What is the Most Effective HR Training Method?


Businesses and organisations of all sizes are constrained by limited resources, but they need to utilise those resources to achieve their organisational goals. Implementing effective Human Resources (HR) training methods is essential to get the most out of your budget, keep recruitment costs down, and elevate your employees so that they’re skilled and efficient members of the workforce working towards your common goals.

The most effective training methods vary depending on the learning styles of your trainees, the number of trainees, the content and skills you’re teaching, and the environment within which you conduct the training. By balancing these variables among available training options, you can find the right HR Training Methods for your organisation. 

Choosing a particular training method may seem like a daunting task, but as with any complex decision-making, it’s best to break it down. Let’s examine what might make any HR training methods most effective for you. 

What is the Purpose of HR training?

Training employees gives them the opportunity to better their skills, gain technical knowledge, increase their morale and enables them to evolve towards more challenging roles. When done right, HR training increases employee retention and satisfaction while simultaneously increasing the productivity and efficiency of the workforce to maintain the organisation’s competitive edge and relevancy in the industry.

What are the Different HR Training Methods?

Some of the most commonly used HR training methods include:

Case Study – By examining documented experiences of others, this method can enhance problem solving skills, increase confidence, develop incumbent knowledge, and strengthen analytical skills of trainees as they study real world cases. 

Games-Based Training – By using game play as a tool for simulated situations with defined learning outcomes, learners use their initiative, logical, and cognitive abilities to problem-solve and develop skills that they can then apply to the real world.

Internship – A period of work experience offered by an organisation, with or without pay, for the opportunity to learn on the job through peer guidance or to complete requirements for education or other qualifications.

Job Rotation – Provides an opportunity to broaden the skillsets of individual employees by rotating them through different positions to gain on the job experience, understanding, and exposure to different roles.

Job Shadowing – This method enables trainees to follow and observe an experienced employee while they work, to learn from their experience, and understand what is required of the role. 

Lecture – A popular training method whereby an expert in a specific field provides an educational talk to a group of employees. Lecturers can incorporate many other training methods into their presentation.

Mentoring and Apprenticeship – A partnership between a mentor and a mentee or an apprentice where an experienced tradesman will teach their trade and pass on knowledge and skills to a new hire via on the job training. A mentor can be a life-long training method relationship.

Programmed Instruction – A method of presenting a subject matter from a research based system in a series of controlled steps, with corresponding activities to improve retention. It can be in the form of a multiple choice questionnaire or activity-based.

Role-Modeling – Similar to mentoring, a role model is someone that is looked up to as a good example to emulate. They can inspire others to follow, imitate, and learn from them. This can be formal or informal.

Role Play – A technique encouraging learners to spontaneously practice a task or scenario in a realistic manner to gain experience, confidence, and provide feedback to help them in real life situations in their day to day roles.

Simulation – Similar to Role Play, simulation is a programmed reality that simulates real life work situations and is designed to respond based on what the trainee does. The trainees can put knowledge and skills into practice through hands-on activities to learn by experience.

Stimulus Based Training – Using types of stimulus such as music, art, or narratives to stimulate relaxation in the trainees and help them learn by creating a conducive environment.

Team Training – An interactive style of training to encourage team building, to train a whole team on a specific skill, or to improve mutual knowledge within the team.

Traditional vs. Modern Day Training Methods

Teaching styles have evolved considerably throughout the ages. More traditional methods include recitation and memorisation techniques, where trainees would be called upon to recite lessons and be tested on their memorisation skills. Modern day training methods are more progressive, focusing on different learning styles that include more interaction, recall, demonstration, and collaboration.

By using a mix of traditional and modern day training methods within a training session, HR teams can ensure individuals of all learning styles have a better chance of understanding and retention. It is important to identify your students’ learning styles during the assessment and development stage of training so you can use the most effective techniques to aid their learning. 

Individual vs. Group Learning Considerations

Individual learning encourages students to work at their own pace and manage their time effectively. For some learners, this is preferred while others may struggle with this; trainers can also teach study skills to help trainees who find this style difficult. 

Group learning usually takes more planning from the trainer. Training can proceed at a faster pace since they can work together and help each other with the materials. The trainer should assign tasks and roles for each group member and explain expectations thoroughly. Additionally, activities should be closely monitored by the trainer to assess their level of understanding.

How to Choose the Right Training Method?

One thing we’ve learnt through generations of training techniques is that everyone learns differently and some people may be more receptive to certain training techniques than others. Choosing the correct training method comes down to the many variables we’ve discussed. It’s important to ask yourself these questions when deciding which training methods will be the best:

How many people do you need to train?

Some people will learn better in smaller groups and some training methods work better and can be easily monitored in smaller groups. If you have a larger group, you may be better off splitting them into smaller groups, but this can be time and resource limited. 

How will you train your employees?

Just as there are different teaching methods, there are also different learning styles. Different learning styles have influenced the way we learn and there is significant overlap between the different styles in any individual. Examples of learning styles include:

  • Visual (spatial): Need to see and observe what is being taught.
  • Aural (auditory): Need to hear the content to fully process it.
  • Verbal (linguistic): Repeating or speaking out loud reinforced learning.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): Need to perform tasks to learn.
  • Logical (mathematical): Need logical constructs and systematic learning.
  • Social (interpersonal): Need to engage with others to learn best.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): Need to work alone to learn best.

What are the objectives for the training?

Training objectives usually focus on organisational goals, individual goals, job role goals, or industry-specific goals to improve the competency, function, and performance of your workforce. Determining and implementing objectives for your training during the planning and development stages gives the training purpose and measurable outcomes. Explaining the objectives for training to your learners also encourages them to set their own goals, establish what they want out of the training, and direct their learning. 

What Tools and Certifications are Suitable? 

There are many courses available, both online and in person, to improve HR training methods and specialise in key fuctions of leadership development trainingteam profiling and workplace behaviour assessments. Some of these lead to certifications recognised in the HR field. These can be a part of a larger certification program or standalone courses for specific skills. For more details, contact an HR consultancy or your relevant Human Resources professional organisation to learn about their offerings. 

The DISC Profile is an exceptional tool that can aid HR trainers in assessing their employees and determining team dynamics in a training environment. By identifying an individual’s personality profile based on their DISC Personality Assessment, HR trainers can better customise training to meet the needs of the organisation and the workforce.