Last updated on 27th January 2022
We all know how intimidating it can feel to start a new job, or even a new role within your existing workplace.
And it’s no secret that learning new things gets tougher as you get older. But it’s not impossible.
In an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, neuroscientist Andrew Huberman explained that learning new things is highly connected to neuroplasticity. And to trigger this process in adulthood, we need two things:
- To be in a high-level of focus
- To feel a sense of urgency
Unfortunately, traditional employee training methods don’t combine these two things. According to a 2020 report by CIPD, one in five organisations don’t use technology to support learning activities, with many continuing to rely on traditional classroom-based training.
It’s surprising that the adoption of emerging tech to enhance employee training is only being used by a handful of businesses, especially considering that the report also revealed these new methods to be highly effective.
So the message here is clear – it’s time to move away from old and tired training methods, and look for new ones to engage employees.
In this article we’re going to take a look at 13 methods for insanely effective employee training.
When it comes to highly-effective training, video ticks all the boxes.
For starters, it allows employees to learn at their own pace. Videos can be paused to allow information to sink in, and they can even be rewatched at a later date.
Videos are also highly engaging. According to our 2022 video marketing survey, 73% of people said they’d prefer to learn by watching a short video.
Videos can be used to enhance different types of training sessions, including traditional classroom training. Speakers can play videos at the start, middle, or end of their training sessions to reaffirm the message.
Here’s a great example from one of our clients Nikwax:
This video speaks directly to sales staff and gives them examples of how to handle different situations.
Showing every employee the same video helps to ensure that a consistent message is delivered during each training session.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Video is also one of the most cost-effective ways to train your employees because there are no recurring costs. When you pay for a video you have a resource you can keep and reuse as many times as necessary.
Video has endless use cases, whether you’re educating new employees about the culture of your organisation, outlining your core policies, or focusing on key aspects of their role, video can be a great way to deliver your message.
eLearning does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s learning that’s delivered electronically, such as through computers, tablets, or even smartphones.
This kind of learning has grown in popularity in recent years for the same reasons as video – it allows employees to learn anytime, anywhere, and gives employers access to a reusable resource that ensures uniformity throughout their training.
According to a 2020 LinkedIn report, 57% of learning and development pros expect to spend more on online learning (or eLearning) in the future.
One company that’s had great success with eLearning is Tesco. With thousands of employees, it can be difficult for companies like Tesco to deliver and manage training.
eLearning allowed them to deliver rapid global compliance training to employees through engaging, bite-sized modules. According to Tesco’s Regulatory, Ethics & Compliance Director, David Ward:
“The suite of eLearning modules transformed the way in which we deliver compliance training at Tesco. During a four-week period, we were able to successfully train thousands of staff members.”
Plus, thanks to the advanced reporting that eLearning offers, managers were able to see who had completed the training successfully and who needed a little bit more encouragement.
This resulted in a 98% completion rate and 92% of employees agreed that they preferred eLearning to previous training methods.
Perhaps you prefer the old-fashioned, face-to-face classroom training – and that’s fine. Everyone learns in different ways. And there are benefits associated with classroom training, such as employees all being in the same room with the ability to ask questions in real-time.
However, despite the benefits, we can’t ignore the downside to classroom training. It’s less environmentally-friendly, it costs more than online and video based training, and it has a lower retention rate.
According to one study, retention rates for face-to-face training were as low as 8-10%, while eLearning had a retention rate of 25-60%.
All that aside, classroom training is a great way to break-the-ice for new employees and can also act as a chance for you to showcase your company culture.
And you can combat those lower retention rates by making the experience interactive. This means getting everyone involved, and giving everyone a chance to speak.
You can use activities, role-plays, quizzes, and games. All of which will help to make the training more memorable.
4. On the job training
Sometimes, the best way to learn is just by getting stuck in! On the job training involves new employees getting hands-on experience of their new role.
On the job training examples include observing colleagues and copying what they do, or jumping straight into new tasks with a supervisor overseeing the work and giving pointers as and when required.
This type of training is less formal than some others on the list but it’s great in that it applies directly to the new recruit’s role.
However, this is a time-intensive training method and can also be quite stressful for some as it’s a bit like being thrown in at the deep end!
5. Buddy training
Similar to on the job training is buddy training. When buddy training, new employees should be supported at all times by someone who is confident and knows the role inside out. Think of this person as a “buddy” for your new employee!
According to Sapling HR, 87% of organisations believe that buddy programs boost new hire proficiency.
And buddy training can not only help new employees to feel more integrated in their new work environment, it can also help existing employees who are moving into new roles.
An ideal situation would be to overlap the time between the new employee starting and the old employee moving on. This way, the previous employee can train the new person and pass on all of the anecdotal things they’ve picked up along the way that you wouldn’t be able to express through traditional training.
For example, let’s say you’re hiring a new HR rep. The current HR rep can take them through all of your existing filing processes, the software you use, and so on. This allows the new employee to ask the current one any questions they may have before they get stuck in!
6. Classroom training
Classroom training is led by a qualified instructor over the course of one day or several days. This can be on-site at your business or off-site at another facility. As you can probably tell – with an instructor, several days out, sometimes an additional venue, and sometimes travel expenses – classroom training can be pretty expensive.
It’s best for when you’re hiring employees in bulk so you can get everyone’s training done at the same time.
Everyone knows what role-playing is, and most likely you either love it or you hate it. Role-playing can be a great way to break the ice and allow new employees to have fun while training.
Role-playing involves employees acting out an aspect of their job in a controlled scenario in order to gain feedback that can help them improve. For example, a salesperson role-playing a sales call to show how they would handle certain scenarios.
Role-playing is a memorable way to train your staff as according to some studies, people only remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, but an impressive 80% of what they see and do.
Lectures are one of the primary ways that students at university are taught, so it should be no surprise that this method of training can be transferred to your business.
Lectures work particularly well for large businesses that need to train a lot of staff all at one time. This makes them great for refresher training as it gives everyone a chance to sit together and go over material they might not have heard in a long time.
A lecture setting allows employees to take notes and ask any questions they may have, and with today’s technology you could even utilise video lectures using conference tools like Google Meet or Zoom.
9. Job rotation
Job rotation refers to the movement of employees from one job to another within your organisation for the purposes of training employees.
It’s a cost effective way to not only train employees but also orient new starters, facilitate career development, and reduce job-related boredom.
The idea is that someone who is well established in their role will share their knowledge with another employee. This trains the employee but also gives them valuable background knowledge on the role and means you can move staff around if you ever have a shortage due to illnesses or holidays.
10. Induction training
Induction training is a way to set aside a period of time for your new employees to adjust to the business. Depending on the role, an induction can last one day, one week, or even a month.
Typically, the new employee will be guided by an instructor or more senior member of staff and they’ll be shown who they’re going to be working with, their work environment, and more.
11. Implement culture training
Training employees to do their job effectively is important, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your training sessions.
Culture training should be implemented, too. In order to feel comfortable in a new workplace and be an asset to your team, new employees need to be a good culture fit.
According to a study by Glassdoor, company culture is the most important factor for employees in the US:
And the numbers are almost identical for employees in the UK:
When you hear the phrase “company culture” you might think of a huge company like Google. And that’s because they’ve made culture an important part of their business identity.
There are countless articles online about Google’s culture, photos of their colourful campuses, and even videos that feature real employees talking about life at the company:
It’s easy to implement culture training into the rest of your training program – and you can do this through any of the methods we’ve already discussed, such as eLearning, interactive training, or through videos.
12. Early onboarding
According to Glassdoor, the average employer spends about £3,000 and 27 days to hire a new employee.
With all of this time and money invested, it’s important to get things right. So why not start your training before the new hire even starts their first day?
This can be done through the delivery of simple information, such as instructions on parking, what the dress code is, or the name of their supervisor. Or it could be more involved, such as sending them an employee handbook to read before they start.
Any additional information like this will all contribute towards a smoother start for new employees, so that when they arrive on that first day they have more energy to focus on the training for their role.
13. Revisit regularly
Training should never be a one-and-done thing.
Your staff members should revisit their training on a regular basis, and be constantly learning so that they can keep up with the changes that are happening in your industry.
This not only contributes to their development, it also helps your business to remain current and keep up with emerging trends.
But constantly training and upskilling your staff can be expensive. That’s why it helps to invest in a tool that can be used time and time again, like employee training videos.
When you invest in videos, you only pay once and they’re yours to use as many times as needed!
According to the LinkedIn 2020 Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees would stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning.
94%! That’s huge!
If investing in learning is what it takes to keep the large majority of employees happy to stay at your company for longer, don’t you owe it to them to do that?
When you implement effective employee training, you give your team the tools and information they need to get set for success.
For more information on how to get started with employee training, check out our employee onboarding videos page.