Types of Training Methods for Your Employees 

A young Black woman leads her team in a project meeting

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INTOO Staff Writer

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As a manager and leader, providing quality training methods for your employees is essential for the overall success of your business. Effective training enhances individual performance and drives collective organizational growth, innovation, and adaptability. Quality training equips employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles, ensuring they can meet and surpass company goals. It nurtures a positive company culture of continuous improvement, where employees feel appreciated and inspired to develop their capabilities.

Moreover, well-trained employees are more confident, productive, and capable of delivering higher-quality work, directly impacting customer satisfaction and business reputation. By investing in diverse and effective training methods, you can address your team’s varied learning preferences, ensuring that everyone benefits. 

Why Is it Important to Choose the Right Training Method for Your Employees?

Choosing the right employee training method is not just a necessity; it’s an opportunity for you to empower your team and steer them toward your business goals. Here’s why:

Targeted training 

Different business goals require specific skill sets. For instance, building foundational knowledge for new company processes might necessitate instructor-led training with opportunities for clear communication and open discussion. In contrast, keeping geographically dispersed teams updated on product knowledge changes might be best achieved through eLearning modules.

Catering to different learning styles 

People learn most effectively in various ways. Some thrive in interactive classroom settings (instructor-led training), while others prefer the self-paced flexibility of e-learning. Kinesthetic learners might excel with hands-on on-the-job training (OJT), while visual learners might benefit from gamified training elements. By offering a variety of methods, you cater to diverse learning styles, ensuring everyone grasps the material effectively.

7 Proven Types of Training Methods in 2024

Here are 7 proven training methods for employee development and organization growth. Understanding these methods and their strengths allows you to create a customized training program that ignites engagement, boosts knowledge retention, and propels your employees and business forward.

1. Instructor-led training (ILT)

This classroom-style approach has been a mainstay in corporate training for decades. A skilled facilitator guides learners through a structured curriculum, using lectures, discussions, and activities to solidify understanding. ILT’s strength lies in its collaborative nature. Participants can bounce ideas off each other, ask clarifying questions in real time, and practice new skills in a safe environment. This fosters teamwork, communication, and the development of a shared learning experience. ILT is ideal for building foundational knowledge in new processes or company policies. It also shines in soft skills development, where trainers can provide personalized feedback and coach participants through role-playing exercises. Effective leadership training often relies on ILT to create a space for open dialogue, mentorship, and team building—all crucial for business success.

2. E-learning

E-learning modules offer unparalleled flexibility and accessibility. We now operate in a world where the workforce is often spread across different time zones with busy schedules. E-learning allows employees to access content at their own pace and convenience. This is perfect for situations like software training, where employees can learn new features at a time that’s best for them, or compliance courses, where everyone needs to be updated on company regulations but doesn’t need to learn simultaneously. E-learning isn’t passive, either. Interactive elements like quizzes, simulations, and even gamified learning experiences can keep participants engaged and reinforce knowledge retention. This is particularly useful for product knowledge updates, where employees can learn about new features or offerings through interactive modules rather than lengthy manuals. E-learning provides a scalable and adaptable solution for a dispersed workforce.

3. Microlearning

Microlearning breaks down complex topics into bite-sized bursts of information. Think of it as knowledge on the go. These short, focused modules are easily digestible and readily available on mobile devices, perfect for busy schedules. They excel at reinforcing critical concepts learned in ILT sessions or e-learning modules. Microlearning is also great for providing job-aid resources in the moment of need. For example, a short video on troubleshooting a specific software issue can be a lifesaver for an employee facing a technical hurdle. Similarly, a quick reference guide or cheat sheet is helpful to get started using a new process or piece of equipment.

Microlearning modules can be used to introduce new features in software updates, ensuring everyone is on the same page without lengthy training sessions. They provide a way to deliver focused information in a way that is readily accessible and easily absorbed, ultimately enhancing employee performance.

4. Blended learning

This approach combines the strengths of instructor-led training (ILT) with the flexibility and accessibility of e-learning. A good use case for this type of training is when employees need to learn a new programming language. Blended learning might involve initial online modules introducing core concepts, followed by instructor-led workshops where participants can code alongside a facilitator and ask questions. This combined approach ensures a comprehensive learning experience. E-learning lays the foundation, and ILT provides a platform for more profound practice and application. Blended learning is a win-win for businesses too. It caters to diverse learning styles and maximizes training effectiveness, leading to a more skilled and adaptable workforce. 

A female manager mentors a male employee on a project working at a laptop

5. Mentoring and coaching

This personalized approach goes beyond traditional training methods. Mentoring pairs experienced employees with less experienced colleagues, fostering a valuable exchange of knowledge and guidance. Mentors can offer insights from their own careers, answer questions, and provide support as mentees navigate challenges. Coaching, on the other hand, focuses on helping individuals refine specific skills,  problem-solve effectively, and create and meet goals. Think of a coach as a personal cheerleader and strategist. Both mentoring and coaching create a culture of learning and development within a company, helping employees feel valued and invested. This type of training can lead to increased engagement, retention, and a more positive work environment. When employees feel supported in their growth, they’re more likely to go the extra mile for the company’s success.

6. On-the-job training (OJT)

There’s a reason why the saying “practice makes perfect” exists. On-the-job training capitalizes on the power of learning by doing. A good case study is a new employee on a manufacturing floor. Through OJT, they’ll be placed under the supervision of a seasoned colleague who can demonstrate how to operate machinery, troubleshoot issues, and follow safety protocols. This hands-on approach is ideal for building practical skills that are transferable to real-world scenarios. OJT isn’t just about technical skills, either. Customer service representatives can benefit from shadowing experienced colleagues to learn communication techniques and de-escalation strategies. Effective OJT programs equip employees with the skills they need to perform their jobs effectively and foster a sense of confidence and belonging within a team, translating to a more productive and efficient workforce.

7. Gamification

Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Gamification harnesses the power of games to make learning engaging and enjoyable. For example, say a sales team is learning new negotiation techniques. Gamified training could involve simulations where participants role-play sales pitches, earning points for successful deals and climbing a leaderboard. This element of competition motivates participation and reinforces knowledge retention in a fun and interactive way. Gamification isn’t limited to sales training, either. It can be used to introduce new product knowledge across departments, encourage healthy competition among teams for achieving goals, or make compliance training a little less tedious. By incorporating game mechanics, businesses can create a more engaging learning experience, leading to a more knowledgeable and motivated workforce.

Start Using Quality Training Methods with Your Employees 

The training methods explored above provide a strong foundation for building a culture of continuous learning within your organization. By incorporating various methods, you can empower your employees to develop their skills, keep pace with industry changes, and excel in their roles. As a result, you’ll gain a more engaged workforce, higher productivity, and a significant competitive advantage.

INTOO offers a variety of training programs, workshops, and career coaching for every level of your workforce. Contact us today to learn how our career development programming can boost your organizational success.

INTOO Staff Writer

INTOO staff writers come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience writing about topics that matter to the HR and business communities, including outplacement, layoffs, career development, internal mobility, candidate experience, succession planning, talent acquisition, and more.

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