If you want your workforce to be as happy and productive as possible, you need to provide your employees with plenty of opportunities for training and growth.
We get it; employee training can be stressful (and sometimes even boring), but it has incredible benefits for your business and your employees’ future success and happiness.
However, if you’re getting started with employee training, you may be struggling to find the right type of training for your employees.
You need to ensure that you’re offering the right training in the right format if you want to be successful, but how do you do it?
To help kickstart your employee training journey, we’re here to walk you through some of the best methods of employee training and explain why you should be implementing them in your workforce TODAY.
The Most Effective Employee Training Methods You Need to Know
If you’re ready to train your employees, it only takes a quick Google search to realize that you have PLENTY options to choose from.
There are so many different training methods available, and which ones you use will depend on your needs, what your employees want, how your business operates, and what your budget is.
Let’s give you a quick burst of inspiration which some of the most effective employee training methods to date.
eLearning (or online training courses) is arguably one of the most popular employee training methods out there.
Let’s not forget that many companies are now running remote work models, too (or at least hybrid models) – if you can’t always be face-to-face with your employees, you’ll still need to give them the right training, despite a lack of in-person meetings. eLearning may be the right solution for you.
With eLearning, you can enroll your employees in an online training course, which they can take from their own homes or remote learning environments.
These courses also offer lots of flexibility, so your employees can complete their training at their own pace, and you can still monitor their progress as they go.
- Versatility: Most online courses have more than one way to learn, including quizzes, videos, games, and activities. This will help keep your employees motivated, and it’ll increase how much knowledge they retain.
- Flexibility: Employees can access their learning materials straight from their smartphones, meaning they can learn on the go at a time that’s best for them.
- Saves Money: eLearning is, of course, completely remote. This eliminates the need for a physical classroom which can help save you money.
- Isolating: Although eLearning is effective, it can also be isolating. Employees may feel like they’re missing out by not having face-to-face interaction with their instructors.
- Sometimes Impractical: If you need your employees to brush up on their practical skills, there’s a distinct lack of hands-on experience with eLearning that may not be appropriate for your business.
The Coaching Method
Next up, we have the coaching method. With coaching, employees will be coached by a supervisor, mentor, professional, or even an old employee.
They’ll effectively be mentored and led through the learning process by someone who’s familiar with it.
The coaching method can be implemented either in person or remotely, making it a great solution for remote companies and in-office workforces alike.
Coaching can help you to teach employees new skills in a focused way.
It allows you to tailor your training to specific employees and help improve those all-important ‘soft skills’, such as confidence, planning, and interpersonal skills and relationships.
- Personal: The coaching method feels far more personal than e-learning. It can also help employees develop a satisfying workplace relationship that extends beyond training. This can boost morale and create a more positive work environment.
- Encourages Honesty: During instructor-led training (which we’ll cover later), employees may not feel comfortable asking questions in the classroom. Coaching gives employees a more relaxed space to ask these questions.
- Practical Learning: Your employees can learn by watching their coach do things in real time. We all learn differently, but this may be a great solution for employees that can’t connect with learning remotely.
- Planning: Coaching can require a lot of planning and investment. It’s a significant method that needs to be considered carefully.
- Potential for Failure: Although there’s the risk of failure with any employee training method, ultimately, the relationship between the coach and employee will determine how successful the training is. If it’s a bad match, the experience can be written off before it has even begun.
Here’s one you might not have heard of before: cross-training. With cross-training, your employees will be taught skills that are required for other job functions.
When you cross-train your employees in this way, you’re giving them access to opportunities that are beneficial for their professional and personal growth, and you’re also reducing the need for you to outsource work in times of need.
Cross-training is one of the most effective methods out there.
It’s beneficial for both employees and employers, and trust us; your employees will thank you for it! Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of cross-training below.
- Thinking Ahead: When you cross-train your employees, you’ll also be preparing to fill vacant positions ahead of time if they ever need to be filled.
- Enhanced Skills: Your employees will be learning valuable skills to put on their resumes, helping them climb up the career ladder.
- Collaboration: Cross-training encourages collaboration. Your employees will be encouraged to work together, which boosts productivity and improves workplace relationships.
- Time: If you’re a larger corporation, cross-training can require significant time and resources to plan. This can be challenging.
- Risk of Overworking: Not all employees like cross-training, and if you outsource too many responsibilities, your employees may end up feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
We said we’d come back to this one, so here we are – let’s take a closer look at instructor-led learning.
If we asked you to name a few workplace training methods for yourself, instructor-led learning would be one of the first options that spring to mind.
This is one of the most traditional workplace training methods out there, and it mimics the setup of classroom learning, with an instructor taking the lead.
Most instructor-led learning takes the form of face-to-face presentations with visual components.
You and your employees will come together for the day to learn in person, making this a great training method for more practical skills or for those who prefer a more personal approach to learning.
- Personal: With instructor-led learning, employees will learn face-to-face. This direct interaction can be beneficial for practical learners, and it reduces isolation.
- Effective: If your employees have any questions or concerns about their training, they can be addressed there and then. This isn’t always the case with other approaches.
- Good for Practical Skills: It’s hard to teach practical skills via eLearning or other remote methods. Instructor learning eliminates this concern.
- Lack of Flexibility: Unfortunately, employees don’t have the flexibility to learn at their own pace, which can be restricting for some.
- Not Remote Friendly: If you’re a remote business, instructor-led training isn’t an option.
- Expensive: Instructor-led training can be an expensive option for businesses. You’ll also need to consider travel costs, catering, and renting spaces, which can make it a non-economical option for many.
Last but not least, we have job shadowing. With this training method, employees can observe those working in different roles perform their jobs, giving them a greater understanding of different work areas.
There may also be the opportunity to perform practically during job shadowing.
For employees with less experience, job shadowing can be a great way to sharpen their skills by learning from someone who’s already an expert.
Employees often shadow other employees in the company, too, which eliminates the need to hire a separate coach or instructor.
- Improves Communication: Job shadowing can bridge the gap between departments, boosting productivity, improving workplace relationships, and reducing isolation.
- Saves Time: Job shadowing saves time for both you and your employees compared to other alternatives, like internships.
- Boosts Development: This method is beneficial for both the shadower and the person shadowing. It’s an opportunity to sharpen existing skills and learn new ones.
- Requires Existing Knowledge: The observer will often need some existing knowledge of the field before they begin shadowing.
- Can Be Restrictive: Shadowing can be intense for all parties, and this may reduce the amount of time allotted for asking real-time questions. This may put the shadower at a disadvantage.
With so many resources at your disposal, training your existing employees doesn’t have to be draining.
Whether you’re a remote company or an in-person business, you can find the right solutions for you and your employees.
Before you choose a training method, remember to consider a few important factors: what’s the nature of your business?
What do your employees want from their training, and what do you need from your employees as a business? These questions can help you make the right decisions for your business.