Hands-On Training

Experiential, or hands-on, training, offers several more effective techniques for teaching employees, including:
Cross-training. This method allows employees to experience other jobs, which not only enhances employee skills but also gives companies the benefit of having employees who can perform more than one job. Cross-training also gives employees a better appreciation of what co-workers do and how their own jobs fit in with the work of others to achieve company goals.

Demonstrations. Demonstrations are attention-grabbers. They are an excellent way to teach employees to use new equipment or to teach the steps in a new process. They are also effective in teaching safety skills. Combined with the opportunity for questions and answers, this is a powerful, engaging form of training.

Coaching. The goal of job coaching is to improve an employee’s performance. Coaching focuses on the individual needs of an employee and is generally less formal than other kinds of training. There are usually no set training sessions. A manager, supervisor, or veteran employee serves as the coach. He or she gets together with the employee being coached when time allows and works with this employee to:
Answer questions
Suggest more effective strategies
Correct errors
Guide toward goals
Give support and encouragement
Provide knowledgeable feedback

Apprenticeships. Apprenticeships give employers the opportunity to shape inexperienced workers to fit existing and future jobs. These programs give young workers the opportunity to learn a trade or profession and earn a modest income. Apprenticeship combines supervised training on the job with classroom instruction in a formal, structured program that can last for a year or more.
Drills. Drilling is a good way for employees to practice skills. Evacuation drills are effective when training emergency preparedness, for example.

Advantages
Hands-on training methods are effective for training in new procedures and new equipment.
They are immediately applicable to trainees’ jobs.
They allow trainers to immediately determine whether a trainee has learned the new skill or procedure.

Disadvantages
They are not good for large groups if you do not have enough equipment or machines for everyone to use.
Personal coaching can be disruptive to the coach’s productivity.

Apprenticeship can be expensive for companies paying for employees who are being trained on the job and are not yet as productive as regular employees.

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