Today's technology offers organizations three main types of training methods: in-person training, online training, and blended learning. Each type offers pros and cons that can make it difficult to determine which training method is most effective for your organization.
With so much to navigate when it comes to effective employee training, it helps to have a training guide to follow. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each delivery method, as well as tools such as employee training management software to ensure effective training.
In-Person Instructor Led Training
Also known as classroom training, this face-to-face training method has been widely used for decades. Mirrored after school classrooms, employees are often gathered into large or small groups for an instructor to train them as a whole.
In-person training sessions offer the benefits of group interaction. This allows employees to interact and learn from each other. Group interaction can also improve soft skills and build employee relationships.
However, the biggest draw is instructor led training puts an expert in front of employees to answer any questions and clear confusion. An instructor can also encourage the highly effective learning-by-doing philosophy into employee training.
In-person learning can be very difficult to actually deliver. First you have to make sure an instructor is available to lead the session. Then you have to schedule downtime so the employees can actually attend the session as well!
Companies often schedule in-person training in large groups in order to minimize the costs of downtime. Unfortunately large groups tend to eliminate many of the advantages in-person training offers. It can also create problems when employees of different learning styles are all forced through the same program.
The fact is the most effective training methods are more tailored to each individual employee. But when executives see the cost of such training, they instead want to broad sessions to maximize the training return on investment.
Online Training & Training Videos
Online web-based training makes use of today's interconnected technology system. With this method, employees log onto a computer to watch training videos or take part in a digital classroom session.
Online training videos deliver training in a structured, consistent manner that puts the employees in control. Scheduling this type of training is as simple as giving employees a window of time to log on. At this time, employees will complete courses on their own time, taking time to pause and look up confusing concepts.
This allows the experience to be more tailored to each employee's individual learning style. It also means you don't have to schedule company downtime for employee training.
While there may be concern for the effectiveness of online videos, they can offer interactive training components to keep employees engaged. Intermittent quizzes and reviews help ensure online training is actually improving technical skills.
Finally, it's important to remember that the labor force is constantly changing. More than one third of the labor force is comprised of younger generations raised on digital media. It makes sense training videos resonate better with such an audience. In fact, training experts are already looking to the new format of microlearning for training the Millennial generation.
Where as large training groups diminish benefits of in-person training, online training tends to lose them altogether. Most online training is taken individually, and even digital classrooms can't quite replicate the benefits of physically being together.
Common training techniques such as role-playing, hands-on training, and live demonstrations are hard to replicate online. Training videos may be convenient and cost-effective, but missing these highly effective techniques can be a big drawback.
Blended Learning of Online & In-Person
Blended learning combines in-person training with online technology to create a well-rounded training program. It can encompass any level of in-person and online training as you see fit.
With blended learning you can get the best of both types of employee training while limiting the negative aspects of each. Online training videos can be used to avoid company-wide downtime, while small-scale topics can remain in-person.
Blended learning allows you to create highly flexible training programs based on your company needs and resources. For example, interactive online courses and training videos can serve as an overview of the material. Then the in-person session can be used for discussion, review, and live demonstrations.
We've found blended learning to be a proven method for highly effective training. You can read this case study on blended learning to see how one company achieved acclaimed training by using a blended method.
Using two training methods together adds another level of complexity to managing your employee training. With so many moving parts, its highly recommended you use an employee training management system to make your life and job easier.
Tools for Effective Employee Training
However you choose to deliver training, it is important to know what tools are available to maximize the effectiveness of your training program.
Employee training software gives you the ability easily manage employee training, and ensure everyone is trained as needed. However, different training software offers different insights into your training program. Be sure you are asking the right questions when evaluating training software.
Ideally the right training software will compile critical training data in reports for easy review. It should also send automatic email alerts for employees to complete their courses. However, the best training software will include a full catalog of training courses for a blended training method.
IndustrySafe's training software has all these features and more. If you're interested in learning how to improve the effectiveness of your training program, sign up for a free demo account to learn more.