Which one is right for your needs?
There are strong advocates among us for all of the mentioned training methods, and rightly so. There are a variety of benefits to each of them, but often the method which is most suited to a company is determined by the environment or context of that situation in particular.
Different operating structures in manufacturing companies may define the method of training that is most suited, but above all, what must be realised is that despite the challenges that come with planning training, there will always be a solution that will fit your scenario. There just needs to be thought put to exactly how the training will be done, but there are a variety of options available.
Some of the variables which can affect the method of training chosen can be shift change-over times of those that need training. Factors to consider will be if the employees work on a 2-shift/3-shift/continental system, how many shift groups are available, if the training must happen in Peak/Low seasons, the level of expertise required, the knowledge starting point of the employees, the amount of training days needed and the budget available.
We have put together a brief comparison of these training methods to help understand which methodology is more suited to your company’s, or your personal needs, aspirations and limitations.
Classroom/Face to face Training
- Face to face training refers to training that is done in a classroom type setting, with a group of people, for a set amount of hours. Usually there is an exam at the end of the course, as well as a certificate of completion from the institution.
- The trainer can provide on the spot feedback to students who need clarity on concepts.
- The time and date of lessons being scheduled reduces likelihood of training sessions being missed by learners.
- Participants can ask as many questions as is needed to clarify topics.
- Best suited to companies who are able to get a small group of employees together that will benefit from the same training course, alternatively, most training providers often market public courses in order for 1/2/3 people to take part in the training as opposed to a full group from one company.
- Face to Face training is complemented by shop floor training afterwards, as the learnt knowledge can be put into practice, with guidance.
- Shop floor training refers to training that is done in-house, at the plastics manufacturing machinery, or on the plant floor. It relies on relevant exposure to the situation, as well as experienced people who are able to guide the learning process.
- As machines can vary greatly in terms of their layout, shop floor training assists learners in being able to identify which controls are where, though prior knowledge should be gained to understand what and why there is a need for such controls, and how those affect the production of plastic products.
- The link between theory and the practical skills to do the job can be built relatively easily, once the theoretical knowledge has been learnt.
- Online training refers to training which is conducted on a computer via the internet and may consist of images, videos and audio training, with formative assessments (throughout the training modules) & Summative assessments (At the end of the modules).
- Online training can be started by as many or as few people as need to be involved, as long as there is access to a computer and the internet.
- Flexibility of the online training makes this a time saving option. Employees can be working through their personalised training courses at any time, from anywhere, whilst keeping up production levels.
- People in various geographic locations can be learning off the same Learner Management System
- Progress is fast-tracked, generally, as the content is easy to follow and is always made interactive.
- Progress reports can be downloaded to keep on top of employees’ training.
- Online training is complemented by shop floor training afterwards, as the learnt knowledge can be put into practice, with guidance.
Blended training refers to training that incorporates a combination of methods, in order to achieve the best results.
Considering an ongoing, blended approach will allow employees to be educated from Entry Level through to the most advanced Levels of Machine setting, and, depending on the blend of methodologies chosen, can involve Education Training (theoretical Concepts etc), Practice-to-experience Tasks, Team learning & Coaching, Videos & Graphics, feedback and clarification sessions, etc.
Even though some training methodologies are more suited to some circumstances over others, the quality of the training is going to play an equally important role when evaluating if the training intervention was successful or not.
Keep in mind that this is also largely dependent on the training provider selected and a thorough investigation into references from other companies that have bought into similar training, should be done beforehand.
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