Training is the act of teaching either a person or animal new skills or reinforcing certain behaviors. At some point in their lives, everyone undergoes some form of training whether in school or work. The HR is usually responsible for planning and facilitating training for their respective organization, although outside experts are sometimes contacted for assistance. Depending on the needs of the organization, goals set, knowledge level and responsibilities of the participants, different methods are used to conduct training.

On-The-Job Training/Coaching – it is usually done by students prior to college graduation in order to familiarize themselves with their future careers but not unheard of in the workplace, especially for new hires. It involves a manager or an experienced employee teaching the trainee all the aspects and responsibilities of the job, especially how to perform it well. The “coach” must possess adequate expertise on the job, good communication skills and patience in order for the training to be effective. The disadvantage of this method is that either the “coach” may not have enough time to fulfill his/her responsibilities as more attention is given to the trainee or the other way around – not enough attention is given to the trainee as the “coach” tends to his/her regular duties.

Brown Bag Lunch Training – it is a training method done during lunch, breaks and other “informal” settings. As the name suggests, the trainer often brings food (brown bag colloquially refers to takeout food) and the participants are usually eating or doing something else during the session. This is preferred for team building, personal development or other training that require a relaxed atmosphere for the participants to better absorb the lessons being given. However, it can be a “double-edged sword” as participants may not absorb the lessons as they are busy eating or doing something else. They may not even appreciate having to “work” during breaks.

Web-Based Training – otherwise known as e-learning, it involves the use of computers, gadgets, software and the Internet. The training could either be synchronous, wherein topics are discussed in real-time via video chat, or asynchronous, allowing the trainee to download the materials for later viewing and review. Costs are often reduced for the organization as they don’t have to set up a venue and create training materials or even hire trainers, all they need to do is to design the needed software and programs then upload them online. It is also beneficial to trainees as they could access the information anytime and anywhere, provided a decent Internet connection and necessary devices are available. Disadvantages of this training method include the need to maintain certain systems and limited technological capabilities as well as its impersonal nature, which might not be ideal for some lessons such as interpersonal skills development.

Job Shadowing Training – similar to an apprenticeship, it assumes that the trainee is fairly knowledgeable about the aspects of the job and just needs refinement. He or she would observe the trainer perform the job until eventually the former can master it and pass on the knowledge. Even though it gives the trainee the opportunity to learn directly from the experts while being able to practice at the same time, he or she might gain negative habits or shortcuts detrimental to the standards of the organization.

Job Swapping Training – it is a training method rarely seen in large organizations but often utilized in small ones or those with limited manpower and resources. Trainees exchange jobs and attempt to learn about the responsibilities of the other for a certain period of time. Although not necessarily resulting to permanent job changes, it helps with cross-training employees for jobs they may need to fulfill in cases of turnover or emergencies. The problem with this method comes in the form of lost revenue and wasted resources the organization might need to endure as the trainees “adjust” to each other’s position.

Vestibule Training – also known as “near-the-job training” (NJT), it is often considered a cheaper and less disruptive alternative to apprenticeships and simulations but more effective compared to lectures and modules. Trainees are taught all the aspects of the job, from rules to responsibilities, while being able to observe how it is done at the same time since the “classroom” and work areas are located in the same location. It can be ideal for those training mechanical and technology-intensive jobs but cannot afford expensive simulators or able to “borrow” equipment from the production floor. It shares the same disadvantage as OJT as trainers might come from the production floor, resulting in lost productivity.

International Assignment Training – due to globalization, many organizations have offices in different countries and often prefer deploying existing staff rather than hiring new ones. This is where this training comes in as it aims to teach the trainees the culture, norms and everything about their new area of assignment. In return, the organization will have experienced personnel there ready to handle operations, train new hires and perhaps introduce new beneficial practices. The downsides are that the trainees may experience “culture shock” necessitating a period of adjustments, certain practices of the organization might be unacceptable in the new area and in turn certain practices there might not be ideal for use by the organization.

Training is something that everyone, not just organizations, must do in order to keep pace with the changing world. The goal is to always improve performance, maintain strengths and address weaknesses. There is no right or wrong training method for a holistic program will always combine them to maximize results. It will always depend on the need and goals of the individual or organization.

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