-based training, may be more effective for hands-on learning or training that involves team-building or open discussion. But, online training methods are better if you’re looking to regularly train employees over time.
Who’s the audience: Training is most effective when your learners understand the purpose of training and see how it can help them in their roles. So, it’s important to not only consider how many people you’ll be training but also where they’re located. If you have a large team that’s located across multiple locations or working remotely, you’ll need to find a training method that supports a dispersed team.
What are their learning needs and backgrounds: One-size training doesn’t work in today’s modern workplace. For example, you need to train and onboard new hires differently than you continuously develop and enable seasoned teammates.
What do they need to learn: It’s also important to consider the topic or information that will be covered during training. Not everyone learns at the same pace, so if you’re looking to train on something complex or in-depth, it may be better to provide training through online software as it gives employees the chance to revisit and review training as often as they need it.
What are your options for training: Of course, it’s also important to take inventory of your available training resources. If you’re looking to deliver in-person training, do you have a conference room or space that’s big enough for everyone? Additionally, do your subject-matter experts or trainers have the availability to train multiple sessions?
Do you have time restrictions: For some companies, training may need to be rolled out sooner rather than later. This means your training method needs to support fast and effective training delivery.
Of course, it’s good to use different cost-effective training methods to fulfill different training needs. For example, if you need your training to be basic, repeatable, and testable, software is probably a good way to go. If you are training on complex topics that require strategic planning and lots of discussions, an in-person environment is probably better. These training methodologies examples are just a few of the many out there, but use these models as ways to think about how to choose your ideal training methods, and you will do fine.