What is Employee Training?

K. Testa

Employee training generally refers to programs that provide workers with information, new skills, or professional development opportunities. For example, people might be required to participate in a new employee orientation or on-the-job training when they are hired. Other types of employee training programs include those that encourage staff members to brush up on certain skills, or to stay current with developments in their field. There are also training strategies that deal with specific personnel issues that might arise on the job, such as worker safety or sexual harassment. Depending on the subject matter, training might be conducted by staff members or by outside consultants.

Employee training programs may be offered to a company's employees to help staff members brush up on certain skills.
Employee training programs may be offered to a company's employees to help staff members brush up on certain skills.

After new employees are hired by a company, they often go through a training period, prior to being assigned major job duties. This training is usually intended to orient them to the position and to give them the information they need to carry out their daily responsibilities. Part of this orientation could include meeting with the human resources staff and learning administrative tasks, such as filing paperwork. They might also be paired with mentors who can demonstrate how to perform more specific job functions. A related strategy, called on-the-job training, allows new employees to learn their jobs as they do them.

Employee training topics may include technology updates.
Employee training topics may include technology updates.

There are various other reasons that an employer might offer training and development programs for his or her current employees. For instance, many businesses conduct performance reviews, and use the results to identify areas in which employees need to sharpen their skills. Other goals might be to increase worker productivity, or to foster better relations among staff members. The training could also give employees an opportunity to increase their knowledge, leading to more advanced positions. Specific employee training topics can include technology updates or workplace safety procedures. They might also address potentially difficult issues, such as discrimination or harassment.

The training of employees who will need to apply trade or mechanical techniques is usually done in person.
The training of employees who will need to apply trade or mechanical techniques is usually done in person.

Employee training can have both advantages and disadvantages. Though there is little scientific data proving that training reduces staff turnover, a number of management experts claim that certain training programs can help boost staff retention and productivity. Such experts also argue that some specific types of training can promote a more positive attitude in the workplace. On the other hand, a frequently cited disadvantage is that training employees can cause an increase in travel and other expenses. It might also take time away from other job duties.

Individuals may be required to participate in on-the-job training when hired for a new position.
Individuals may be required to participate in on-the-job training when hired for a new position.

If the training is on a relatively simple topic, like a new software program, the staff members can usually complete training activities themselves. Some organizations employ their own training managers or specialists, whose function is to identify educational needs and organize the activities. If it revolves around a more complex or sensitive topic, however, the employer might hire an outside consultant to conduct the employee training.

Companies offer training on identifying and handling sexual harassment.
Companies offer training on identifying and handling sexual harassment.

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Discussion Comments


The e-learning system Meminder turned out to work best for our company. It is quite difficult to find a professional trainer that can teach and motivate. Since I've started using it, I am able to control the content that my employees use for the training, yet they still can learn what they want to, so we are all glad.


GreenWeaver- When I used to work with Clinique we used to have employee trainings all the time.

Some of the classes were product related and involved information on how to sell a particularly new product.

They usually provided us a sample so that we can use it at home and be able to talk about it with our customers.

We always role-played situations in order to ensure that we were comfortable selling the new product.

They also used to do sales training seminars in which they would discuss various ways to improve our sales performance.

One example involved skin typing was critical to determine the type of skin a customer had because skin care sales would ensure repeat business for the counter.

They would also teach how to demonstrate several products at a time as the more products to demonstrate the higher sales tend to be. These techniques really help me improve my performance so much so that my average unit sale was $42.84, while the company average was just $25.

If you maximize each sale is amazing at the results you will get. These meetings also made reaching our goals easier which allowed for more upward mobility within the company.


GreenWeaver- After taking many computer-based training courses, I have to say that I really like the face to face interaction that you get with an employee seminar training.

There you not only get to meet the trainer face to face and ask questions, but it's actually fun to interact with other like-minded coworkers.

Sometimes there is so much brainstorming that goes on that you pick up additional ideas that you wouldn't have normally picked up I you did not go to the employee training seminar.

People are creative in nature and tend to have a lot of creative solutions to solve problems and enhance performance This is what makes these employee training workshops so fun.


Comfyshoes- There are other employee training methods that include employee training software.

Sometimes employees are given computer based employee training courses to complete in order to satisfy the training requirement in a particular area of the company.

The manager will track employee training by a notification from the computer program that the employee had completed the actual tests.

Sometimes this training is done at home. Computer-based training really offers the company an opportunity to train large number of employees without having to pay travel expenses and incur additional costs of a training seminar.

In addition, companies are able to use the training discs over and over again with newer employees as they join the company.

This is particularly important if the company is international in scope and has employees all over the world. Employee training software really makes a difference regarding cost savings by automating the training department.


Employee training methods involve a variety of formats. Training for employees can make use of an employee training video.

Often this training measure is used when a trainer wants to demonstrate how to perform a task.

Usually these are workplace situations that involve customer interaction. There may be a scenario on how to make a sales call or how to counter customer objections gracefully.

The videos are great because it gives the trainer an opportunity to pause the tape and have a discussion about what the participants saw.

The trainer can demonstrate a poor attempt at tackling an employee based problem as well as the preferred method of attacking a workplace situation.

The training for employees might also include customer etiquette over the phone. Hearing how some calls actually take place might give valuable feedback to the employees and create a mental picture of what not to do and what they should do.

Using employee training videos is also beneficial because it uses problematic situations and shows the employee how to solve them. The trainer in this situation is invaluable because many employees will have questions regarding the interaction.

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