10 Best Employee Training Methods & Techniques for 2024
Interviews / Opinions

10 Best Employee Training Methods & Techniques for 2024

, Content Marketing Manager

It’s tough out there.

From tight budgets and layoffs to the surge in AI, the rapidly changing business landscape has created many challenges for companies—an important one being employee retention.

A 2023 LinkedIn study found that 90% of organizations are concerned about employee retention. Luckily, there are ways to ensure employee happiness and retention.

The solution? Career development.

Investing in employee growth and providing continuous learning opportunities is one of the most impactful retention strategies. It shows employees that they are valued, rewarded and that their professional growth is an important long-term investment.

So, how can you make the best use of your training efforts?

Let’s review the 10 best employee training methods & techniques that will give your teams the job satisfaction they deserve.

1. On-the-Job Training 

2. Instructor-Led Training

3. Job Shadowing

4. Gamification Training

5. eLearning

6. Microlearning

7. Simulation Training

8. Role-Playing

9. Coaching and Mentorship Programs

10. Cross-Training

Quick recap: What are employee training methods?

Simply put—employee training methods are the ways in which training is delivered to learners.

Why should technique matter? Because of individual learning styles. People tend to learn and absorb knowledge when training is engaging and fun for them.

For employees, engaging with their training content is important as it’s tied to their role and career development.

You can use a variety of techniques to tailor the training depending on your employees’ needs and learning abilities.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of the 10 most popular employee training methods.10 Best Employee Training Methods & Techniques for 2024

10 Employee Training Methods to Upskill Your Team Members

1. On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training is one of the most expected employee training methods, giving employees the opportunity to gain practical experience and critical thinking skills by completing real-life job-related tasks.

Most companies include on-the-job training as part of their learning, and even remote employees can mimic “on the job” training through use of video calls and team collaboration.

For example, a new hire may meet with senior team members to complete hands-on training such as using the tools, technology, and processes expected in their day-to-day work. Senior team members can course correct along the way, to ensure new employees understand company protocols and preferences.


  • Hands-on practice and learning experience
  • Cost-effective and internally resourced
  • Learn the businesses’ preferred approaches to job duties and problem-solving


  • Unstructured and dependent on internal resources
  • Success is unquantifiable
  • Impacts productivity for the new hire and team trainers

2. Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-led training (ILT) mimics traditional classroom training, led by an internal resource or external instructor.

Instructor-led sessions give team members the ability to gain new knowledge and ask questions specific to their job function. They can discuss scenarios and share ideas peer-to-peer, with the added guidance of an instructor.

For example, many companies bring in external instructors to facilitate more sensitive trainings (like sexual harassment or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings), so employees have an external view of expected behaviors and approaches.


  • Structured agenda
  • Group training, collaborative discussions, and Q&A sessions
  • Real-life demonstrations and tailored learning


  • May be expensive, especially for large trainings or external instructors
  • Creating the course content can be time-intensive and costly
  • Reduced productivity for training resources and team members

3. Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is a traditional employee training method that enables new hires to observe and learn from seasoned employees.

Job shadowing is a cost-effective way for employees to gain practical skills. Employees learn by seeing real-world strategies for resolving workplace issues and scenarios.

For example, a new graphic designer might shadow a more senior graphic designer, learning about the company’s brand style, tool set, and best practices.


  • Real-world exposure to tasks and processes
  • Ability to ask questions as they arise
  • Builds relationships and collaboration


  • Success is dependent on the quality of the mentor
  • Productivity of both the trainer and employee is impacted
  • Difficult to cover a wide breadth of tasks and scenarios

4. Gamification Training

Gamification training aims to make learning fun by using popular gaming elements (e.g., scoring activities, leaderboards, level advancement) to engage employees throughout structured training.

This collaborative training approach pays off – in 2023, Zippia found that 90% of employees say gamification makes them more productive.

For example, a cybersecurity company might set up gamified training where junior analysts are exposed to different cyber threats in a virtual environment. They have to thwart different security scenarios, like phishing attempts and data breaches, and receive points and badges for effectively mitigating security issues. As employees gain points, they’re highlighted on a leaderboard, encouraging camaraderie and healthy competition.


  • Nurtures healthy competition and teamwork
  • Motivates employees to advance and participate
  • Easy to track progress and measure success


  • May be expensive to initially set up
  • Time-consuming to develop the gaming structure
  • Adoption may be arbitrary (participation may be high for some employees, whereas others may not actively participate without external motivation)

5. eLearning

eLearning (or online learning) uses digital platforms to deliver online training. It’s an increasingly popular and effective training method, particularly for remote teams.

As more digital-native employees enter the workforce or grow in their leadership capacity, eLearning, mobile learning, and video training are expected to enable employees to complete online courses at their own pace and timeline.

Plus, eLearning makes it easy to measure adoption and success rates, send reminders and notifications, and benchmark completion across your organization.


  • Flexible for employees and remote workers to train at their own pace
  • Cost-effective for large-scale training
  • Success and adoption is measurable through online courses


  • Requires modern technology and a decent internet connection
  • Limited access to instant instructor feedback
  • May require upfront investment to develop the course material

6. Microlearning

Microlearning is a nod to both gamification and eLearning, by breaking down larger training courses into smaller doses that are easily digestible.

Microlearning typically uses digital technology, video learning, or online modules to deliver short bursts of education or reinforce key training concepts. By enabling team members to digest training information in small quantities, it frees employees’ time, supports productivity, and increases participation and course completion.

For example, a product marketing team might help their sales teams understand product features and value cases through quick microlearning videos. Sales members can access the content on-demand and learn on the go, while marketing can measure whether their team is actively participating in their microlearning.


  • Bite-sized content for quick absorption of information
  • Fits well into busy schedules
  • Reinforces learning through repetition and reinforcement


  • Limited depth for complex topics
  • Dependency on the quality of content delivery
  • Requires employee motivation and commitment

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7. Simulation Training

Simulations are a type of experiential learning, where employees can simulate workplace processes, situations, and customer interactions in a risk-free environment. They can react in real-time and practice likely scenarios, without the fear of negatively impacting the business.

For example, medical professionals train on simulated emergencies, to ensure they can respond effectively, sharpen clinical skills, and practice crisis management, without impacting an in-need person.

Simulation training boosts employees confidence, efficiency, and competency by providing a safe place for trial and error, issue resolution, technology adoption, and communications.


  • Practices real-world scenarios without impact or risk
  • Develops skills and decision-making under pressure
  • Boosts employee confidence and credibility


  • Can be expensive to invest in simulation technologies
  • May be complex for different industries, roles, and scenarios
  • Lacks an emotional component to nurture culture and camaraderie

8. Role-Playing

Like simulations, role-playing is an effective training technique, placing employees in real-world scenarios to practice handling situations.

Typically, employees are assigned roles or interactive prompts to improvise common scenarios and workplace challenges with their colleagues. They then discuss their experience with the larger team for feedback and guidance, before switching roles.

For example, new managers may role-play giving constructive feedback and placing employees on a fictional performance improvement plan (PIP). This tends to be an uncomfortable and awkward conversation for less experienced managers, and role-playing offers the critical thinking and experience needed to feel confident and prepared.


  • Improves communication and interpersonal skills, particularly around sensitive subjects
  • Practices empathy and immediate responses to real-world scenarios
  • Gives the opportunity for discussion, immediate feedback, and guidance from more experienced team members


  • Not all employees are comfortable role-playing
  • Requires skilled facilitators to put team members at ease and implement scenarios
  • May be hard to set up for certain types of roles or skill sets

9. Coaching and Mentorship Programs

Coaching and mentorship programs are popular ways to give employees hyper-personal workplace training.

Companies pair less experienced hires with more experienced peers or leadership team members to train and drive employee motivation. The coaches and mentors offer personal feedback and take an active role in advancing that employees’ professional growth.

For example, human resources may pair junior managers with director-level managers on their teams. The junior member can ask questions and collaborate with their coach or mentor in a one-to-one setting, receiving senior-level guidance and advice from a respected team member experienced handling their work tasks.


  • 1:1 support and guidance in a personal and collaborative fashion
  • Knowledge transfer from experienced employees
  • Encourages peer-to-peer advocacy, development plans, and long-term employee loyalty


  • Requires mentors and senior leaders to make time for employee advancement
  • Success is highly dependent on mutual commitment and collaboration
  • Difficult to measure and scale across larger organizations

10. Cross-Training

Cross-training exposes employees to other team members’ roles and responsibilities.

It is a great way for employees to gain hands-on experience in other areas of the business and grow their skill set. This offers them a big picture view of how different job functions add value and advance business goals.

This method, combined with other experienced professionals, demonstrates how contributions impact other teams’ goals and needs, creating a more collaborative and empathetic work environment.

It can also safeguard companies from the negative impact of staffing changes or employee churn, so transitions are smoother and skill sets are distributed across the organization.


  • Spreads skills and knowledge sharing across the company
  • Enables smoother employee transitions
  • Nurtures teamwork, empathy, and a better understanding of cross-team dynamics and dependencies


  • Availability and scheduling conflicts create challenges
  • Requires employee commitment to cross-train effectively
  • May be challenging for more specialized skills or high-pressure roles

What are the most effective employee training techniques?

Here’s the thing—there’s no one-size-fits-all training and development method, and that’s a good thing.

Employee learning comes in all shapes and sizes, giving businesses flexibility to choose the training methods that fit into their corporate culture, budget, and operational structure.

Whichever training styles you choose, there’s no denying it pays off.

LinkedIn reports that companies with a strong learning culture see significantly higher rates of retention, internal mobility, and promotions to management, compared to businesses underinvesting in this crucial area.

Ultimately, the most effective training methods and techniques for training employees depend on your business, factoring in:

Types of skills (soft skills, technical certifications, etc.)

  • Company culture (e.g., in-house vs. remote)
  • Resources (on-staff learning and development team, veteran employee mentors, or hiring external resources)
  • Technology infrastructure (to support digital learning, like a dedicated learning management system)
  • Communication (encourage employee engagement and solicit feedback)

Far from exhaustive, these considerations narrow down the many training styles to advance your employees’ skills and goals.

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Which factors to consider before choosing a training technique?

Many companies will try a mix of different types of employee training, learning through trial and error the types of programs that create the most effective and valuable outcomes.

The right employee training method for your company will depend on many factors, like:

  • Budget
  • Culture
  • Learning management system
  • Resources
  • Workload
  • Learning styles
  • Learning objectives
  • Training requirements
  • Digital maturity
  • Skill levels

If you are in the process of trying out training methods for employees, don’t recreate the wheel every time! Instead, repurpose your existing content in different formats, to understand what best engages your employees.

Next, let’s look at ways to ensure the success of your training programs and increase participation.

How to Increase Training Program Participation and Success

There’s nothing more frustrating than rolling out a new education program and receiving lackluster participation.

Developing training takes time, energy, thought leadership, and budget, so it’s important to promote your training sessions and encourage adoption and participation.

Market your employee training programs with an internal marketing campaign. Share eye-catching flyers, Intranet messages, and internal emails that highlight the benefits, requirements, and value of the training program.

Clearly state the timeframe for training, how employees participate (self-directed learning, simulation based training, collaborative learning, etc.), and how progress is measured.

Make sure you communicate the “why” behind the training to your managers and team leaders. Provide talking points to explain how the training positively impacts individual professional development, job performance, and big-picture business goals.

If possible, don’t be afraid to incentivize training participation and communicate rewards, successes, and milestones after the program.

Most important? Gather feedback from team members to understand how valuable they found the training. Use this information to inform the next training session, or perhaps, try a new format or approach.

Empower Your Teams with Better Training

Effective employee training methods have a direct impact on employee satisfaction and retention. By upskilling your employees using diverse training methods, you gain a competitive advantage and position your business for long-term growth.

Training is not just about filling employees’ spare time. It’s about empowering them on the path to greatness through impactful learning experiences. Therefore, it’s important to leverage the features of a great training platform to help you create and scale your employee training programs.

Save time, frustration and money with TalentLMS, the most-affordable and user-friendly learning management system on the market. Try it for free for as long as you want and discover why our customers consistently give us 4.5 stars (out of 5!)

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Marialena Kanaki - Content Marketing Manager

Marialena hates talking about herself in the third person. She loves to inspire people with authenticity. And she prioritizes that in all her content—without the need for smoke and mirrors.

Marialena Kanaki LinkedIn

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