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Staff training methods – Which one produces behavioral change?

Posted by admin on October 23, 2017

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Employees are your company’s most valuable asset. Training them is one of the best ways to achieve consistent skill and knowledge growth to keep your company competitive in the marketplace. In fact, according to an ASTD study of over 2,500 companies, those with comprehensive training programs have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins. How’s that for being competitive? Developing new skills, or improving existing ones, require behavioral change. The challenge is to select the staff training method that will generate the desired results. Below we discuss four staff training methods to help you determine which one will actually produce the behavioral change you are seeking.


  • Classroom – This method of training consists primarily of a one-way communication of skills and knowledge to employees. Although the exchange of ideas may be encouraged during these sessions, they lack the collection and distribution of best practices. Actual individual practice is also missing. Teaching people what they should be doing is one thing, getting them to actually put it into practice is a different story. People learn new skills and make them a habit when they actually practice them individually in real-world situations. Classroom training makes this very difficult since participants are removed from their work environment and routine while attending them. This makes application and practice challenging, if not impossible. Another big challenge to classroom training is the inability to measure results because trainers and students rarely, if ever, interact after classroom sessions are complete.

  • Web Seminar – Web seminars, often referred to as “webinars”, share many of the same issues as classroom training. They lack the collection and distribution of best practices to help participants learn. If attendees choose to practice their new skills, how will they know if they’re performing them correctly (without an expert to provide feedback)? This sets them up to develop bad habits instead of the desired new behaviors. Like classroom training, the measurement of results and behavioral changes that result from these sessions are difficult to measure…if they get measured at all!

  • E-learning – A benefit of e-learning, over classroom and web seminar trainings is that it can be used to administer smaller amounts of information over time. It can even offer reiteration of material to help participants reinforce what they are learning. This may be fine if knowledge is all that is being taught. A major drawback to e-learning, it limits or eliminates interaction with instructors and doesn’t include practice or capturing of best practices. It may include a multiple choice quiz, or something of this sort, to measure knowledge retention after an e-learning training series. Unfortunately, this is not an effective method to measure skills and behavioral development progress. When seeking to improve performance, change behaviors or teach new skills, individual ongoing practice in real-world scenarios with feedback by an expert, is what is needed. This allows errors to be corrected while reinforcing the desired behaviors and skills.

  • On-the job training – This method of training takes place during your employee’s regular work days. Ideally it is administered in small bite-sized sessions of information over a period of time. This minimizes the impact on staff-members’ schedules while helping them maintain productivity. By keeping them in their regular work environment you allow your staff members to apply what they are learning as they learn it. The structured sharing of best practices, when done, provides examples to your staff so they understand what they should be doing. This training method also may include ongoing individual practice and feedback by an expert. This provides reinforcement of newly-learned skills and prevents the development of bad habits. As a result participants develop the desired skills and behaviors while documenting measurable results

The staff training methods described all share knowledge and information relating to skill development. What is lacking in most is the necessary repetitive, individual practice and feedback to convert knowledge to the desired behaviors. On-the-job training, by contrast, allows individuals to learn and practice newly-taught skills by receiving the necessary feedback over ongoing mini-sessions. This leads to the desired outcome and measurable results. Which staff training method will you select when setting out to produce behavioral change in your employees?


Teknosell offers on-the-job staff training for Value Selling, Customer Service Training and Product Launches. We customize training to your specific organization, goals and individuals. Our training includes a structured method of sharing best practices to ease the learning process. Up to 30 individual weekly mini-sessions that gradually increasing in difficulty provide repetitive practice. We guide your employees with feedback by experts so they continual improve and create the desired measurable results. For additional information, or to start your own on-the-job training initiative, contact us…you may qualify for a FREE pilot program!

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Topics: Training Tactics