It’s a truth universally acknowledged: Well-trained employees are more satisfied and more productive than those who are not. Given how important training can be for an employee’s day-to-day success, managers must take care when designing training courses and modules. There are many exciting training options for learners to explore – it’s hard not to get caught up in the latest trends and technologies.
Different training methods have different strengths and drawbacks, of course. By understanding the options available to your and your team, you can begin considering the best fit for your needs. Here are five of the most popular employee training methods – and why you should consider implementing each one.
1. Classroom Learning
There’s a reason why traditional instructor-led training is such a classic: the method allows for constant back and forth between trainers and trainees. Questions are addressed that might go unanswered in other types of employee training, and participants can bounce ideas and concepts off of one another. So long as energy remains high, learners stay engaged throughout the entire process. While other forms of training might be more technologically advanced, there’s something to be said for the magic of in-person, collaborative learning opportunities.
Of course, classroom learning isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Some learners may find traditional sit-and-get style training boring. There’s also the matter of venues, travel, and catering. Classroom learning can become expensive, and fast. Still, this classic form of staff training is unlikely to lose popularity any time soon – the benefits simply outweigh most of the drawbacks.
Virtual learning has become more prevalent in recent years, for obvious reasons. We’re all constantly on our devices anyway, so this employee training method is a natural extension of our daily habits. This kind of learning style is ideal for self-paced training; without an in-person facilitator guiding learners through each session, employees can take their time with the material. The real benefit to eLearning is its scalability, though. Any number of people can take online workplace training at once, making it easy to roll out content for an entire company’s workforce.
eLearning doesn’t come without its share of challenges. The graphics and visuals that make up computer-based training can age quickly, so keeping things updated is critical. And since most eLearning training is completed without supervision, it can be hard to know how engaged with the content employees really are. You may want to supplement eLearning with surveys, quizzes, or additional evaluation tools to gauge its impact and drive completion.
3. Hands-On Training
Some people learn best by doing. Hands-on training allows learners to jump straight into the practical skills necessary for a given role. It’s an ideal way to train someone for a new position or to prepare them for new responsibilities. By participating in theoretical activities and applying them to their current role, learners can develop the muscle memory necessary for all kinds of duties and responsibilities.
Hands-on staff training can be overwhelming for some individuals, so it’s important to keep an eye on the progress of your learners. It may be worthwhile to pair more experienced employees with newer folks, allowing newbies to gain important context before diving into an activity on their own. Shadowing can be beneficial for the more experienced partner, too – there’s no better way to reinforce ideas and procedures than by showing others how it’s done.
Structured forms of the curriculum will always have their place in the world of employee training, but alternative methods are gaining in popularity. Mentorship programs can do wonders in supporting and training new employees. By pairing them with a more senior staff member, you’ll help foster relationships while also making them feel supported and welcomed. It’s ideal for employees who may not feel comfortable speaking up and asking questions in traditional classroom settings.
The one drawback of mentorship programs? They take a lot of time to implement the right way. Mentoring can be incredibly costly in terms of employee hours, and if your more senior staff are reluctant to take on more responsibility, the relationship may feel forced. So long as there’s buy-in from both mentor and mentee, though, this form of workplace training can prove successful.
Acting out potential work scenarios is another effective training method for employees. Role-playing provides a controlled setting for new and experienced staff members alike to practice handling difficult situations. Especially useful for those in customer-facing roles, role-playing activities give people the opportunity to think on their feet while examining different perspectives.
Not everyone enjoys being the center of attention, even in role-playing scenarios. While the practice may seem low-key to some, the idea of acting out a scene with colleagues is enough to send some learners cowering in the back of the classroom. Play to the strengths of your team and never force someone’s participation. Doing so could backfire and cause negative associations with that particular aspect of training.
Choosing The Right Training for Your Team
At FranConnect, we know no single employee training method will work for all learners. For organizations to truly thrive, management must constantly work to develop the talents and skills of their employees. This often depends on finding the right training method – or a blend of several. If you’re eager to explore your options and want a learning management system to help you manage your training methods in one place, World Manager is the answer. Reach out today for a demo!