8 Most Common Employee Training Methods

By Hadrat Ajao5 min read · Posted Feb 16, 2024


As organizations evolve and processes change, companies must ensure that staff members are updated on the latest changes to help make better, more informed decisions. Employers may use various training methods to teach their employees effectively. The proper training methods will help ensure organizational goals are more effectively realized through seamless operations. As employees may have different learning styles, employers must explore various training methods to achieve learning goals that work for everyone while staying aligned with the organizational culture and structure.

This article uses examples to explore the eight most common and effective methods and techniques employed by corporations to train their employees:

On The Job Training (OJT):

OJT is a training method usually utilized when employees need to learn a new process or skill required for the seamless execution of duties at the workplace. This hands-on method allows employees or trainees to practice and learn a technique through real-life situations. Training usually occurs under the guidance of experienced employees or trainers. While it is essential to acknowledge that not all employees will enjoy this learning method and that it may take time away from their regular work schedule, it also bears faster results as employees learn with practical occurrences.

Example: Josh has just joined the directing crew of a film production company, and he is immediately attached to one of the directors. The director is working on a movie, and Josh will work alongside him as an assistant. Through watching the director make vital decisions, Josh will start to understand the role and responsibilities of a director. Eventually, Josh will be ready to take on a Director role.

Classroom-Based Training/Instructor-Led Training

This type of training is one of the oldest training methods. It is the traditional method of trainers or students taught by an instructor. This method requires learners to gather in a place to acquire knowledge from a trainer or instructor. The training method uses lecture-style presentations, visual aids, manuals, etc. While this method encourages trainer-trainee interaction and simplifies complex points and questions, it also has disadvantages. This method must be more comprehensive and accommodate trainees with different learning styles.

Example: Students attending a secondary/upper middle school may see this. Colleges and Universities also use this training method in classrooms and lecture halls.


E-learning, the short form of electronic learning, uses electronic technologies and systems to deliver educational content. This learning method has become more popular in the professional world post-pandemic period. E-learning suits employees working in a remote setting or who cannot attend in-person training sessions. This method is cost-effective, less stressful, and needs little logistics other than distribution. However, designing learning aids for this learning method takes time. It is also essential to include games and related activities during and between learning sessions to keep trainees motivated and engaged.

Example: XYZ Corporation is a fully remote call center that handles the customer service needs of different organizations. Their new system makes picking up calls from customers worldwide and resolving their issues more manageable. They need to bring their employees up to speed with the new system. Being a fully remote company with employees stationed in different countries makes the idea of onsite training impossible. Instead, XYZ Corporation utilized the e-learning system. Through the e-learning system, employees can learn at a time that best works for them and at their own pace.


Role-playing involves the trainer and the trainee acting out roles that the employee will face in real-life situations. This interactive technique allows the trainee to experience possible workplace scenarios in a simulated case. It is an effective method because it will enable participants to practice needed skills in a controlled environment where trainers can correct them. It also gives a real-life hypothetical situation for problem-solving issues. One advantage of this method is that the employee is prepared for real-life situations and gets the confidence boost needed for the job. However, it is time-consuming, expensive, and might not be ideal for employees who are self-conscious and uncomfortable performing in front of colleagues.

Example: During training, paramedics role-play situations that are likely to occur during their jobs. They role-play situations such as resuscitation, chest compressions, and tying splints on sprains.

Job Shadowing

This technique is designed for employees transitioning from one role to another, exploring a new role, or taking on more responsibilities. Job shadowing enables the individual to study another employee, generally a superior, to learn more about their roles and responsibilities. This method is short-term and helps develop a mentor-mentee relationship. Trainers must deliberately attempt to make the learning process active and encourage questions; otherwise, the trainee may get overwhelmed and need help understanding various situations.

Example: Medical students who have completed years of formal training generally enroll in a shadow program. This program helps them understand what it means to specialize in different areas of the medical field. Students shadow experienced doctors in their chosen fields and watch how doctors handle cases.

Job Rotation

This method involves transferring employees around different organizational roles and departments to expose them to various administrative functions. This method encourages interdepartmental collaboration and skill development and allows employees to build a wealth of diverse experiences. This method can be time-consuming and threaten a smooth flow of team dynamics, but it also helps individuals gain a vast amount of general knowledge.

Example: In some companies, board members will have to spend some time every year working in other departments to understand the responsibilities of these departments better.


Cross-training involves training an employee to perform an additional job function. This method makes employees more versatile and prepares employees to render support to other initiatives or activities when needed rather than outsourcing. Cross-training encourages in-house promotions and a reduction in recruitment costs. However, employees may feel overwhelmed and overworked.

Example: ABC Corporation is decreasing the size of its workforce (layoffs) to reduce expenses. ABC currently offers customer support through chat, phone, and email. Currently, each support system has its own team of support agents. Managers start cross-training chat agents to handle emails as the team becomes smaller. Through cross-training, chat support agents can serve in two roles based on demand.

Case Studies

This method presents employees with real-life or fictional events for in-depth examination. This analytical method aims to help employees explore and understand complex issues using real-life or made-up scenarios as references. Although case studies may be time-intensive to set up and utilize, employees' confidence and abilities are generally boosted, making the handling of cases similar to the studies easier.

Example: Case studies are used by customer experience companies when training representatives. Representatives are presented with case studies of complaints and requests that customers could bring up and are tasked with resolving these cases.

About The Author

Hadrat Ajao

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Hello, I am Hadrat, a communication specialist and an article writer for Pitch Labs. I am passionate about street children and abandoned women, with a special focus on the African terrain. I enjoy writing poems and creative stories.

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