Lifelong learners can be such a delight to have in the workplace. Acquiring new skills or levels of mastery in particular topics is something that professionals should continue to invest their time and energy in, as this can help them improve their performance and prepare them for greater responsibilities.

However, it can be difficult to undergo training when employees already have their hands full with work in the office and at their own homes. As such, the training opportunities presented to professionals should be flexible enough to accommodate their busy schedules as well as their demanding roles at home and in the workplace.

Which training channels are suited for employees who don’t have a lot of free time but are willing to go the extra mile to improve their skillsets? Let’s take a look at the most common options:

Online Learning

Online courses offer a great balance of flexibility and consistency, especially for professionals who have other commitments during their most productive hours. Some educational institutions that offer online courses may require employees to join synchronous learning sessions during their off-hours. Others may only ask employees to watch pre-recorded training videos and submit their homework whenever they’re free.

One advantage of online learning is that it offers an endless selection of courses for busy people who want to learn a new skill. They’re also perfect for those who just want a refresher or wish to improve their existing knowledge on a particular subject. It’s easy to find online courses for professionals that focus on tools like Google Apps, skills like project management, and other courses that come with certificates and accreditations.

Instructor-led Training

Employees who do well in a more traditional learning setup may be more likely to thrive in instructor-led training. Many academic and training institutions offer this type of course at night or during the weekends, allowing their students to attend classes during their free time. Some companies even schedule instructor-led classes in-house. This often happens when the entire office needs to be briefed or undergo hands-on training on how to use the new tools and technology that the company has acquired.

Instructor-led training need not necessarily happen in the course of a few days or months. Some only require an entire day or a half-day session, like a short seminar. At the end of the training, the employees should receive a certificate as proof of their participation in the activity.

Coaching or Mentoring

Mentoring or coaching is an option for employees who might benefit from one-on-one and hands-on training. This method highlights the professional relationship between someone who has more experience in the field and a junior colleague who is still learning the tricks of the trade, so to speak. This learning setup gives the employee every opportunity to ask questions and gain first-hand experience on how the mentor or coach approaches challenges specific to the job. Coaching sessions can be done in person or virtually.

Group Discussions and Activities

Employees who share the same responsibilities or who face similar challenges in their line of work can often benefit from holding group training sessions and activities within the workplace. This method of teaching allows multiple people to train all at once, thereby reducing the cost of training and the time it takes away from the employees’ most productive hours. It’s a perfect option for employees that belong to a single department or for those that belong to different teams but are required to collaborate to reach a particular goal for the company.

Case Studies and Reading Lists

Reading case studies and books is another option for employees who don’t have a lot of time outside of work to pick up new skills and problem-solving strategies. They can be provided access to case studies that they can consult and study closely during their breaks. Alternatively, the company can also open an in-office library that their employees can use as references for broadening their mindset and improving their skill levels.

Tips for Employers Who Want to Upskill Their Employees

Upskilling and acquiring new skills would be a much easier task for employees if they have the support of their employers and managers. Are you keen on making sure that the members of your team can meet all sorts of challenges in the workplace? If so, it’s a good idea to have policies in place that will encourage your employees to keep on learning.

For example, perhaps you can provide incentives to employees who are willing to go the extra mile to master Microsoft Excel or learn how to properly administer first aid in the workplace? You can also be a bit more lenient when it comes to work scheduling while an employee is juggling work and studying. Such an arrangement will empower them to balance their studies and work. Once they’ve completed their course, they’ll be able to use their newly honed skills to improve their level of productivity.

You may be wondering which training option works best. The answer: it depends on the employees. Some do better with courses that allow them to progress at their own pace, while others retain information better with in-person classes. Try surveying your employees to find out if they have any particular preferences, and then decide from there. In any case, investing in any type of further education for your team should go a long way toward helping them learn new skills and hone existing ones.

Start training your employees today with Priority Management Australia’s inhouse training. Send us a message today.