94% of employees will stay at a company longer if it invests in their learning and development, according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report. However, organisations require the right training methods and techniques to meet their workforce’s training and development expectations. Effective employee training methods empower workers to upskill without burning out, are learner-focused, and encourage active learning.
This article highlights ten employee training techniques and how learning and development professionals can use them in their organisations. This article will cover 9 of the top employee training methods and techniques to use in 2023 from simulation training to blended learning.
1. Simulation training
It’s one thing to read about how something works; it’s another thing to apply that knowledge in real-time. Simulation training creates real-life scenarios where employees can use the skills they’ve learned to solve practical problems. For example, the investment platform, Rapunzi, uses training simulation techniques to teach entry-level analysts how the stock market works.
Simulation training can be physical or driven by digital technology. An example of physical simulation training is a fire drill. Employees might not even know there’s a drill — they’ll hear the fire alarm and use their knowledge to respond, just as they would in an actual situation. As an example of digital technology being used to create realistic learning environments think of pilots and flight simulators.
Benefits of simulation training
- It provides contextual knowledge, which improves knowledge retention. Employees experience how their learning applies to the real world, albeit in a safe and controlled environment.
- It allows instructors to provide immediate feedback to learners. Quick feedback drives sustained learning and boosts knowledge retention.
2. Online training
Online training, uses digital technology like software and internet-powered applications to power training. With online training, learning and development can take place anywhere and anytime.
Online training can refer to training remotely, but it can also be referred to as a mode rather than a method (which is when it can get confusing).
If we are referring to it as a method of delivering, usually we’re referring to the employee or learner being remote from the classroom and working through their training which is usually in the form of any of the following:
- Webinars and masterclasses
- eLearning modules or learning content with embedded video and HTML content.
- Webcasting or video broadcasting training in a virtual classroom
If we are referring to online as a mode then any delivery is possible which is known as a blended or hybrid delivery which is a mix of face-to-face and online. This can be achieved through specialist learning management software like Cloud Assess.
When looking at software options for employee training, check if the software is purely designed for online delivery or if it supports a blended AKA hybrid approach.
Benefits of online training
- Online training is flexible including being able to pivot quickly (i.e enrolling, authoring and delivering learning is quicker than with paper and formal processes) and allows employees to learn at their own pace.
- It provides data-driven insights to help iterate your organisation’s training processes. You can collect feedback data like the number of training attendees, ratings and suggestions — primarily when you use a fit-for-purpose learning management system
3. Blended learning
According to Cloud Assess’s DNA of a Deskless Worker Report, 74% of deskless workers prefer training delivered via face-to-face or blended learning rather than strictly online learning. A blended learning approach is the sweet spot between online learning and traditional classroom training techniques like face-to-face instructor-led training.
Norm Friesen, a Professor of Educational Technology, defines this training method as “a formal program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace”. For example, employees might attend online classes and have in-person group discussions. Or participate in physical training sessions and complete all assessments online. This allows your organisation to meet the unique learning needs of different employees effectively.
Pacific National, one of Australia’s largest rail freight providers, uses Cloud Assess to plan and deliver refresher training to its workforce via a blended learning method.
Benefits of blended learning
- Blending learning makes the training process flexible to suit the needs and requirements of everyone.
- It can be cost-effective, save time and support the best outcomes for learning.
4. Video training
75% of employees prefer video-based learning over reading text information, according to a report by Forrester Research.
Prerecorded human videos are most commonly used for workplace training, but you can also use fun, animated videos to engage learners. Whether human or animation, training videos should be concise, easy to follow and short (3–6 minutes long). If your entire subject can fit into a single video, break the video into meaningful bits also known as “chunking”.
Benefits of video training
- Video training is cost-effective. By adopting video for workplace learning and development, Microsoft could slash its classroom training cost per employee by about 95% (from $320 to $17).
- Online videos engage employees better compared to texts and other traditional training methods.
5. Job shadowing
Job shadowing is an on-the-job training method that allows employees to learn by observing. The organisation pairs a less-experienced employee with a more-experienced team member, and the former understudies the veteran employee as they execute different tasks related to the role. For example, a People Operations Intern might be paired with Senior Operations Manager. This helps the less-experienced employee develop a deep understanding of the skills, expectations and responsibilities of the role.
Benefits of Job shadowing
- It enables employees to acquire hands-on training and practical skills.
- It’s a great way to introduce workers to career mobility opportunities within your organisation.
- The supervisor will also be learning as the Learning Pyramid shows by teaching others you retain 90% of what skill or knowledge you have.
6. Interactive training
Interactive training is a workplace training method in which employees are active learners. Active learners participate fully in different learning activities throughout the course duration. For example, they might engage in a short group discussion at the end of a training session or a mini-class presentation to demonstrate their learning. These activities help them interpret the new knowledge independently, make decisions, explore multiple paths, and correct any mistakes they make interdependently.
Benefits of interactive training
- It makes the learning process collaborative, which keeps employees engaged throughout the training program.
- Instructors can provide immediate and personalised feedback on a learner’s performance.
- Interactive training encourages self-assessment. Self-assessment means that students reflect on their own performance and identify areas needing improvement.
Role-playing is a type of practical training where employees act out real-life scenarios within the context of the training to demonstrate how they would approach real-life situations. For example, let’s say you’re organising a training program for your support team on how to deal with demanding customers. In that case, you can split the training participants into two groups — one group acts as demanding customers while the other acts as the support team, give them a hypothetical difficult customer situation and see how they handle it.
Benefits of role-playing
- It teaches employees how to apply their knowledge to solving real-life problems.
- Role-playing improves employee engagement and helps them develop a deeper practical understanding of the training subject.
- It helps them develop spontaneous creativity, that is, thinking outside the box.
8. Instructor-led training
Instructor-led training has its roots in traditional classroom learning, but these days, it is also used for online and hybrid workplace training. Instructor-led training happens in different ways in an organisation, including:
- One-to-One: One learner to one instructor
- Small-Group: A small group of learners with one instructor in a classroom setting
- Lectures: A large group of learners with one or multiple instructors
- Workshops: Hands-on, interactive training
- Webinars and masterclasses – Online through video conferencing (with one or more facilitators)
Benefits of instructor-led training
- The instructor offers feedback and answers questions in real-time. This helps learners to resolve any issues they face quickly.
- The instructor can quickly discover and assist learners who are struggling with some aspects of the training.
9. Coaching and mentoring
Like job shadowing, coaching and mentoring allow less-experienced employees to learn directly from veteran employees. While both training methods focus on passing down knowledge for career development, they have a few differences. Coaching has a shorter duration and typically focuses on one specific skill. For example, an employee can work with a coach to learn how to identify and recruit mid-level talent. And the coach may not form a tightly-knit relationship with the employee throughout the period they work together.
Mentoring is a longer process than coaching. Typically, a senior employee is assigned to a group of junior employees. They’ll meet with them frequently to monitor progress over a specific period. During this time, they’ll focus on improving a range of soft and hard skills relevant to the mentee’s career advancement.
Benefits of coaching and mentoring
- Coaching and mentoring help your staff upskill
- Mentoring is a cost-effective way to train new employees.
How to choose the best employee training methods for your organisation
Not every training method would be the right fit for your organisation, even if it’s driving excellent results for another company. To choose a valuable workplace training technique, you should:
- Conduct a skills assessment to know the training needs of your staff.
- Conduct a learning and development survey to discover the preferred learning styles of your workforce.
- Ask employees to share their learning goals.
- Consider the unique learning styles of your employees. Not every employee learns the same, so it’s important to cater your training to individuals. Learning how to cater your training for different learning styles is a valuable skill that will help boost your development programs.
With these insights, you can identify the most effective staff training methods that will bridge existing skill gaps, advance employees’ careers, and help you build a productive workforce.
To learn more about how Cloud Assess can enable your business to deliver training methods to create the best outcomes click here.
Learning Theories to Consider
When creating your employee training methods, you should consider a wide range of learning theories. At Cloud Assess, we pride ourselves in investigating everything education-related. Here are some of the most important learning theories that we have explored: