Answering the Tricky Question: What Type of Training is Best?

Posted on September 27th, 2021

“We need training.”  

This is a common phrase heard by leaders, and a phrase some leaders fear. Why? Training means employees are taken off the jobsite or shop floor. It means employees are no longer actively generating revenue. However, training is vital to the continued development and growth of your employees and organization. So how can you ensure employees’ time is well spent in training?  

Step one is to ensure the right type of training is selected. It can be difficult to decide what kind of training is best, though. There are countless ways to conduct training in the workplace: in-person training led by an instructor, live virtual training, on-the-job training, and online training videos.  

While each type of training can be effective, it can also be ineffective when not used properly. The following questions can help you determine what kind of training will make the biggest impact and provide a return on your investment: 

1 – What topic needs to be trained? What skill(s) / behaviors need to be developed? 

The topic to be learned plays a major role in the type of training selected. There are certain skills (like operation of a forklift or bulldozer) that are better learned in-person with an instructor. While an online video can show individuals how to operate the machinery, the most meaningful training for this skill includes hands-on practice. However, a session on time management and prioritization can be effectively facilitated in various settings such as a live virtual session or an online video. 

2 – Who are the training participants? 

The audience of a training session is also a huge factor in the planning process. How many participants are anticipated? Is it an entire team? Can all participants attend at the same time? Would travel be required? 

If an entire team needs to be trained on a skill, it might not be feasible for all to complete the training at the same time. Several offerings may be required to ensure there is appropriate coverage of day-to-day work.  

If participants are in various locations, it is important to identify a centralized location and if it can be used as a meeting spot. A specific location can also help pinpoint if travel is realistic. If travel creates a headache, it is worth exploring a live virtual session vs. Investing in substantial expenses. 

3 – How long is the anticipated training?  

The attention span of the average adult is not long; it’s important for training to meet the needs of the business AND the learners. An eight-hour virtual training most likely will not be a great experience for the learner. Instead, several shorter sessions may serve the business and learners better.  

The length of training also helps with travel decisions. It doesn’t make sense to have employees travel four hours for a 60-minute training session. Instead, a live virtual session or on-the-job training with skill practice may be a better solution.  

4 – Is there a deadline for completion of the training? 

There are situations when new regulations, laws, or policies initiate the need for training. Understanding concrete deadlines will help determine how many sessions need to be offered and how to prioritize various training topics. 

5 – How can training be conducted safely with COVID-19 protocols? 

The pandemic has been our reality for over a year, and some individuals are uncomfortable in close quarters with others. To eliminate fear and discomfort, regardless of participants’ vaccination status, it is imperative the training space is set up for physical distancing and proper PPE is provided (masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer/wipes).  

 

Every training experience is unique and should be tailored to ensure its effectiveness. 

 

With experienced technical, professional, and leadership development trainers, Enova understands the challenges Industry faces with training. We are here to partner with you and provide training that meets the needs of your employees and businessReach out to us today to learn more! 

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