Section 12.1: Types of Employee Training Required by Organizations

Sanjiv Bassi; Vidhia Fowdar; Daman Gill; and Vinay Pillai

Training is vital in both employee onboarding and employee retention. New employees, as well as existing staff members, need training to learn and to develop their skills. Technological advancements have provided employers and human resources representatives with additional training methods.

Many organizations recognize the importance of employee training and development and are using different technological solutions to offer effective training to their employees. Eight training methods are most effective at targeting all three learning styles:

1. Technology-based learning 

Technology-based learning allows trainees to work through the material at their own pace and removes the need for an in-person facilitator. This type of training often imitates traditional classroom-style teaching by providing a voiceover with visuals that support the content. Resources such as videos and additional readings are also included in the course material to aid in the training process. The best way to keep employees engaged is to incorporate quizzes and interactive modules into the digital classroom (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

2. Simulations 

Simulations are an effective training technique for fields that require a specific set of skills for operating complex machinery such as medical equipment. Successful simulations reflect actual work situations, and they allow learners to encounter issues and situations they are likely to face on the job (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

3. Films and videos  

Films and videos help organizations train employees more quickly and efficiently. There are several approaches to training videos, including animation, live action and camera/screen recordings. Using films and videos makes learning material more interactive, and making videos engaging is relatively affordable but it can be time-consuming (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

4. On-the-job training

On-the-job training allows trainees to gain practical, hands-on experience in the workplace. This training style allows new hires to learn their job more quickly and early on in the employment process (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

5. Case studies 

Case studies are an effective training technique when developing analytical and problem-solving skills. Trainees are given scenarios that represent common work situations. Employees are asked to analyze the case and develop ideal solutions (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

6. Instructor-led training 

Classroom-style training and lecture-style presentation are examples of instructor-led training methods. When engaging in classroom-style training, instructors need to be skilled facilitators and subject matter experts to make the learning engaging and valuable for trainees (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

7. Roleplaying  

This technique is usually performed with trainees and a facilitator, with each person having an opportunity to act out various potential work scenarios. This method allows employees to gain practice in handling challenging situations in a safe learning environment (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

8. Coaching/mentoring

Coaching and mentoring can be invaluable for all parties involved. A mentorship program creates employee development opportunities and develops relationships that help new employees feel welcomed and supported. However, this type of program must be implemented strategically, as it will require employees to invest time in connecting with their mentor/coach (The 8 Best Types of Training Methods for Your Employees, n.d.).

Modern Training Methods

The following are two methods that support today’s learning needs:

Social Learning 

Introduced by Albert Bandura in the 1970s, social learning is typically described as learning from others by observing, imitating, and modeling their behavior. Social learning does not often appear in common training methods as it is difficult to structure; yet, it can be effective because employees are pushed beyond the boundaries of their daily roles, which encourages them to acquire new perspectives and problem-solving skills.

Online Training

eLearning has become one of the most commonly used solutions for training employees effectively. Online workplace training programs include videos, webinars and eLearning courses. eLearning also allows information to be presented and tested in many different ways, and thus employees can learn according to their style and immediate needs. Its drawback is the initial development cost and service fees of a reliable LMS.

Traditional Methods

Below are some traditional training methods we are all likely to be familiar with. While they have merit and are still used today, they also have disadvantages.

Classroom-based Training Programs

Qualified facilitators offer the training in a physical venue or somewhere off-site. Staff are shown a series of presentation slides and perform activities, such as case study assessments. The benefit of classroom-based training is that a group of employees can acquire extensive knowledge (Andriotis, 2021). However, this learning method can be boring, time-consuming and costly.

On-the-job training 

In this training style, employees are engaged in learning as they participate in real activities related to their current or future job. It is considered as one of the most effective training methods for succession planning because it results in rapid learning (Andriotis, 2021). Its disadvantages are that it may be too stressful for some employees and it takes time away from the regular work day.


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Sanjiv Bassi; Vidhia Fowdar; Daman Gill; and Vinay Pillai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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