‘On the job training’ is more than just a buzzword.
It can actually help build confidence, improve communication, and bolster valuable skills that the employee needs to be effective in their job.
But what are the best ways to get new employees onboarded and trained up?
How do you avoid corporate training courses that fail to live up to expectations?
Here’s a list of some of the methods and types of training that have proven themselves over and over again.
On The Job Training Programs
On the job training programs are focused on the acquisition of new skills within the work environment, and are generally done under normal working conditions. For example, on the job training may consist of a trainer who is a senior employee, paired with the new hire in a mentor-like relationship.
The senior employee trains the new hire while engaged in normal work duties and activities.
The senior employee might, for instance, help the new hire by letting him shadow them, before allowing the new hire to actually take over some roles and responsibilities. This tends to be popular in smaller companies where the new hire works at the senior employee’s job with the senior employee watching over them.
Vocational schools are a radical departure from traditional universities. They are a sort of “focused schooling,” aimed at one thing: training for a specific job or trade. Vocational schools don’t spend a lot of time with incidental classes or exams.
Instead, the student is educated only in what matters to accomplish and excel at his or her future position.
At the end of the vocational schooling, the student is then ready to perform for an employer. The other major positive of a vocational school is that it’s like getting a higher education without the sticker shock of traditional universities.
That’s because, along with a truncated syllabus and course load, the cost of vocational schooling is much lower than that of a comparable university.
Offsite and Online Training
Offsite training is hyper-focused on a particular skill set, rather than a group of skills or generalized training. For example, online education platforms like Udemy, Udacity, or simplilearn.com offer targeted training courses in subjects as niche as CCNA routing and switching, security training, and network training courses.
These highly-focused and specialized training courses are usually completed online or in a classroom setting.
The fees for some of them can be substantial, which is why employers typically help employees with the cost of the course.
Seminars are normally conducted either in-house, online, or in a large meeting or lecture hall. These seminars are usually more informal than most types of training and are also less expensive.
The downside with most seminars is that it may not provide the employee with any certification or formal competency testing. Seminars are also typically conducted with large groups, which means that there is little (if any) individualized training or education.
Boot camps are a form of training that’s organized around a small group structure. Some boot camps consist of groups of five to ten people, while others are only three to five people. The purpose of the boot camp is to provide an environment where employees can learn but also work as a team.
Boot camps provide a very different kind of training and educational environment compared to a vocational school or offsite training. For instance, one of the hallmarks of the boot camp is that the training is inherently short – usually just a week or two weeks, max. This is enough time to learn a new skill, but not enough time to become an expert in it. It’s a sort of “crash course” in that sense.
Ongoing education is usually necessary to keep the employee’s proficiency up and to enhance the skillset learned at the boot camp. Boot camps can be held onsite or offsite.
Like boot camps, workshops offer an “immersion”-type experience for employees. They get intensive training on a particular topic. Unlike boot camps, workshops can be longer than a few weeks, or shorter – just a weekend.
Workshops can also be held in series. For example, ongoing workshops held one weekend a month can provide the continuing education an employee needs about a particular aspect of his or her job.
The workshop can also provide education on different skills over a period of time.
For example, a workshop series can teach employees about communication one week, advanced communication the next week, networking and security training the following week, and basic principles of productivity and workflow the week after that.
Workshops can be held onsite or in a classroom setting, and may or may not be more expensive than seminars or other forms of onsite training, depending on the subject matter covered.
What other training methods have you used to onboard new employees? Share them in the comments!
Images by Abby Kahler
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