Employee Training Methods

When deciding on the best employee training method to use, consider your audience. How many employees are involved? how open are they to new methods of learning? how motivated are they to learn? What do they know already? and so on.

For example, if you plan on running a training event via a webinar, this may not be suitable for someone who has a low level of computer skills - the method may even be a barrier to learning. Similarly, you might use a facilitation training approach with a group of senior managers, whereas new hires need more structured training.

At the same time, it is important to use a range of employee training methods. Here is a selection to consider:

  • project work
  • interdisciplinary or interdepartmental teamwork
  • delegation of specific tasks
  • work shadowing
  • temporary job transfers
  • practical demonstrations
  • structured programmes based on job title
  • structured orientation programmes
  • external seminars and programmes
  • learning sessions built in to onsite or offsite meetings
  • in-company workshops, using an internal or external trainer
  • distance learning programmes, possibly leading to certification
  • learning manuals
  • websites
  • networking opportunities
  • audio conferences
  • webinars
  • business training games
  • interactive e-learning programmes
  • blended learning - a mix of e-learning and classroom sessions
  • outdoor development programmes - using games for team building

Whichever method or combination of methods you choose, consider how you can support learning transfer. Too often I have facilitated workshops where attendees did not know the reason for attending - they were "sent" by their team leader or manager.

So make sure that the learner receives coaching before a learning event, so they are clear about what they have to achieve - and after the event, so they can consider how to apply learning. They may need help from you to make the necessary changes.

You also need to evaluate how well the learning method worked - do you need to fine tune it for future use? or try another approach? Get feedback from learners and their managers both immediately after the event and a few months later. Did the learning method used result in the desired outcome? To get maximum value from your efforts you need to constantly review the success or otherwise, of your learning activities.

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