Types of Employee Training and Development

Employee training and development needs to suit your organization's context, job descriptions, employment contracts and collective agreements. When selecting employee training and development methods, it is important to remember the learning process. There are many ways to provide employees with learning opportunities, including:

On-The-Job Experience

  • Committees
Committees are part of every-day activity in any organization. They can also be effective learning tools, with the right focus. Committees made up of staff from different areas of your organization will enhance learning by allowing members to see issues from different perspectives. 

  • Conferences and forums
Employees can attend conferences that focus on topics of relevance to their position and the organization. Upon their return, have the employee make a presentation to other staff as a way of enhancing the individual's learning experience and as a way of enhancing the organization. 

  • Field trips
If your organization has staff at more than one site, provide employees with an opportunity to visit the other sites. This helps your employees gain a better understanding of the full range of programs and clients that your organization serves. 
  • Job aids
Tools can be given to employees to help them perform their jobs better. These tools include: manuals, checklists, phone lists, procedural guidelines, decision guidelines and so forth

  • Job expanding
Once an employee has mastered the requirements of his or her job and is performing satisfactorily, s/he may want greater challenges. Consider assigning new additional duties to the employee

  • Job rotation
On a temporary basis, employees can be given the opportunity to work in a different area of the organization

  • Job shadowing
If an employee wants to learn what someone else in your organization does, your employee can follow that person and observe him or her at work

  • Peer-assisted learning
Two employees agree to help each other learn different tasks. Both employees should have an area of expertise that the co-worker can benefit from
The employees take turns helping their co-worker master the knowledge or skill that they have to share

Relationships and Feedback

  • Coaching
Coaching refers to a pre-arranged agreement between an experienced manager and his or her employee. The role of the coach is to demonstrate skills and to give the employee guidance, feedback, and reassurance while s/he practices the new skill

  • Mentoring
Mentoring is similar to coaching. Mentoring occurs when a senior, experienced manager provides guidance and advice to a junior employee
The two people involved have usually developed a working relationship based on shared interest and values

  • Networking
Some professional specialties have informal networks designed to meet the professional development need of the members. Members meet to discuss current issues and to share information and resources

  • Performance appraisal
Performance appraisals are partly evaluation and partly developmental. In traditional performance appraisals the manager and employee evaluate the employee's strengths and weaknesses. In a 360-degree performance appraisal, feedback is gathered from supervisors, peers, staff, other colleagues and sometimes clients. The results of an appraisal can be used to identify areas for further development of the employee

Classroom Training

  • Courses, seminars, workshops
These are formal training opportunities that can be offered to employees either internally or externally. A trainer, facilitator and/or subject matter expert can be brought into your organization to provide the training session or an employee can be sent to one of these learning opportunities during work time

  • Off-the-job learning
  • Courses offered by colleges or universities
Many colleges and universities offer courses relevant to employees in the non-profit sector. Employees may attend these classes on their own time or your organization may give them time off with pay to attend. Employees are often compensated by the organization for the cost of the course

  • Professional associations
Professional associations, like networks, provide employees an opportunity to stay current in their chosen field

This information is from the HR Council website: