Finding the Right Training Method for Your Team

Finding the Right Training Method for Your Team

In today's competitive business environment, it’s more important than ever to invest in employee training programs. But with so many different options, how do you know which is the right training method for your team and organization?

The first step is to identify your training needs. What are your employees’ skill gaps? What new skills do they need? What are your goals with training? Once you know what you need to achieve, you can start to narrow down your options.

Of course, the best training method for your team will depend on your specific needs. By spending some time choosing the right method, you can ensure your employees are getting the training they need to be successful.

Here are eight common training methods you may find yourself deciding between, along with some high-level details for each one, such as when that method is — and is not — beneficial. We also provide some cost factors to keep in mind.

Online training

Online training is flexible and works particularly well for those who prefer to learn alone and at their own pace. Because online training can educate many people in a wide range of subjects, it is a smart long-term solution. It provides everyone with the same level of training and a uniform standard of performance. Online training can be individualized by providing learners with specific paths targeted to their roles.

The budget for developing online training may be higher than other types of training. If you develop training internally, you will have to dedicate time, money, and resources to properly researching, designing, developing, testing, refining, and deploying your training. On the other hand, you can choose to work with a vendor who has already done that work for you. The best training vendors also offer a Learning Management System (LMS), allowing you to assign and track employee training.

Video training

Video training is versatile and flexible, appealing to a broad range of learners. It offers an immersive learning experience, making it far more engaging and successful than print. Video training works well when providing information that needs to be delivered consistently and repeatedly to all learners.

Because learners can watch training videos at their own pace, videos are a great tool for people with disabilities and those in the neurodiverse community. Using videos can also help deliver a more consistent all-around training experience because all team members watch the same video with the same content, rather than having different instructors.

However, training videos must be regularly reviewed, and updated when information changes or becomes outdated. This can be very costly, whether you are creating those videos in-house or using an external training service. If working with a third-party vendor, make sure they are able to provide updated content regularly.

Games and simulation training

Games and simulation training make a range of abstract, general subjects accessible to learners through concrete examples. The strength in this type of training is helpful for those who need extra practice to master a subject or a skill.

However, development is too expensive to teach broad subjects thoroughly or require frequent revisions. It’s better to focus on segments of broader training. Students also must have some technical skills and subject matter knowledge, and time must be allowed for introducing non-gaming students to the process to ensure their success.

Instructor-led training

There are two types of instructor-led training: virtual and in person. Both methods are ideal for those who enjoy the classroom model and perform better with external motivation. Instructor-led training is a good solution for a novice learner with low technical skills and the “classroom” setting often helps prevent anxiety about a new form of learning.

Because the training is led by an instructor, topics can be broad, covering fundamental, general, and abstract subjects. Breakout sessions and group exercises help reinforce the subject matter and encourage students to exchange ideas and information, ideal for highly complex or tacit knowledge.

Instructor-led training is flexible, and an experienced instructor can adapt their interactions. But this type of learning can be costly. Course development requires a budget, and a timeframe to deploy the courses. Face-to-face training costs additional time and money because a training location and physical learning materials are needed.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training (OJT) works well for new learners who have trained on concepts and are ready to apply what they’ve learned. Learners gain hands-on experience under the direction of a trainer or veteran employee. OJT gives the learner practical experience with the tools and equipment they will work with each day and develops a learner’s ability beyond memorizing procedures.

To succeed, an OJT program must be formal and documented, so all students receive the same instruction regardless of who is training them. An effective OJT program must be organized and structured with activities such as scenario-based training and simulations to accompany online training.


Coaching works best for those who respond well to external discipline. Delivery is flexible and can be delivered by phone, email, virtually, or face-to-face. Coaching depends on the expertise and communication skills of the coach. It assists in building tacit skills without written rules and principles. The one-on-one interaction spurs innovation and gives authority and credibility to ideas because the interaction makes the information relative to specific situations.

Coaching is not efficient for broad subjects or large numbers of students. Because of the intensive time required, investment is high. Additionally, the level of knowledge passed down depends fully on the skills of the coach, who not only must possess the right technical skills, but also have strong interpersonal skills.

Self-led learning

Using learning resources as a training option works best for advanced learners who are self-motivated and take initiative. Its best use is to complement training and provide performance support before, during, and after training. They perform well as a quick job reference or job aid to use after training to help learners perform at a peak level.

It’s risky for naïve, dependent learners who lack self-discipline and may not have fundamental knowledge of a subject. Prior to using, learning resources must be located, analyzed, and tested to ensure they will accomplish the objective. Materials must be made available either online or in hard copy.

Social learning

Social learning is especially effective for refining existing skills and seeing concrete examples of abstract ideas. Similar to coaching, learners can build tacit skills without clear rules and formulas. Social learning is effective for teaching rapidly emerging subjects. Social learning can be a good solution when an organization is lacking time and budget. It works best over long periods of time and should be used to round out learning efforts.

To successfully use social learning, an organization needs to provide the essential expertise and include individuals willing to share. In addition, it takes time for learners to join groups, identify experts, build trust, and carry on conversations. Tools may be needed to make collaboration natural and easy. Training through social learning is not for all learners. Everyone needs to understand the vocabulary and principles necessary to interact productively. They require self-discipline to keep conversations focused and the willingness to question rather than blindly accept new information.

Find Effective Training for Your Team Today

Finding the right training method for your company can be a daunting task, but it's important to take the time to do it right. By considering your goals, your audience, and your budget, you can find a training method that will help your employees reach their full potential.

HSI offers engaging and memorable training over hundreds of topics that can help any size team, in any industry, in any location.

To learn more about our training solutions that will help your entire workforce learn new skills, improve their knowledge, and develop their careers, visit or call 800-447-3177 today.

Additional Resources

Close Menu