This toolkit pack includes four checklists & templates for the onboarding process, a new hire's first day, and facilitating your onboarding buddy program.
14 Types of Employee Training Programs (+Benefits, Examples)
Any company that invests in workplace training is investing in its own success.
As technology changes daily, employees expect their organizations to support them with continuous informative training programs to keep them updated with the latest industry processes, trends, and technologies.
Different types of employee training methods focus on enhancing different skills for employees to improve their performance and rate of productivity, as well as upskilling and reskilling them to prepare for what the future will require of them.
Facilitating an ongoing training culture in a workplace creates an adaptive, flexible, engaging, and productive working environment for your employees.
What are different types of workplace training programs for employees?
- Orientation Training
- Onboarding Training
- Compliance Training
- Product Training
- Leadership Training
- Technical Training
- Quality Assurance (Q/A) Training
- Sales Training
- Soft-Skills Training
- Team Training
- Diversity Training
- Safety Training
What is Workplace Training?
Workplace training enables employees to gain the knowledge required to perform their duties while contributing to their organization. These training programs are designed to help employees learn different skill sets to perform their daily tasks efficiently, improve overall performance, develop efficiency in their job, and avoid violations of laws and regulations.
By providing comprehensive training and support, organizations can ensure that employees are productive and engaged, which leads to greater retention and job satisfaction over time.
Why is Employee Training Important?
Training is crucial for an organization’s development and success. Creating training programs enables your workforce to be more productive, efficient, adaptable and improve their skills in areas including communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
The major benefits of employee training include:
1. Improves employee morale
Employees lose motivation and morale if they cannot perform according to an organization’s expectations. Workplace training sharpens the skills and knowledge of employees, which results in a boost in their morale and adds a sense of job satisfaction (as well as security). Satisfied and motivated employees are a great asset for organizational success as they innovate new ideas at faster rates, which can enhance the quality of their project results.
2. Reduced chances of employee errors
Every field and job role has its unique set of challenges and requirements. Mistakes and errors are likely to occur when employees lack the knowledge or skill required for a particular job. Workplace training makes employees more proficient and reduces the chances of them committing errors on the job. It strengthens the functioning and abilities of your workforce.
3. Increased productivity
Training acts as a productivity booster for your employees. When employees understand exactly what is expected from them and are provided with the required training programs to do their jobs, they feel confident and show higher levels of performance and productivity.
4. Improve employee retention
A company with a culture of continuous learning and development leads to 30-50% higher retention rates. Employees want opportunities to learn and develop at work. This is why prioritizing training gives your employee retention rates a healthy boost and inspires your top talent to stick around for a long time.
5. Addressing employee weaknesses
A workplace training program allows you to strengthen the skills that each employee needs to improve. It addresses employee weaknesses, provides the necessary training, and creates an overall knowledgeable workforce that works independently without constant help from others.
6. Close the skills gap
As technology evolves, many companies struggle to keep up with the demands of digital transformation. They need skilled employees who can engage in continuous learning in order to keep pace. Upskilling programs that build on employees’ existing skills and reskilling programs that train employees in entirely new areas help you leverage your existing employees to meet the new age digital demands.
14 Types of Employee Training Programs in 2023
Businesses conduct different types of employee training programs depending on the size, requirements, and activities of an organization. Here is a list of the most common types of training programs in a workplace.
1. Orientation Training
Effective employee orientation training provides basic organizational information that new hires need to prepare for their role in a company. The orientation program benefits both employees and employers by educating new hires, setting them up for success in their new roles, addressing any questions they might have, and helping them contribute to the organization right away.
Here are some key components of an employee orientation training program:
- Self-paced online learning programs for job-specific technical training.
- Online courses to explain the ins and outs of enterprise software.
- Information on safety procedures.
- Hands-on training on machines and equipment.
- In-person group training sessions for soft skills training like customer service, team-building, and client management.
- Formal courses through outside vendors on business and other topics.
2. Onboarding Training
Onboarding training is the process of getting your new hires up to speed, understanding their new responsibilities, getting familiar with company culture, and becoming productive team members quickly.
Employee orientation is a 1-2 days process, whereas the employee onboarding process is a series of events that take place for a duration of a week, a month, or even a year in some cases. Onboarding is responsible for truly integrating an employee within an organization.
Some key components of employee onboarding include:
- Functional training to provide an overview of the organization’s products/services, clients/customers, and organizational structure.
- Online or instructor-led training to provide information on corporate information, sales, business plans, goals, and objectives in the form of video onboarding.
- Facilitated discussions between the new hire and managers to clarify expectations, priorities, and deliverables.
- Overview of company goals, organizational chart, and employee KPIs based on the job descriptions.
- Information about compliance.
- A 30-60-90 day plan personalized to each employee according to their role, goals, and projects.
By the end of onboarding, an employee must have a clear sense of their responsibilities and goals in the organization. They must also know how to obtain the resources they need to do their jobs and understand how their role contributes to their team’s and company’s objectives.
3. Compliance Training
Compliance training is a workplace training type mandated by legislation, regulation, or policy. It educates employees on the laws and regulations applicable to their job function or industry.
An effective compliance training program helps prevent poor conduct and ensures proper governance in an organization. It helps minimize risks, maintains reputation, and provides a better and safe workplace environment for employees.
See how you can create in-app, interactive compliance training content in your digital tools and process with Whatfix digital adoption platform.
Here are some examples of courses covering government-mandated and industry-specific compliance policies.
- Anti-harassment: Anti-harassment compliance training programs administer guidance and measures for responding to incidents like bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment.
- Diversity training: Diversity training emphasizes the strengths of diversity and addresses how to work with people of different ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, mental or physical abilities, etc.
- Cybersecurity training: These programs include how to manage sensitive and confidential information efficiently and train staff on the strategies, tools, and systems needed to protect personal data.
- Business ethics: The ethics & compliance training programs include risk assessment training, methods to encourage whistleblowing, employee accountability structures, and a system for addressing grey areas/conflicts of interest.
4. Product training
Product training includes all the information about your organization’s goods, services, or products that employees need to learn in order to perform their jobs effectively.
Depending on different employee roles, product training focuses on different aspects and has different learning goals. Value-adding product training enables a marketing team to reach the right market and a sales team to answer the critical questions customers are looking for.
Here are some of the most common product knowledge training objectives to help different groups get the most out of the product training:
- Product training for sales reps: Train the sales team on the product to improve their communication with the customer, overcome prospects’ objections, and close deals faster.
- Product knowledge training for customer service: Train the support team on the technical aspects of the product – how it works, what parts it consists of, and how to fix it.
- Product training for a marketing team: Training on distinctive features and benefits of the product to create an effective positioning and promotion strategy.
- Product knowledge training for customers: Train your customers on how to use the product and achieve great results – this can also be known as product adoption.
5. Leadership training
Leadership training for your existing leaders is a way to refresh and reset their mindset. On the other hand, leadership training for other employees helps them better understand their current roles and learn what it takes to become exceptional leaders in the future.
Leadership development training programs have several important benefits, such as:
- Increase employee morale and retention
- Promote better decision making
- Build better teams
- Improve leadership styles
Here are a few important steps to get started on the leadership training program:
- Define the company’s leadership needs:
- Consider any specific leadership gaps your organization has or may soon face.
- Identify potential leaders by evaluating employees’ current and potential levels of contribution to the organization.
- Create a succession plan to identify and document critical skills and knowledge that leaders need to pass on to prepare their next-generation workforce.
- Set organizational alignment and goals: Align your leadership development program to ensure the business has the right leadership in place to fill any gaps.
- Decide your training technique: The training process can be handled differently depending on the size and type of the organization, like coaching, mentoring, leader-to-leader development, group-based leadership development, job rotation, job shadowing, etc.
- Measure results: Before implementing the training program, determine how the program’s success will be measured. Some measurement options include:
- The number of participants completing the program successfully.
- The number of participants promoted on training completion.
- Whether peers feel that program participants are developing into effective leaders.
6. Technical training
There is an infinite number of new software applications and technologies emerging in every industry. In order to avoid the risk of falling behind the competition, employees need to continuously adopt the latest technologies or update existing ones. Technical training enables your workforce to build core technical skills and master the technical aspects of their jobs.
Here’s how you can facilitate technical training for your employees:
- Demonstrate a clear link between technical training and career progression to keep employees motivated and engaged throughout the course.
- Demonstrate how technical training can positively impact an employee’s real work.
- Use subject matter experts to enable effective instructor-led training sessions.
- Allow learners to customize their training to make them engage more with the content.
- Lecture-based, hours-long training is no longer an effective mode of training for the modern workforce. Deliver your technical training courses with easy-to-understand interactive methods such as:
- Interactive walkthroughs provide the help required to carry out a particular task in a step-by-step interactive manner.
- Gamification training to teach practical applications.
- Interactive video training to boost engagement with more interactive eLearning content formats.
- Technical training needs to be available on-demand: Integrate your technical training within the live application, where employees can summon it whenever they want.
Digital Adoption Platforms enable training content integration within the software. It gives employees access to all relevant information, resources, documentation, and workflows they might need to work efficiently on new software. This guidance can be accessed whenever an employee is stuck anywhere in the software without having to look for any external help.
7. Quality assurance training
Quality assurance training helps employees better understand quality assurance activities and improve processes that ensure the final product or service meets set quality standards, which leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Q/A training benefits organizations in many ways:
- Establish trust and integrity with customers.
- Reduce wastage, improve profit margins, and accelerate growth.
- Build a company culture that prioritizes quality products.
- Build meaningful customer relationships and customer loyalty.
- An educated and engaged employee base.
8. Sales Training
Sales training is designed to improve your sales team’s skills by teaching them sales techniques, software tools, and novel approaches to selling. Effective sales training programs focus on helping sales teams define the benefits of products and services, address the unmet needs of the client, and get them one step closer to a purchase.
Below you can see how customer-facing teams can use Whatfix for sales teams to create guided tutorials, in-app workflows, and embedded self-help widgets that link to your SOPs – all right in your CRM.
Here’s what you need to look for in a sales training program:
- Identify opportunities for improvement using resources like customer service surveys, recorded calls, online reviews, and data intelligence tools.
- Identify your sales team’s weakest areas like people skills, lead generation, closing deals, etc.
- Seek out a sales training program designed specifically to improve the identified weak areas of your team.
- Consider the following modules to ensure your sales training program pays off:
- Lessons on sales processes to keep the teams focused and on track.
- Lessons on how to prospect.
- Teaching employees about brand image and public relations.
- Providing guidance on making good impressions on prospects and customers.
- Lessons on sales philosophy.
- Consider the different types of sales training programs according to the organization’s requirements:
- Inside sales for selling over the phone, by email, or online.
- Field sales for reps selling outside the office.
- Service sales training programs that focus on customer service and building customer loyalty.
- Sales management programs to help sales managers develop their coaching skills.
9. Soft-Skills Training
Soft skills training programs focus on personal attributes, such as communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving, that are necessary for an individual’s success and career development. Across an organization, in every business unit and employee role, soft skills are crucial for gaining new clients, improving current customer relationships and service metrics, and building a stronger team dynamic.
Here are the steps to design a soft skills training program for your organization:
- Decide what soft skills are necessary for your employees.
- Assess employee soft skills via self-assessments.
- Identify the resources required depending on the type of training.
- Set goals to assess the effectiveness of the training program.
- Share the benefits of the training program with your employees to engage them.
- Provide ongoing feedback to learners.
10. Team Training
Team training encourages beneficial team dynamics, ensures every team member has the same professional growth opportunities and improves employee morale, collective efficacy, and member satisfaction.
Here’s how you can effectively implement team training in a workplace:
- Use your team’s input to determine training needs.
- Establish a training schedule that suits every team member.
- Implement team-building sessions across different departments working towards the same organizational objectives.
- Explain how every individual contributes to the overall team training objective to get their buy-in and give them a sense of purpose.
- Focus on good team-building skills to unite employees around a common goal and increase productivity.
- Cater to the different learning needs of your team.
- Follow up after training sessions.
11. Diversity Training
Diversity training programs create awareness for diversity-focused issues within the workplace with an aim to facilitate positive interactions and reduce prejudice and discrimination among employees.
These programs encourage employees to embrace people with diverse cultures and backgrounds, including – race, color, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender, physical and mental ability, etc. Implementing a diversity training program is an important step toward reducing the risk of workplace discrimination and harassment claims.
You can begin to create an effective diversity training strategy with these steps:
- Conduct a thorough assessment to identify key diversity and inclusion barriers.
- Research and analyze the assessment data to develop objectives and goals.
- Develop a clear, detailed definition of what the program should entail.
- Create common goals for all employees.
- Look out for an expert to run the program.
- All employees, including senior executives, must participate in the training sessions.
- Focus on a long-term plan led by experts rather than producing a short-term solution as a reaction to a specific event.
12. Safety training
Safety training is especially important in industries that involve physical labor as it reduces the risk to individual employees as well as a company’s potential liabilities. Some safety training programs, such as fire prevention or lockdown drills, are somewhat universal, while others are highly industry-specific. For instance, companies that use potentially dangerous chemicals will need rigorous safety training protocols, while food-service companies must provide food safety training.
Safety training sessions can be held in-house, but organizations usually hire external practitioners with more adequate knowledge to train their employees.
Upskilling is the process of employees learning new skills and acquiring relevant competencies needed for today’s work environment as well as for the near future. It focuses on improving employees’ skill sets, usually through continuous training programs, to help them advance in their jobs.
Here are some steps you can take to upskill your workforce:
- Assess your workforce needs: Conduct a skills assessment to identify the skills gaps within your workforce. This will help you understand which skills are most critical to your business and which employees need training to fill those gaps.
- Develop a training plan: Based on the results of your skills assessment, develop a training plan that outlines the training opportunities you will provide to your employees. This can include classroom-based instruction, online learning, mentoring, coaching, and workshops.
- Provide resources: Provide employees with the resources they need to access training, such as access to online courses, and training materials.
- Encourage continuous learning: Encourage your employees to engage in continuous learning by providing ongoing training opportunities, and promoting a culture of learning within the organization.
- Recognize and reward learning: Recognize and reward employees who engage in learning and development activities, such as by providing certificates, awards, or promotions.
- Evaluate and measure results: Evaluate the effectiveness of your training programs by measuring employee performance before and after training. Use this information to refine your training programs in the future.
Reskilling is a process where employees learn new skills to move into a different job role within the organization or to meet the new demands of a current role. It typically occurs when an employee’s previous tasks or responsibilities become irrelevant, often due to advances in technology or skill gaps.
Here are some steps you can take to reskill your workforce:
- Develop a plan: To create your reskilling plan, map out your current needs, skill gaps, where your business is headed, and what it takes to get there. Assess how well your current roles and workforce are equipped to support your initiatives and base your reskilling decisions on the present skill gaps.
- Identify employees with transferable skills: Once you identify the critical skills needed, look for adjacent abilities or skills closely matched to those in demand to make the reskilling process more manageable.
- Set goals: Once you identify the skills required for specific departments, the next step is to set clear and tangible outcomes that will structure your reskilling efforts and gauge the end results.
- Develop a training plan: Based on the results of your skills assessment, develop a training plan that outlines the training opportunities you will provide to your employees. This can include classroom-based instruction, eLearning, mentoring, coaching, and workshops.
- Evaluate and measure results: Evaluate the effectiveness of your reskilling programs by measuring employee performance before and after training. Use this information to refine your training programs and improve the outcomes for your employees.
5 Tips for Creating Employee Training Programs for Your Workplace
Employee training programs, when thoughtfully implemented, are the cornerstone of organizational success. However, building a new employee training program for your business can feel daunting.
Here are some tips for you to create employees training programs for your workplace effectively:
1. Create interactive training content
To overcome the traditional culture of monotonous PowerPoint slides and traditional learning methods, L&D teams are embracing a new style of training that’s interactive. Interactive training engages each individual and connects them to a task by putting them in the driver’s seat. Interactive learning focuses on learner engagement which leads to higher productivity and performance.
Here are a few ways you can make online courses more interactive:
- Create visually appealing training videos by including rich graphics and high-quality images with new, simple-to-use video training software platforms.
- Incorporate an interactive element on each slide.
- Add digital storytelling to your courses.
- Include interactive 360° images and videos.
- Create simulated environments where training mimics real-world situations for learners to practice freely.
- Use gamification techniques by incorporating certain gaming elements into the training program.
- Ask questions and encourage discussions.
2. Leverage Workplace Training Software
Employee training software and corporate learning management systems are leveraged to deliver online employee training experiences. This training software allows you to create training modules efficiently, make them engaging, securely deliver them to the employees, track employee engagement with the training materials, analyze performance, and give feedback. It is an all-in-one tool to deliver effective training to your workforce.
A digital adoption platform (DAP) is a training software that integrates with your enterprise applications in order to help the user learn while working on the application itself. DAP uses interactive walkthroughs, videos, and self-help menus to guide users through every aspect of the application. This allows new hires to be onboarded and trained on all software tools crucial to their job, as well as continuously having their skills developed with contextual and just-in-time learning features.
3. Set Employee Training Goals
Identify the purpose of a training program that is, what you want to accomplish with a particular training program – Improve employee performance? Address a knowledge gap? Teach a new skill?
Identifying the purpose of your training puts you in the right direction for creating and setting realistic employee training goals and objectives. Your organization’s training goals are measurable outcomes that learners are expected to achieve by the end of a training program.
Setting goals is a key responsibility of managers to offer their employees some guidance and motivate them to attend the next training program. To define clear and measurable goals, consider using the SMART goals framework (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based).
4. Segment Training Programs
For more effective employee training, it is critical for organizations to turn their training platform into a scalable, collaborative network that provides individualized learning tied to every employee’s performance.
Segmenting training programs based on business units helps in scaling and facilitating employees’ learning and business activities. Here are a few ways to segment your training programs:
- By language: People understand and retain information better when studied in their native language.
- By age: Different generations prefer different learning styles. For instance, Gen X might prefer traditional instructor-led training programs and written manuals, while millennials prefer interactive video training accessible at all times.
- By skills: Specific skills training is grouped on the basis of what skills employees need to improve or develop.
- By role: Role-based training segmentation groups employees according to their position, their department, and their responsibilities within an organization.
Invest in personalized online learning tools with algorithms that gather information on your employees and suggest learning activities based on that information.
A digital adoption platform is an employee training solution that integrates with digital tools to provide automated, personalized training in the flow of work. It has artificial intelligence (AI) technology that determines the learner’s role in the company, personal development goals, and current training needs to suggest the right training module.
5. Measure training effectiveness with employee surveys
Training effectiveness measures the impact of a training program on the employee’s knowledge, skills, and performance. In addition, measuring training effectiveness is also an important tool to boost employee engagement and retention as it demonstrates a positive impact of training.
Measuring training effectiveness via employee surveys might seem basic, but they are extremely critical in getting the answers to determine whether or not your training was successful. The process here is to create anonymous employee surveys and feedback forms, collect feedback in real-time, measure the training immediately, and implement remedies without any delays.
Whatfix DAP helps measure training effectiveness by intelligently gathering feedback on each walkthrough training and determining where your content creation efforts will give the best results. The SaaS platform integrates with survey tools to gather user feedback from specific locations (in-app) to ensure higher response rates.
You can see how your employees can leave feedback directly in their apps and processes without leaving the flow of work, in the graphic below:
Empower your employees with Whatfix's in-app guidance and moment-of-need support
There is a multitude of employee training programs available that are specific to different aspects and benefits. Consider the most suitable training program for your workplace depending on the overall organizational and individual employee requirements.
Implementing the right training program for your organization enables you to create rich learning opportunities that can empower your employees to grow.
With a digital adoption platform (DAP) like Whatfix, L&D teams can create learning and training content with a no-code editor that overlays on your employees’ digital applications, processes, and workflows
Implementing Whatfix as your employee training solution will help you create:
- Guided product tours when onboarding employees to new CRMs, HCMs, ERPs, and other enterprise software.
- Interactive walkthroughs that take employees step-by-step through core tasks and workflows.
- Task lists to help new employees and new software users get up to speed fast.
- Self-Help center that integrates with your company’s internal wiki, knowledge base, Google Drive, third-party links, and other employee-related documentation.
- Alerts and pop-ups to drive awareness of company-wide announcements or process changes.
- Smart tips and beacons to grab your employees’ attention and showcase new features, fields, etc.
- Field validations to ensure data quality and compliance.
Schedule a free demo with us today to learn more about Whatfix training!
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