Whether you call it skill development, corporate training, or business learning, employee development is an important part of any business. You want your employees to grow your company, and to do that they need to grow themselves. 

study by the American Society of Talent Development (ASTD) found that not only does employee development reduce turnover, but that companies spending more on training also had a 24% higher profit margin than those with no training spend.  

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So corporate training is clearly a key component to growing your business, but how will you deliver it to your employees? Traditional corporate training programs are changing from the one-size-fits-all classroom approach, and there are more options available to create the perfect training and development program for your employees than ever before. Let’s take a look at the 4 most popular training delivery methods and review some pros and cons of each. 

Instructor-led training (ILT)

Instructor-led training is the most common and traditional type of employee learning. It can be implemented several different ways, such as sending your employee on a course or having an instructor come in to your office for a training day (or week!), but really it boils down to having a real live person working with your employees. This type of training is usually used for specific skills (such as certification) or courses with a shorter duration since it can be more costly than other training methods. 

Pros:

  • Many high quality training providers to choose from since the industry is well-established 
  • Training is usually a comprehensive deep-dive into a subject or skill 
  • More in-depth feedback from the instructor 
  • Employees can ask questions easily and get answers quickly
  • Employees can learn from one another and enjoy rich discussion in groups 

Cons:

  • Possibility of information overload from cramming too much information in too little time; information retention is not always high because of this 
  • Usually more expensive than other training options, especially if employees require travel and accommodation to access the training 
  • Does not provide real-time assessment of employees’ learning and engagement 

Elearning

Elearning is quickly catching up to instructor-led training, and can be anything from having an online checklist and resources when doing orientation with new hires, to self-serve online courses for technical skills training. The main components are that your employees access the training from a device (computer, phone, tablet), and they work at their own pace. Online learning credentials are also being increasingly recognized and are sure to be a major corporate training component in the future. 

Pros:

  • Flexible and convenient, employees do not need to clear their schedule for a training seminar 
  • Greater diversity of content available since geography is not a limiting factor 
  • Typically lower cost than traditional classroom training 
  • Can include metrics on employee progress and training assessments 
  • Scalable  
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Cons:

  • Maintaining motivation can be difficult, employees may not be self-starters in their learning
  • Employee engagement may be lower than with classroom model 

Custom Content Development

While not quite a method in its own right, custom content development is separate enough to warrant its own paragraph. This approach is applied when a company needs a training provider to create new, original content specific to the company’s training need(s). Content developed could include soft skills training, technical skills training, or training for regulatory requirements in a specific industry. It could also include developing training content for different verticals (branding, retail, finance) or blending together different methods (1-day classroom training + 3 modules in an LMS). The sky is the limit, you can commission exactly what you need for your company.

Pros:

  • Training can cover every area your company needs 
  • Extremely flexible, can be online or instructor-led, or blended 
  • Customisable to both the company and even to the employee level 
  • Scalable 
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Cons:

  • Need to have a clear idea of what you would like developed 
  • Need to watch out for low quality training providers 
  • More expensive than off-the-shelf solutions 

Bonus: Measuring ROI of Learning with Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Though not a standalone learning solution, Learning Management Systems are a great tool to support employee development for companies seeking a platform to disseminate their existing content to employees, track and measure progress, and support self-service learning as well. Basically, an LMS is a way to host your training content, not provide or develop it. There are many out-of-the-box versions for purchase, or you can have one custom developed for your company. They can be quick to deploy and some allow for a lot of customisation. An LMS solution is perfect for companies who are looking to digitise or streamline their existing training content, especially for orientation or onboarding. 

Using an LMS is critical for monitoring, tracking and reporting on employee progress and learning. It is a clear way for an employer to measure employee engagement and information retention, so you know if your training dollars are being well-spent.

Pros:

  • Can include progress monitoring and other metric tracking
  • Flexible and convenient since an LMS is online 
  • Can include a variety of mediums: video lessons, audio instructions, text quizzes) 
  • Can integrate with other talent management systems and tools
  • Scalable 

Cons:

  • Must have training content already developed or purchased to populate the system 
  • Training content needs to be adapted to an online/interactive medium
  • Varying quality of LMS providers
Every business should build employee development into their culture, and there are corporate training methods for every environment. Sometimes one method is all it takes, sometimes a blended solution works better for your goals. Some methods lend themselves better to certain types of training, so make sure you have a clear idea of what features you need and what makes the most sense for your employees.  

Hopefully this helps inform your decision, and happy learning!