The Main Types of Employee Training

Designing Digitally


The Main Types of Employee Training

Practice makes perfect.  It’s not just a saying – it’s the basis of a major undertaking that begins every time someone completes the process of applying for a job, getting interviewed, getting hired, and showing up for work on the first day: training.

Employee training is the process of teaching employees the skills and knowledge they need to perform their jobs. It is conducted at regular intervals, and while it is most frequent at the beginning of one’s employment, it can continue through the life of a job. It is provided in different formats, ranging from online training to one-on-one training to group sessions.

6 Main Training Types

Training can generally be divided into the following main categories:

  • Orientation Training - Orientation is a one-time event formally introducing new hires to a company within the first week of the job. It covers high-level topics such as company values, mandatory paperwork, and benefit plans.

  • Onboarding Training - Onboarding consists of a series of department-specific sessions that take place over a period of time.  It may continue through the first year of employment. It connects departmental and company-wide goals.

  • Technical Skills Development - Technical (hard) skills training helps employees learn necessary technology competencies, such as using phones, computers, and computer software.

  • Soft Skills Development - Soft skills training helps employees learn how to hone personal attributes that enable them to interact effectively with others on the job, including co-workers, management, and customers. Examples of such skills include teamwork, presentation, and conflict resolution.

  • Products/Services Training - Products and services training is used to educate employees about the employers’ offerings for customers.

  • Compliance Training - Compliance training is taught to ensure that employees comply with certain regulations. Examples of such programs include diversity, workplace safety, and sexual harassment training.

Why Do You Need Employee Training?

Training can often be seen as a necessary evil by employees -- something to get over with as quickly as possible so they can begin day-to-day work. One only has to view workplace-set programs such as “The Office” and “Corporate” to get a sense of the general perception.

Despite the commonly-held view, training is an important and even essential activity for many reasons – for both employees and employers. These include the following:

  • Enhances productivity/performance – Training helps employees learn how to work faster and more efficiently, enabling them to get more done on the job with higher quality.

  • Increases morale – Training helps employees gain important competencies, which in turn can increase confidence and job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover.

  • Ensures savviness – Training helps keep employees up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in a given industry.  This can increase company competitiveness.

  • Decreases oversight need – Training gives supervisors the confidence to know their employees can complete certain tasks on their own, reducing the need for oversight.

  • Increases upward mobility – Training give employees the knowledge they need to gain advanced skills, increasing the chances that they will move up the career ladder.

  • Reduces errors/accidents – Training shows employees how to take preventative behaviors so there will be fewer chances of errors and accidents at the workplace.

  • Reduces liability – Because training reduces the likelihood of errors (e.g., policy violations) and accidents (e.g., equipment-related injuries), it also decreases the chances that employers will face liabilities and legal action.
  • Ensures future leadership – Training helps ensure that the future generation of leadership is prepared to take over when the current generation leaves or retires.

The final benefit is of particular importance to employers, as it can save them on costs.  For example, employees may be found guilty of criminal conduct while on the job. Simplify Training indicates that having an effective compliance and ethics program can minimize their employers’ fines for a criminal conviction by as much as 90%.

Thus, beyond teaching employees basic skills and knowledge, training offers several benefits that serve to increase overall organizational strength and reduce problems.


Employee training is vital to company success. Without it, there can be great damages and staff members will not be properly prepared for their jobs. To learn more about the impact of poor training, download a copy of "The Real Cost of Ineffective Employee Training" white paper today. If you would like to learn more about the ways Designing Digitally can support your training developments with custom eLearning packages, we'd love to talk to you!