5 effective corporate training methods and which one is right for you!

Training has for a long time been a key component in helping businesses upskill their employees, build better relationships, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Or as Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, put it:

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.”

Training can, however, be an expensive exercise. In 2019, businesses spent $370 billion on training and development.

So with businesses investing so heavily in employee training, is it worth it?

Well, to be honest, the results don’t seem to be that convincing:

  1. Only 12% of employees actually applied the new skills they learned in their current jobs, and

  2. Just 25% believed that training measurably improved performance.

Making sure that training is relevant and achieves its desired results is critical for organisations to benefit from their investments.

That being said, there is no single corporate training method that stands out above the rest.

Instead, learning methods are constantly evolving to incorporate new technologies, account for global pandemics, and the changing needs of employees.

In this blog, we are going to take a look at five different training methods currently used and the benefits of each.

Games-based training

Games are commonly used as training tools and is something that most people will have been exposed to from a young age. Today we call this, gamification.

Kindergartens are built around the concept of learning through play and it forms the basis of every video game.

The core concept behind game-based learning is teaching through repetition, failure, and the accomplishment of goals.

Gamified learning environments cater for different learning styles as well as creates a space where employees can feel empowered through the concept of “doing” rather than just being on the receiving end of information.

Common examples of this would be flight simulators used to train pilots or games of chess to teach logic and strategic thinking.

There are also now a number of interactive gamification options available for leadership training.

Here’s what it could like:

  • Cost - Low

  • Location - Face-to-face or distance

  • Interaction - Interactive


Lectures are probably the most common types of training and involve trainers sharing information verbally with a group of people.

These training sessions can be done in person in a classroom-style training or through online courses or webinars.

These sessions can also incorporate other employee training methods to create a better, more interactive learning experience.

Lecture-style training has been under fire for overwhelming trainees with large chunks of information that quickly gets forgotten. According to German psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus who developed the “Forgetting Curve”, 75% of new information will be forgotten within 6 days if it isn’t applied.

Finding new ways to engage trainees and providing opportunities for the information to be applied is essential to produce better outcomes from lectures.

  • Cost - Low

  • Location - Face-to-face or distance

  • Interaction - Not interactive


Mentoring has been a part of the corporate environment for a long time and is typically a one-to-one partnership between a senior and junior employee.

The goal is to provide support and guidance to the less experienced employee and is particularly effective in leadership development and succession planning.

There is also an evolving trend called reverse mentoring, where younger employees mentor more senior employees to assist with the integration of multigenerational needs in organisations.

  • Cost - Low

  • Location - Face-to-face or distance

  • Interaction - Interactive


Team training is, you guessed it, all about the team.

That means training a group of people to improve their mutual knowledge and skills or teach them a specific skill as a team.

With the way organisations are changing, many businesses are moving away from a hierarchical structure to more decentralised teams.

According to Deloitte, “It’s a more effective model for operating in the dynamic, unpredictable business environment typically seen today. In the long term, we believe there will be no leading organization that does not work primarily on the basis of teams.”

In that context, team training is vital to ensure the competitiveness and success of organisations in which the teams operate.

  • Cost - Moderate

  • Location - Face-to-face or distance

  • Interaction - Interactive


Role-play is another one of those training techniques that has been around for a long time and comes up in a variety of different circumstances from conflict resolution to sales training.

It requires trainees to assume a character and act out the role in a make-believe scenario or series of scenarios.

This sort of training is often used to teach doctors how to examine patients or help customer service teams learn how to correctly deal with customer inquiries.

Role-play has proven itself to be effective at increasing trainee engagement as well as information retention especially when trainees take the skills they have learned and apply them to their day-to-day activities.

  • Cost - Low

  • Location - Face-to-face

  • Interaction - Very Interactive

Key Takeaways

Training employees is vital to make sure they are equipped to do their jobs and effectively operate in the modern work environment.

Choosing the correct training method should be guided by the specific needs and context of the organisation and its employees.

Inevitably, combining a variety of training methods to meet the diverse learning styles and needs of employees will create the largest benefits.

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