5 popular types of employee training methods

Designing an advantageous employee training program is never an effortless process. It’s not just about developing understandable and appealing content. Selecting training methods for employees is also a huge matter that many of our clients have struggled with. Which training method works best for their learners? Can it completely deliver the topic? So, we put together a list of top types of employee training methods to help you find the perfect one.

Here are the five most effective employee training methods you should consider:

  1. Instructor-led training
  2. eLearning
  3. Interactive training
  4. Experiential learning
  5. Social learning

Let’s explore them in more detail!

Training method #1: Instructor-led training

Think about some complicated topics such as technical training, product training, or regulatory compliance. They all require lots of explanation, brainstorm, and discussion so that learners can comprehend the content.

The instructor-led training might be a traditional training method for employees, but in this case, it still works. 

In particular, employees join a classroom, physical or online, that has at least one instructor giving the lectures. Typical instructor-led training formats are regular face-to-face classrooms, virtual classrooms, or webinars. 

Depending on each format, instructors can talk about the topics with the support of a blackboard/whiteboard or PowerPoint presentation. They also can break lectures into shorter video parts for topic explanations and others for case studies and discussions. 

Take the instructor-led drone training programs from our partner, Aviassist, for example. F.Learning offers animated corporate training video production for some explanation parts to make them more visualized and understandable. 

Why choose this?

  • Every employee gets the same training or information at the same time;
  • There are in-person communications and interactions; thus, instructors can easily grab and manage learners’ attention.
  • Employees can ask and clarify their doubts with the trainer immediately in the class. 
types of learning

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Enhance Training Experience in the New Normal with Animation

Training method #2: eLearning

eLearning is among the most modern types of employee training methods. It delivers the training thoroughly via an online portal or corporate LMS (learning management system). Employees can have access to the training by logging in to the system. Instead of going to a physical classroom, they can learn through a computer, smartphone, or tablet with an Internet connection. 

By using tracking and analyzing tools within the LMS, training staff can now easily manage the training process of each employee. They can keep track of how long learners view the content and what average results they get in a test. 

So, you may think that only when employees are unable to join a physical class should you adopt eLearning. In fact, many Digital Learning Departments are transforming some periodic training courses into eLearning. Soft-skill training series, cybersecurity, diversity training, and anti-harassment are some common examples. 

One of the most popular employee training techniques in eLearning is microlearning videos. This involves segmenting the training program into different shorter submodules or topics. It does not require the learners to complete the session straight in one time or in a tight schedule. Employees can take one-by-one sessions anywhere at their convenience, whether in the coffee shop or their living room. 

Each video in employee training techniques of microlearning should deliver only one topic to make it short and focused

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In terms of organization, eLearning costs less compared to instructor-led training as it does not include expenses of travel and accommodation, trainers’ fees, or training venue and types of equipment. 

Why choose this?

  • eLearning supports rich digital content, especially the appealing and engaging form of videos.
  • There is no barrier of distance, travel, time, and so on. Employees can take the training from anywhere and at any time they want. 
  • eLearning is flexible for employees to choose their own pace and learning path.
  • Its high scalability allows an unlimited number of learners to join a training course at the same time. 

Training method #3: Interactive learning

Training topics like upskilling are necessary, but unfortunately, they are quite theoretical, so many employees find them boring and unproductive. In order to help learners to put those skill training into practice, adopt the interactive training method for employees.

Interactive learning asks learners to involve actively in their own learning experience. Employees not only listen, read, or watch the presentations but also have to communicate, react, and practice during the training.

Some beneficial activity modules in an interactive learning program:  

  • VR content: 

This form of interactive content can recreate the real world in a 3D virtual space. It’s such a great way to leverage engaging content.  

  • Frequent quizzes: 

Quizzes or tests can be the final activities, as well as recurrent checkpoints. There are various exciting types of quizzes to choose from, including true/false,  fill-in-the-blank, multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, sequence, etc. 

  • Scenario-based interactive video: 

The video leads learners to deal with a situation by choosing from several scenarios options available. As a result, the story, or situation, will go differently. 

  • Gamification techniques: 

They use gaming-related elements in a non-game training environment, for example, a scoreboard of the best-performing employees.

In the interactive training method, video is the best format to deliver the training content. The following safety training video during the COVID-19 might be the best illustration. The instructor guides learners through a situation to share safety tips via quizzes of drag-and-drop and true/ false questions. 

Why choose this?

  • Continuous activities in interactive learning keep the employees concentrated and engaged. They need to complete and repeatedly review the tasks until they reach the desired outcome. This helps them to learn more effectively and recall information more quickly.
  • Interactive learning offers a risk-free environment so that the employees can learn without losing revenue or clients in real life. 

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Training method #4: Experiential learning 

Some particular positions such as sales, customer service, emergency response require more extended and intensive initial training than other positions. Employees need to learn quickly so that they can begin the work with acceptable performance as soon as possible. In this circumstance, experiential learning is one of the best training methods for employees that meet those requirements. 

Experiential learning enables employees to learn by doing, in other words, learning through experience. In particular, there are four parts in its cycle:

  • Learners collect concrete understandings and experiences relating to the subject.
  • They observe activities, reflect on the experience and compare them to earlier experiences.
  • They develop new ideas about the subject based on experience and reflection.
  • They put new ideas into action and hone skills in new experiences. 

In the case of employee training, trainers ask them to carry out easy-to-hard tasks and learn from the results. Experiential learning is adopted in two main formats.

  • On-the-job training: employees learn and, at the same time, apply to the actual job.
  • Role-playing: employees take the role of doing the job in a controlled scenario.

Besides initial training, you can apply those employee training techniques in training new tools or procedures at work. One QBE, for example, has applied on-the-job training techniques to introduce new internal project management software. They use animated videos to provide instruction content for employees to easily follow and work with the system. 

Clearly, experiential learning is a time-intensive training method for employees. However, it works most effectively only when your business has enough resources to support learners throughout the training. 

Why choose this?

  • Experiential learning creates strong connections between the feeling and thinking process, which results in high memory retention;
  • Learners keep engaged as the training relates directly to the real job; 
  • Learners can apply straight away what they learn to their job;
  • The method utilizes learners’ skills of problem-solving and critical thinking.

Training method #5: Social learning

You must have seen some employees asking their colleagues about how to perform tasks or follow up work-related discussions in a forum. Those are all forms of social learning that mostly promote learner-generated content with speeches, presentations, blog posts or videos, etc.       

Typical social learning formats include: 

  • Mentoring or Coaching: This is a one-on-one approach. Mentoring is sharing their knowledge, experience, and skills to help employees to develop and grow. Whereas coaching is providing employees guidance, helping them to reach their full potential and accomplish their goals. 
  • Learning through social media: Social media can be Facebook, Youtube, or Pinterest, where employees share useful information or ask for convenient discussions with colleagues. 

For example, in a closed group, you can create an ever-growing online library for internal course materials and assignments. Or you can use Youtube to upload workplace training videos just like IBM does. IBM’s employees can watch various videos for training and internal updates, etc., on their corporate channel

types of employee training methods
Adopting social training method for employees, IBM frequently update their training videos on their Youtube channel

Why choose this?

  • Social learning encourages employees to gain learning and practical skills on their own.
  • Learners can raise a discussion and receive opinions at the point of need.
  • It helps to promote a learning culture in your business, which enhances collaboration among employees. 

Which is the best out of five types of employee training methods?

The answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all method. You should consider the following factors to pick out a suitable method. 

  • Your training objectives and goals
  • The target audience: quality, demographics, and their learning types
  • Resources of materials available
  • Budget and timeline for each training course

Clarify all factors, and then you can choose the best training method for employees to design a fulfilling training program. 

In fact, many corporations are likely to use blended learning, which means integrating at least two different employee training methods. In this way, learners can get the best of all component methods. For instance, a sales training course can include instructor-led sessions on selling techniques and eLearning videos about the products. You also can add coaching sessions for each member with low achievements to improve their skills. 

Wrapping it up

Here, we have the top five effective types of employee training methods. Hope that you find the list helpful in your training program development. Consider this information carefully to get the most suitable methods for your workplace and each employee groups’ requirements.

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