Different training methods

Anne from Starling Bank discusses training and human resources

While training and development are both processes in which employees are provided with additional skills and knowledge, there are differences between them:

  • Training focuses on the knowledge and skills that are required for an individual to do a particular job. It tends to be about gaining skills in the short term.
  • Development is about helping staff to reach their full potential. It is more concerned with the long-term improvement of staff through qualifications and new experiences.

Training methods

There are three main ways of providing training for staff: induction training, on-the-job training and off-the-job training.

Induction training

The purpose of induction training is to familiarise a new member of staff with the business, their workplace and the people with whom they will be working. It often involves an existing member of staff showing the new person around, introducing them to others in the business and showing them where things are kept.

Induction training is designed to help new staff feel welcome and settle in quickly. It aims to minimise mistakes by enabling the new person to become familiar with how things are done and what is expected of them.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training takes place in the workplace while an employee is doing their usual job. It is usually delivered by colleagues and is often informal. For example, in a supermarket, informal training might take place to teach an employee how to use a till or stack a shelf.

On-the-job training can be very effective as it is often delivered on a one-to-one basis and in the employee’s usual place of work, in familiar surroundings. It is also usually cost-effective, since there are no travel or accommodation costs involved and the employee is still completing their usual work. However, the quality of on-the-job training can vary enormously depending on the person who delivers it.

Off-the-job training

Off-the-job training is structured training that may be job specific or related to gaining a qualification. It is called this because it involves employees taking time away from their day-to-day activities. For example, it might involve an employee going on a training course outside the business, undertaking training at college, or completing a course held at their workplace.

Off-the-job training should be of a high quality, as it is delivered by specialists. However, it is often expensive as courses must be paid for, it may require travel and accommodation costs, and the worker is not completing their normal work while they are being trained.