Types Of Workplace Training: Definitions And Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 December 2022

Published 26 August 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies hire people based on their skills. However, employee training is not limited to acquiring more skills. Employees also need to acquaint themselves with rules and regulations of a business, such as safety and health policies. These activities form a part of a process called workplace training. In this article, we explain the different types of training programs available and their value in the workplace.

What Is Workplace Training?

Workplace training is the process of educating employees in a skill, a topic or a workplace strategy. Training takes place according to the requirements of the organisation, such as a shortage of skills, implementation of a new work ethic or introducing new policies.

Most training programs occur as a function of human resources management (HRM). Such programs usually involve seminars, workshops and extended periods of tutoring. Some organisations also promote online learning for upgrading the skill sets of their employees.

Why Is Workplace Training Necessary?

Workplace training is mutually beneficial for both organisations and employees. Training programs are tailored for specific requirements according to the needs of the organisation. The types of training available also depend on the issue being handled.

Most companies work with a limited amount of human resources. Hiring extra people for specific skill sets can become expensive and time-consuming very quickly. Similarly, hiring new managers can become costlier than promoting existing staff with excellent performance history. By offering various training programs to their workforce, organisations can achieve improved performance from their employees and reduce employment overhead. The cost of training is generally handled by organisations, which makes it worthwhile for the employees.

For example, in the information technology sector, businesses partner with software companies. These software companies provide training to their employees at discounted rates. As a result, a long-term association develops between the partners, resulting in continued support and sustained business operations.

In some sectors, employees have to handle safety and first aid situations. For instance, safety and first aid courses are compulsory for people working in construction, chemical materials and heavy machinery industries. The appropriate training reduces workplace incidents and curtails the insurance premiums for corporations.

Some organisations provide mental health awareness workshops to senior staff as a part of employee well-being programs. This specialised training allows the managerial staff to maintain a healthy working atmosphere free of stress and anxiety. The purpose of such training programs is to increase productivity by improving the effectiveness of human resources.

What Are The Different Types Of Training And Development Programs For Employees?

Businesses implement a variety of training programs for different purposes. A small business may offer training in information technology for its workforce. A large corporation may have compulsory onboarding activities for employees joining for the first time. Implementing training for unique companies differs in many aspects, such as business purpose, size of the workforce and the type of activities included in the training programs. Some companies also provide special product-specific training to their employees.

Generally, there are seven types of training available in most organisations:

  • Induction programs

  • Technical skill development

  • Soft skill development

  • Quality training

  • Safety training

  • Leadership and managerial training

  • Mental health training

Induction programs

An induction program is the process of welcoming new employees in a company. This program brings employees up to speed with the way work is done in that company. It starts as soon as you officially join a workplace and report to work. Induction training continues until you are accustomed to the company work ethic and are able to work with minimal supervision.

In a large company, such programs are different for each department. The modules are specific to the department needs. However, the elements which introduce you to the company culture remain the same across any department.

Most of the time, this process is the same for freshers as well as experienced professionals. Some of the topics covered in a typical induction program are:

  • Terms and conditions of employment

  • Introduction to company culture, vision and mission

  • Introduction to the company policies

  • Job responsibilities

  • The hierarchical structure of the company

  • Setting up any IT systems, access and permission

  • Finalising account details for payroll and benefits

  • Introduction to the team members

  • Assigning mentors and supervisors

  • A guided tour of the office

An induction program is also referred to as 'orientation' in some companies and cultures. However, the two activities are quite different in duration and implementation. Generally, an induction program consists of short activities that can be completed within a day. Other, long-term activities are grouped in an orientation package to help a new employee get acquainted with the working environment and adjust to the culture.

Technical skill development

The information technology sector is always changing through the consistent addition of new technologies. Any business in this sector needs to keep its workforce competent in these new technologies to gain a competitive advantage. Technical skills can vary according to your industry.

For example, an employee working on obsolete computerised numerical control (CNC) machines with punch tapes may have to learn to work on a modern system from a computer terminal.

Depending on the business requirements of the company, there are numerous training programs available to increase the technical skills of their employees, such as:

  • Hackathons

  • Coding challenges

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)/PRINCE 2 certifications

  • Cloud platforms/Software as a Service (SaaS) training

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  • Accounting, taxation and billing software

  • Data science

Related: Technical Skills: List, Definitions And Examples

Soft skill development

Soft skills represent a person's overall working ethic and communication abilities. These skills enable a person to work professionally in a team, collaborate with colleagues without major disagreements and contribute to a coordinated team effort. They require emotional intelligence to cultivate decent working relationships among coworkers.

In some jobs, people require excellent negotiation skills to work with suppliers and procure goods at reasonable prices. Negotiation is also useful in the retail sector where employees can offer the best prices to customers and make profits for the company.

Some organisations conduct extended training for people to develop soft skills. Examples of topics covered are:

  • Leadership

  • Teamwork

  • Time management

  • Critical analysis

  • Communication skills

  • Active listening

  • Self-regulation

  • Negotiation

  • Troubleshooting

  • Interpersonal skills

Related: Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

Quality training

Many businesses adhere to the International Organisation for Standardisation for quality control of their products. These standards vary for different goods and services. There may also be other standards depending on the nature of the industry. People who work in quality control need to know about these regulations to enforce them in workflow processes. Therefore, such companies provide training and certification for quality control employees. Quality training programs cover the following subjects:

  • Quality assurance processes and workflow

  • Compliance procedures

  • Analysis of business process systems

  • Quality control tools such as Pareto analysis and scatter diagrams

  • Integrated management systems model

  • ISO certification and requirements

Safety training

People working in industries with heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals or radioactive materials are susceptible to workplace injuries. Examples include the oil and gas industry, power generation, construction, the metallurgical sector, railways and shipping. In such cases, the companies employing these people make safety training mandatory to deal with occupational hazards. Other industries may have employees undergo basic safety training to comply with workplace regulations and employment laws. Common issues in safety training are:

  • Best practices

  • Safety protocols and regulations

  • Protective equipment

  • Fire-fighting equipment and protection

  • Evacuation drills

  • Workplace violence protection

  • Cybersecurity

Leadership and managerial training

When people have considerable experience in a company, they become eligible for promotion to managerial positions. Managers need more than just technical skills to supervise their teams. They have to offer inspiration and guidance to keep morale high among teammates. They also require proper judgement for delegating tasks and providing timely feedback. A good manager has to be a good leader before taking charge of a group. Additionally, managers have to plan projects, assign resources, handle budgets and mitigate risks.

Some companies have special training programs for managers, which include:

  • Effective communication tactics

  • Team-building exercises

  • Motivational training

  • Coaching and mentoring

  • Dealing with conflicts

  • Decision making

  • Project management

  • Financial management

  • Risk analysis and resolution

Related: 9 Different Methods Of Training For Employees With Benefits

Mental health training

Poor productivity can be a result of mental health problems. Elevated stress levels and anxiety result in the loss of concentration and creates conflicts at work. Sometimes the stigma associated with such issues prevents employees from speaking up and leads to depression. Such problems should be resolved at the earliest opportunity.

Creating a supportive environment and maintaining healthy levels of self esteem ensure that employees produce consistent output. It increases participation, reduces periods of absence and minimises errors in work. Typical topics covered under mental health training are:

  • Types of mental illnesses

  • Effects of mental issues

  • How to detect mental health issues

  • Providing support

  • Creating awareness of mental health

By understanding the importance of training in the workplace, you can help prepare yourself and your team for effective training.


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