According to Human Resource Management Practice ‘training and development means changing what employees know, how they work, their attitudes toward their work, or their interaction with their co-workers or supervisors'. From this therefore, it’s fair to say that training sessions play an important role in changing employee behaviour in a positive way. Most importantly, they give staff members a chance to expand their knowledge further and advance their skill set.
Realistically, all training techniques will consist of various pros and cons but the positives often outweigh the negatives, which means it’s certainly worth businesses to invest in various types of training sessions for their workforce. A few of these popular techniques will be discussed below.
Training technique 1: One-to-One training
The one-to-one training is a popular training method, which is used in a widespread of organisations across various departments. It involves a senior staff member closely mentoring/coaching a more junior staff member. The purpose of this training can vary. For example, it could be around a specific area of work i.e. new reporting systems or it could be teaching another individual how to use a new tool or piece of software. This type of training can take place anywhere around the office ranging from office desks to breakout areas. The choice is yours!
- A more detailed and in-depth type of training technique.
- Encourages better working relations among employees.
- Can learn bad habits from the trainer (if any).
- Trainer may lack good communication skills.
Training technique 2: Lecture style training
The lecture type of training method often involves a trainer or a set of trainers actively speaking through a PowerPoint presentation while a group of trainees are passive and taking down necessary notes. You can however, ask questions towards the end of the session if you need to.
These type of training sessions often take place in lecture style meeting rooms, where a speaker/trainer is standing at the front and a number of office chairs are spread around the room for the trainees.
- Efficient and faster paced training method.
- Missed learning opportunity if sufficient notes are not taken and if no handouts are given out.
- The trainer/s might be unclear when talking through the presentation.
- Not an interactive and engaging type of training, can easily lead to employee boredom.
Training technique 3: Role-play style training
The role-play style of training is normally an interactive and fun technique. It’s used in several firms especially at the Sales and Customer Service based organisations. It often requires a group of staff members working in teams and working on various given scenarios in front of each other. They then receive feedback on their performance from the trainer and other colleagues.
The type of room and office furniture selected for this type of training technique is important! As this technique involves a vast number of employees working together on various scenarios, it’s essential that the size of the training room is large and includes an adequate amount of office chairs available for the trainees.
For health and safety reasons and because this is not a boardroom meeting, where people are sitting around a conference table, no desks should be present in the room during the training session.
- Interactive and fun team activity.
- Allows you to build work relations further in a fun way.
- Can be disruptive with too many employees present in the room.
- Requires thorough preparation.
- Challenging task for timid and introvert type of office workers.
Training technique 4: Webinar training
The webinar training is a type of technique, which is only held on the web using video conferencing software tools. This training essentially involves a trainer virtually sharing their screen with trainees and speaking you through a presentation they’ve prepared. It is interactive to a certain extent because you are normally able to ask questions at the end if need be similarly to the lecture style training that was outlined earlier.
- Convenient and can attract a larger pool of workers to join the webinar.
- Easier to set up and organise.
- Challenging task for those who only have basic level computer skills.
- Easier to lose interest over a web based type of training.
- Difficult to judge the effectiveness of the training session over the web.
Training technique 5: Online e-learning training courses
The online e-learning training essentially involves a trainee reading a great deal of literature over the web on a specific subject area and then usually participating in multiple-choice tests after each learning module. It is usually a passive type of training method, which only requires the trainee learning about certain aspects of their job independently.
- More focused and specific to individual training needs and requirements.
- Encourages autonomy.
- Time-consuming and lengthy type of training method.
- Difficult to get rapid assistance if you need it at any stage.
Overall, it’s evident that there a great number of training techniques firms can pick and choose from for employee development and progression. A good idea would be to practice a varied range of these and commit to only those that bring the best results and are greatly favoured by your staff.
There is no doubt that that many factors need to be taken into account when arranging training sessions for your workforce such as cost, audience type i.e. millennials, time, etc. The role-playing training method is my personal favourite as it gives you a chance to work with a range of office personalities and build better work relations. It all really depends on personal choice, which is why it can get tricky to find a training method that will appeal to most of your workers.
After assessing some of the main training methods and their pros and cons, which training method/s will you go for?