5 staff training ideas that actually work

Regular training and learning experiences can help employees refine their skills and continually improve their talents. A fulfilling job is usually one that evolves with the team or individual, so it’s important to keep your workforce moving forward.

But, here's the rub. When you're trying to engage your team, how do you get them interested in you, rather than their mobile phones?

Creating training goals is relatively easy, but the hard part is finding a training method which is actually going to work. Whilst a Powerpoint and handout is often the quickest way to convey your message, chances are it's normally a waste of everyone's time.

Here are 5 alternative training ideas to help inspire:

1. eLearning

With busy diaries and shorter attention spans, finding the time for learning and enrichment activities can prove tricky. That's why eLearning, and particularly micro-learning, can prove so effective. By breaking down training into segments from between 3 and 10 minutes, you will be able to engage employees to learning at their own pace and in their own time.

The CPD Certification service is naturally a big backer of eLearning and says that; “online courses provide flexibility and convenience, allowing an individual to plan their learning around their other work priorities, instead of the other way around.”

2. Hands-on shadowing

If you’ve ever read anything about being a good teacher, you’ll have heard this before: If you tell someone how to do a task, you may not be as effective as if you ask that person to do the task themselves, whilst you run through it step by step.

By using a shadowing process, you can ask employees to apply learned skills in real time and translate them to their daily tasks very quickly. This will help new team members find confidence with bigger responsibilities, all whilst controlling the risk.

3. One-on-one meetings

Structured, regular meetings between employees and managers can be a very effective training method.

By showing that your management staff have time to dedicate to more junior members, you’ll be helping to build trust and an acknowledgement that the team as a whole is worth the investment.

By committing time to help your colleagues, they’ll start to appreciate that you are not just out for yourself.

4. ‘Lunch and learn’ sessions

Not everybody learns in the same way. And some employees could associate learning with being at school and being ‘talked down to’. Therefore, you might consider making the teaching less formal by introducing a relaxed environment.

Many business are adopting ‘lunch and learn’ sessions as a method of more casual teaching. In these events, you might provide some food – not even a whole lunch – and invite a speaker to engage with your audience. Often these sessions will invoke group discussions and brainstorming techniques to get the ideas flowing.

5. Video recordings

Whilst live training sessions can certainly be engaging, you can run the risk of the employee forgetting what they've learned after it's over. Recording any of the above sessions and and making them available to your team can serve as a great refresher, or as a convenient ‘catch-up’ for those who missed the meeting.

Making your training stick

It’s important to convince employees that training programs are for their benefit, just as much as yours. The best method of doing so is by asking them for feedback on your initiatives and tailoring future programs to suit your different audiences. By adapting your training to your employees, they are much more likely to retain the information you are trying to share.