If you are a manager or senior employee in charge of training new hires, you may be thinking about different training methods that would introduce them to their new jobs, as well as give them some experience doing their job. Hands-on training helps comfort new employees by showing them what their job will be like. Many employees learn quicker while doing the job than while watching someone else do it.
On-the-job training (OJT) involves new hires watching managers and fellow employees, and mimicking what they do in order to complete the job. New hires going through OJT learn at their own pace and have plenty opportunities to ask questions while they are supervised. OJT includes apprenticeship and self-directed learning. It requires employees to be motivated to learn and actively participate. Apprenticeship is a subcategory of OJT in which interns are paid to learn on the job and are most likely hired after completion of the apprenticeship.
Simulations often involve a trained group practicing making decisions for a real-life situation. This type of instruction requires trainers to explain possible situations and new hires to study those situations and think about what they would do and why. Management and trainers can then go over their decisions and explain why or why not they were correct. Trainees can discuss the situations in groups, which can help them get to know each other, or they can work alone. Simulations help trainees envision possible situations and help them to better understand their position and procedures.
Role play is similar to simulations, except for the fact that trainees must assume different positions and communicate with each other as though they were on the job. Trainers typically assign each trainee a character, and may give each person a handout about his character and the situation at hand. Trainees must be able to act as they would if they were in the situation. This training method builds communication skills and group morale as trainees work together to solve a problem or address a situation.
Behavior modeling is a technique in which trainees watch the demeanor of a senior employee or trainer when handling a difficult situation, and then replicating the behavior. This is an interactive exercise meant to show new hires how a model employee acts and behaves in friendly and difficult situations. New hires are able to practice interpersonal skills, company language and appropriate temperaments for different situations. This makes them more comfortable when facing situations on the job.