12 highly effective employee training methods to help your company grow

There are many ways to do the same things in life, and with employee training, it's no different! If you want to implement employee training in your organization, you may be confused with all the available options. Picking the right training method can be the key to helping your company grow. In this article, we will look at 12 different employee training methods and techniques, their advantages and disadvantages, and how you can decide which ones are best for your organization.

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Table of contents

  1. What are the different employee training methods?
  2. Combining different employee training methods
  3. Which type of training is the best for my company?
  4. Employee training methods and Easy LMS

What are the different employee training methods?

Most employee training methods and techniques can be divided into two categories: on-the-job training methods and off-the-job training methods [1]. Let’s take a look at the specifics of each.

On-the-job training methods

On-the-job training methods teach employees by actually showing them how to do a job when they are performing it on a real-time basis. These employees usually don’t leave their jobs (or even the company building) to learn, they work and learn at the same time.

Here are some examples of on-the-job training methods:

  • Informal training between colleagues. When there’s no formal training in the company, this is what usually happens. New hires are given basic instructions by their supervisors and colleagues and learn by observing them. 
  • Induction training. This is the type of training provided to new employees to help them adjust to the organization. This training can be done on the job as an instructor introduces the company to the new hires, along with their colleagues and people they will be working with, and shows the company’s headquarters, and their working environment. 
  • Hands-on training. Focused on the individual needs of the employee, this type of training is applied immediately to the employee’s work. It’s very effective when it’s related to new business equipment and procedures. It’s a time-consuming method of training that requires a mentor or a trained instructor to support employees. For example, an employee can learn how to operate a machine or piece of equipment only when taught by an experienced employee or supervisor. 
  • Job rotation. Under this system, employees rotate between jobs instead of sticking to one particular job [2]. The main objective of this type of training is to improve the background knowledge of the trainees by letting them experience different positions in the company. 
  • Apprenticeship. When a high level of skill is needed to perform a job, and it’s difficult for a company to hire someone that already comes with those qualifications, it’s common for companies to develop their own apprenticeship programs. They can be directed towards new hires in the company, or minors (some companies start recruiting apprentices at the age of 16).
    Trainees start working under experienced supervisors or experts for a period of time

    Trainees start working under experienced supervisors or experts for a period of time before they become independent and can do their jobs on their own.

  • Internships. A joint effort between educational institutions and organizations, internships help students gain work experience and put their knowledge into practice. For example, some companies have partnerships with universities (and vice-versa) to recruit interns. Interns usually work fewer hours than regular employees (because they are still studying) and usually have to write an internship report of the activities they performed in the company. 
  • Coaching. Similar to mentoring, coaching can happen in different ways in a company. One way is when an employee is appointed as an assistant to a more senior employee and learns their work under their supervision (much like hands-on training, but more suited to knowledge workers [3]). Another way is by hiring an external coach: employees can schedule regular sessions with the coach to discuss goals within the company, and make action plans to achieve these goals.

Off-the-job training methods

Off-the-job training methods usually require employees to leave their job post or even the company facility in order to learn. Because of this, employees may become, at least temporarily, less productive.

Here are some examples:

  • Classroom lectures/conferences. This method can be used for compliance training, teaching new techniques, or motivating employees. It’s focused on teaching theoretical knowledge. It usually includes hiring a speaker or asking an experienced professional to conduct the training. Also, employees can be sent away for a few days to join conferences.
  • Simulations. Simulations allow employees to put their knowledge into practice by duplicating, as closely as possible, the actual conditions of a job. Simulation techniques have been used successfully, for example, in the aeronautical industry. Creating simulated scenarios is not easy or cheap, but this type of training is especially important for high-risk situations, where on-the-job errors could be even more costly.
  • Case studies. Case studies have to do with the analysis of real-life examples of individuals or companies who have used a specific method to achieve a certain outcome. Every aspect of the subject’s life and history is analyzed to learn how to operate similarly to achieve the same results [4]. 
  • Online training. This method can be applied on and off-the-job, but, for practical reasons, off-the-job online training has become increasingly popular. Asynchronous learning technologies allow trainers to create training material for the learners that can then access it in their own time.
Off-the-job online training has become increasingly popular
  • Sponsored education. Instead of setting up an internal apprenticeship program, some companies prefer to pay for the education of their employees at an external institution, such as a university. In those cases, the employee might be asked to attend classes during or after their work hours.

Combining different employee training methods

It’s also possible to combine these different  training methods to create a blended learning approach, which can be very effective for covering a variety of topics

Similar to online learning, this method uses technology, at least partially, to deliver the training. The difference is that online training is completely online, while blended learning is a mixture of traditional learning methods, such as lectures, with online activities completed off-the-job.

Which type of training is the best for my company?

Good question! That depends on your company’s main role and activity. For example, online learning works best for topics that can be taught from a computer or smartphone screen, but it doesn’t replace on-the-job training if the job requires manual work that has to be learned by practice, for example.

Things to bear in mind when choosing a type of training for your organization:

  • Budget. It’s important to consider if the company can afford to pay for external education, or have people leave their job posts to take training, and for how long. If it’s too costly, other cheaper options can be considered, such as job rotation, induction training, blended learning, and online learning. 
  • Job role. What type of job do your employees need training for? It may be easier to train knowledge workers off-the-job, but blue-collar (production workers, for example) may need on-the-job training. 
  • Time. Will the training be conducted during work hours, or not? If it happens outside of work hours, will employees receive compensation for it? Some companies find it easier to ask employees to complete training during work hours, where they can be monitored. Others prefer to let them use their own time to learn. It’s up to you.

Employee training methods and Easy LMS

Which employee training methods are supported by Easy LMS? Well, our learning management system is well suited for blended learning and online learning methods, and it can be completed during or outside work hours. 

It’s also cost-effective: it’s a good way to scale knowledge training without the need to hire a trainer and rent a classroom, for example. You can create online Courses that combine text, videos, images, and audio to teach complex topics without having to organize a lecture for it. Your employees can learn in their own time. Also, it’s possible to create your own employee Academy, an online learning portal where they can access all their training material in one place. If extra practical training is required, the money saved with online training can be spent on hands-on training and simulations. 

Our clients use Easy LMS in different ways to achieve their training goals. Find out more in our Client stories section. 

Useful resources

  1. Business Management Ideas
  2. Management Study Guide
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Economics Discussion

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