There are several types of training methods. While some work better than the other in definite professions, at times it is just a matter of the personal fondness of the employer. Organizations may examine new employee training methods to estimate their efficiency, before making a particular plan, which is a standard element of the training practice. The method, by which job training is performed, often varies based on the needs of the company, the trainee, and the task being performed. Other factors, affecting the choice of the training method, are:
- Age, gender, or level of education of the trainer;
- Studying styles of the trainees;
- The amount of trainees;
- Financial statements;
- Trainer’s skills and training style. (Essortment, 2012)
Traditional training methods include presentation methods, hands-on methods, and group building methods. Nowadays hands-on methods are the most popular for professions that involve manual labour, such as factory work. It is rather difficult to train a new electrician or miner through a textbook. As for the other organisations, they practice a combination of all the methods.
There are two presentation methods: lectures and audio-visual techniques. Lecture is the method, which people most commonly correlate with college and secondary education. On the other hand, it is considered as one of the least effective methods to use for adult learners. Lectures can use visual aids, question/answer plans, but conversation most commonly is performed one-way: from the trainer to the learner. This method has both advantages and disadvantages. Less time is needed for the trainer to get ready than for other methods. It also provides a lot of information quickly, when it is not so essential for trainees to preserve many details. However, this method does not actively involve trainees in the training process (Essortment, 2012). If the information is offered only orally, the trainees forget much of it. Visual and audio aids could be called auxiliary facilities of the lecture, but they are more teachable and better for the trainees to remember.
Hands-on methods are those training methods that entail the trainee to be actively drawn into learning. There are various types of such methods:
- On-the-job training. This is the most common method of training. The trainee is sited on the job and the manager/mentor shows the trainee how to do the job. There should be a planned program for the training to be successful. The advantage of this method is its extremely detailed attitude to each employee. On the other hand, the method is not consistent.
- Simulations. Trainees take part in a reality-based interactive activity, where they reproduce actions necessary on the job. It is rather useful method for skills development. This training method relates to jobs performed after training. Despite it gives the possibility for trainees to maintain the information they have learnt, this method is time-consuming.
- Case studies. This training method is a depiction of a real or imagined situation, which restrains information that trainees can use to investigate what has happened and why. All the solutions are usually based on the content provided. These studies present a real-life situations, which let trainees to judge what they would do. However, such cases could be difficult to write and lingering to discuss (Essortment, 2012).
- Business games. It is a training practice, in which participants consider the chain of problems and take decisions. It is based on a theoretical model of the organisation. This method is definitely helpful to decrease conflicts among the trainees and to emphasise the importance of the long array planning. This method is relatively new in training practice that is why its disadvantages are not still fully discovered.
- Role plays. Trainees undertake the roles and act out situations connected to the learning model. Trainees get the chance to practice interpersonal skills and learn possible results of this or that behaviour. On the other hand, a lot of time is needed to make a single point.
- Behaviour modelling. This method uses the instinctive indication for people to survey others to find out, how to do something new. It is usually used in arrangement with other methods. The advantage of this method is in contact between trainees, however, some types of behavioural studies could be misunderstood. In such a situation, the decision could be wrong.
Group-building methods are those methods, which plan to improve team or group efficiency. Training directed at both trainer individual skills’ improvement and group effectiveness. These methods include adventure learning, team training, and action learning. Adventure learning helps to develop such skills as self-awareness, problem solving, conflict supervision, risk captivating. Thanks to team learning, if they are effectively trained, teams develop procedures to identify and resolve errors, organize data gathering, and support each other. In actual learning trainees are involved in defining an actual problem, working on its solving, committing to an action plan, and holding accountable for carrying out the plan.
All the methods discussed above could be both successful and disastrous. Hand-on methods are considered the best for training in any field. Presentation methods are good for theory, but not for practice. That is why these training methods did not take much success. As for group-building training method, this technique could be successful for the fields, where group thinking is needed. If the job is concerned with individual task, this method cannot be regarded as successful.
To choose the training method correctly, it is needed to:
- Identify the type of desirable learning outcome;
- Consider the extent to which this training method facilitates;
- Evaluate the costs related to development and use of the method;
- Consider the effectiveness of the training method.
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