Everything you need to know about employee training methods. Training is a planned effort to facilitate the learning of job-related knowledge, skills and behaviour by employees. (i) Training is to improve performance at the individual, group and/or organi­zational level (ii) Improved performance implies that the changes in knowledge, skills, attitude and/or behaviour are measurable.

There are multiple ways of organizing training and disseminating knowledge. There are many methods of training.

The method selected should be best suited to a specific organization’s needs. The various factors generally considered for selecting a method include skills required, qualifications of candidates, cost, time available, and depth of knowledge required, etc.

The commonly adopted training methods are:-


1. Informational Methods 2.  Experiential Methods 3. Application Project 4. Apprenticeship 5. Behavioural Modelling 6. Business Games 7. Career Counselling 8. Case Study 9. Coaching

10. Computer-Based Training 11. Conferences and Seminars 12. Professional Courses 13. Discussion 14. Distance Learning 15. E-Learning 16. Induction 17. Internships  18. Intranet-Based Training

19. Job Assignments 20. Managerial Grid Sessions 21. Programmed Instructions 22. Live Teaching 23. Role Play 24. Simulations of Real Life 25. On the Job Training 26. Transactional Analysis 27. Assistantships.

Training Methods in HRM: Career Counselling, Coaching, Induction, Internships, On the Job Training and a Few Other Methods

Training Methods in HRM– 2 Important Categories: Informational and Experiential Methods

Training is a planned effort to facilitate the learning of job-related knowledge, skills and behaviour by employees.


(i) Training is to improve performance at the individual, group and/or organi­zational level.

(ii) Improved performance implies that the changes in knowledge, skills, attitude and/or behaviour are measurable.

There are multiple ways of organizing training and disseminating knowledge. There are many methods of training. The method selected should be best suited to a specific organization’s needs. The various factors generally considered for selecting a method include skills required, qualifications of candidates, cost, time available, and depth of knowledge required, etc.

Broadly, the methods are grouped in two categories, namely:


i. Informational, and

ii. Experiential.

i. Informational Methods:

This method is primarily informational or transmittal in nature, and principally uses one-way communication to transmit the information (knowledge) to the learners (trainees or students). Examples include talks, lecture methods (gaining new knowledge), audio-visuals (gaining new knowledge and attention), independent study (gaining new knowledge, completing degree requirements, and continuous education), programmed instruction and e-learning.

The programmed instruction method facilitates pre-training preparation to ensure that all trainees have similar backgrounds. The e-learning method, is an informational method, and uses electronic technology to deliver, support, and enhances teaching and learning.

ii. Experiential Methods:


In the experiential method, learners get the opportunity to interact with the faculty, which is distinctly different from academic learning. The faculty may, however, be replaced by a computer or simulator, customers, or other trainees. Experiential learning is the process of learning from direct experience. This is highly suited for the acquisition of practical skills, where trial and error, and the opportunity to practice practical techniques related to real tasks is essential.

In many countries, experiential learning is integral to vocational education. This learning method is focused on the learner and his/her experience, as it focuses on the communicative relationship and exchange of information between teacher and learner. On-the-job training, equipment simulators, games and simulation, case study and analysis, role playing, behavioural modelling, and sensitivity (or T-group) training are a few examples of the experiential methods.

Training Methods in HRM – 23 Commonly Adopted Methods: Application Project, Apprenticeship, Behavioural Modelling, Career Counselling and a Few Other Methods

Some of the most common training methods are as follows:

Method # 1. Application Project:

Teachers are always seen to advice students to administer exercises at the end of, preferably every topic. These exercises ensure students to have a thorough understanding of the topics. Similarly, in applica­tion projects students get a greater opportunity to display their initiative and creative ideas.


During the course of these projects, teachers lay down the task to be accomplished, whereas the students decide the lines of actions to achieve them. These projects are usually pursued out by a single student or by a group of students. The project reports help in providing feedback on a range of personal qualities of the trainees as well as their range of knowledge and attitude to the assigned task.

The trainees must be motivated by the trainer, stating that they have to pursue the project seriously in their own interest. The project topic and objectives must be relevant to their needs. If the trainee fails or feels that he has failed to pursue the project, there will be severe loss of confidence on his part. This might even result in antagonism towards the trainer.

The trainer must be meticulous in saving the confidence of the trainees in both, his and trainees’ interest. It is evidenced that trainees are generally hypersensitive to criticism of the project in which he/she has invested adequate efforts.

Method # 2. Apprenticeship:

One important component of HRD is upgrading the knowledge and skills of its employees. It is important for trainings to happen at the actual work place other than what the training institutions provide. Apprenticeship is a system of training to impart knowledge, help acquire skills, and gaining competencies to meet the demand for skilled craftsman. The apprentice scheme includes on-the-job training, in addition to theoretical classes at industrial training institutes as well as factories.


The Government enacted the Apprentices Act, 1961, with the objectives of regulating the pro­gramme of training of apprentices in the industry, thus keeping in mind the need to conform to the syllabi, period of training, etc., as laid down by the central apprenticeship council. This would also help to utilize the facilities available in industry fully by imparting practical training with a view to meeting the requirements of skilled manpower for industry.

In India, the Department of Education, which falls under the Ministry of HRD, is responsible for the implementation of this Act with respect to graduates, technical, and vocational apprentices. The Ministry monitors this through four boards of apprenticeship training located at Kanpur, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai.

Method # 3. Behavioural Modelling:

This is alternatively known as behaviour simulation games, and is used to impart knowledge on inter­personal skills, ways of working in a team, and cognitive teaching/training skills. Behavioural simulation games focus primarily on the processes of interpersonal relations, on how decisions are made, and with what consequences, rather than on the substance of the decisions. The games consist of set rules and predictable results.

Instructors use such games to highlight a particular behavioural process appropriate for a particular situation and to dramatize the effect. It is important to note that the games should not be repeated with the same group, as they will simply be a meaningless attempt. Structured exercises are particular types of simulation that can be repeated until learning is assured. Thus, exercises provide scope for improvisa­tion, adaptation, and redesigning, according to personal and situational needs.

Method # 4. Business Games:


Business games or management games are suitable for giving trainee managers practice in dealing with management problems during the induction phase. Trainees are presented with detailed information about a company, its financial position, product range, customers, suppliers, markets, business status, competitors, etc. They are given different management roles to perform.

One group may be concerned with production, whereas others may be concerned with maintenance, quality control, planning, pur­chase, marketing, sales, store, and so on. These groups then virtually run the company during the train­ing sessions. They take decisions, plan actions, and compute probable results in terms of profitability.

This simulation of real-life situation aids the transfer of learning. This is necessary because if a trainee manager, after completion of his training, applies only broad theoretical knowledge to the work situ­ation, it could cause major problems. This is a valuable way of assessing the performance of a trainee through his potential and decision-making ability.

The main difficulty lies in assessing the probable results of the decisions taken. Nowadays, computers are used for this purpose. The trainees may reject the decisions if they feel the assessment of the probable outcome of their decisions is unrealistic.

Method # 5. Career Counselling:

Career counselling helps employees discover their true potential and interest in various tasks in order to help them progress in their career. Experienced employees help the trainees, new recruits, and other employees to identify the areas of improvement, and guide them on advancement in their professional career. Similarly, in academic institutions, career counselling helps students discover their true potential and interest in various subjects in order to help them choose the right career.

Several institutes, including schools and colleges, offer career counselling using a series of aptitude, EQ, and IQ tests. The tests usually have multiple choice questions, which do not have to be prepared in any way. Thereafter, the employee or the student, as the case may be, has a face-to-face interview with a career guidance counsellor.


The interview provides the employee or the student with the opportunity to clear any doubts or queries he/she may have regarding career progression and career options. It also allows the counsellor to further judge the aptitude of the employee or student.

Method # 6. Case Study:

A case is a written description of an actual business situation. Case studies fall into two broad categories in which the trainees (a) diagnose the causes of a problem and (b) set out to solve a particular problem. A case may illustrate diverse situations in an organization. These situations could be based on any financial position, market position, emerging competitors, planning of new technology, diversity management problems, human related issues, and so forth.

The trainees need to examine the events, consider the business scenario, contemplate organizational culture, and devise a solution for implementation. It is important for the trainer to give proper instructions to the trainees before they go ahead with analys­ing a case.

The case must reflect the exact work situation; otherwise, the trainees may get a wrong impression of the real work situation. They should not feel that the decisions taken by them are only for practice in the classroom. The teacher’s skill lies in convincing them that the decisions are applicable in live situ­ations as well.

The case study method enhances the power of realistic analysis, problem-solving ability, and capacity of exploration, decision-making skills, and analytical skills. The trainees should preferably be asked to present their findings to adjudge the communication skills. The trainer must be involved in the process, and be psychologically close to the trainees.

Method # 7. Coaching:

The purpose of coaching is developing a person to fit him in a role. Coaching is a systematic process that is collaborative, solution-focused, and result-oriented. The coach helps the mentee to enhance his performance. The trainee gets close attention, continuous feedback, and learns various methods of skill development. In an industrial organization, the master craftsman coaches his juniors or the trainees attached to him.

Method # 8. Computer-Based Training:


Computer-based training (CBT) is usually conducted in classrooms with the facility of networked com­puters. An individual undergoes this training in a self-paced format. With the advent and advancement of computer facilities and networking, there can be an almost limitless interplay between instructor-led and individual-based computer training. Computer-based training is a unique approach to classroom training, a principal example of today’s self-paced training approaches.

Computers and networking have produced an enormous impact on the delivery of training in organizations today. Interactive compact discs on educational topics provide the added advantages.

Today, it is estimated that 55 per cent of organizations use computer-based training via CD-ROM in their training programmes, with other multimedia-based efforts, thus pushing the number of computer- based approaches much higher. Microcomputers and the rapid increase of their capabilities have further influenced the growth of CBT.

Method # 9. Conferences and Seminars:

In conferences and seminars on selected themes and sub-themes, delegates present papers and the organizing committee publishes the proceedings, either on hard copy or on CDs, or both. Based on the sub-themes, the committee prepares a schedule of lectures. The speaker delegates present their papers and freely interchange knowledge, ideas, opinions, and findings on any of the sub-themes.

They deliver the latest information citing examples from national and international businesses. Attending a seminar broadens, stimulates, and widens the spectrum of knowledge on the seminar theme and sub-themes.

Method # 10. Professional Courses:

Universities, academic institutes, and other professional institutes organize course programmes relating to specific organizational needs. The objective of the programmes is to enhance the enabling capacities of the personnel to perform specific activities or work packages. Such courses are generally of short duration.

Method # 11. Discussion:


While using this method, the teacher freely shares his knowledge, experience, opinion, and ideas on a particular subject with his students. This method manifests its importance when dissemination of information, attitudinal change, and behavioural modification is imperative. The teacher elucidates the aftermath of an incident due to the attitude of a person (perhaps one holding a managerial position) in a particular situation, particularly if the attitude is non-conducive to organizational effectiveness.

This narration can impact the trainee’s subconscious mind. This realization may result in attitudinal change and behavioural modification. As a manager of learning, the teacher should have the flair to offer positive direction in order to yield only positive results. The discussion has to be motivational as well as appealing.

Method # 12. Distance Learning:

This is different from learning in a conventional classroom. Most distance learners, study in open universi­ties after gaining some experience in the conventional face-to-face education system. Distance learning uses a variety of media and technology, where the learners primarily learn independently, from a distance.

The students are expected to read material supplied to them on their own. They are supposed to study at home, and do not readily get the opportunity of having their doubts and confusions clarified as in the conventional learning system. Such universities operate study centres in dispersed locations. Isolation from peer groups and irregular contact at the study centre may also become a major hindrance in learning.

Experience shows that learners need to develop effective learning strategies and discipline to succeed in distance learning. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU, www(dot)ignou(dot)org) is the pioneer provider of distance learning in India. IGNOU provides reading material to the students and supplies them with a handbook to empower them in the learning process, and prepare them to make the best use of the facilities provided by the university.

The handbook describes the steps that distance learners should follow to be effective learners. In the management programmes, IGNOU generally gives three assignments; two are tutor-marked, and one is computer-marked. Attempting the assignments ensures the students’ involvement with the subject. The weightage allotted is 30 per cent for the assignments and 70 per cent for the term end examinations.

Method # 13. E-Learning:


Learning has moved from the classroom onto the desktop, and now into the pocket. E-learning refers to gaining new knowledge, being pre-trained to ensure that all training has a similar background, and to get into a homogenous group. Many companies are seen to be switching to e-learning. In simple terms, e-learning delivers better training to more people at the least training cost. This method is not only flexible, fast, and convenient, but also saves time, money, and resources.

E-learning also relates to knowledge management. The key to success is dissemination of knowledge (from the people who have it) to the people who need it. The knowledge transfer process delivers mea­surable and tangible results. Access, information, and speed occupy the driver’s seat, and characterize today’s world.

These days, organizations want to make their employees aware of new information and technology. Learners, too, want a fast and suitable way to learn new skills and information. E-learning is a way to satisfy the individual and organizational needs.

Method # 14. Induction:

Induction refers to the introduction of an employee to the job and the organization. The primary pur­pose is to ‘sell’ the company to the new recruit, so that he may feel proud of being an employee of the company. An employee has to work with fellow employees, comply with the policies and practices, work in teams, integrate with team members, and know them.

Hence, it is always better to give an idea of the entire work frame to the newly employed. Further, inadequate induction may lead to higher manpower turnover, confusion and misunderstanding, wastage of time, and expenditure.

In an induction programme, the evolution of the company, its principal products, technology of production and major operations, organization structure, functions of the departments in brief, and the employee’s own department, company policy and objectives, service conditions, employee welfare measures, working hours and overtime, reporting relationship, grievance and discipline handling mecha­nism, recreational facilities, career planning and promotion, and the like are discussed.

Method # 15. Internships:


Management and technical institutes depute their students to organizations in order to familiarize them with real-life situations and gain experience. These organizations allot certain assignments to these interns to develop them. The duration for these internships is generally from two to four months. Some institutes call it a summer internship programme (SIP).

Method # 16. Intranet-Based Training:

Organizations have started using intranet for internal communication. HRD professionals are also seen to be using intranet to communicate with learners, identify training needs, impart training, transmit reading material, administer exercises and case studies, organize multimedia programmes, and miscel­laneous administration activities. This is called intranet-based training (IBT). Conducting assessment tests through intranet is another very common feature.

In case of multinational companies, with branches in multiple countries, their geographical loca­tions and dispersion are never a problem with IBT. The Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) is conducting diploma courses on training, and comprises eight papers in its curriculum. Paper 7 is on ‘Electronic enabled training systems,’ and paper 8 is on ‘Electronic enabled training office and administration’.

The objectives of the subjects are – (a) to help the participants understand the concept, application, and evaluation of electronic-enabled training systems and (b) to help the participants understand the concept, practice, and management of electronic-enabled training office and administra­tion. Many employed people, including senior executives from organizations, are pursuing the diploma programme to gain and utilize the knowledge in respective organizations.

Method # 17. Job Assignments:

In this method, the employees are assigned particular tasks that are completely new to them. After completion they are asked to prepare a short report highlighting their observations, deficiencies felt, difficulties encountered, competency required in the process, scope of improvement in the process, devel­oping the quality plan relating to the particular task, etc. This method greatly helps in discovering the credibility and inner potential of employees, and eventually helps the employees develop their potential.

Method # 18. Managerial Grid Sessions:

Rapidly-growing large companies are choosing this method of training and requires considerable investment and time. Managerial grid sessions are generally five or six phased programmes extending over three to five years. The session starts with upgrading managerial skills, developing interpersonal relations, cultivating group dynamics, and several other managerial competencies.

The sessions finally goes into corporate planning, strategic management, gaining visionary skills, business environment study and analysis, developing and designing implementation methods, etc. The programme ends with an evaluation phase.

Method # 19. Programmed Instructions:

This is a technology aimed to improve the quality of teaching. It refers to self-teaching with the sup­port of a specialized text book or teaching software. The device presents study material in a logical sequence. Programmed instructions encompass two essential elements – (a) a step-by-step series of bits of knowledge to build upon what has been done previously, and (b) a mechanism for presenting reviews and checking on the knowledge gained by the trainee.

Method # 20. Remote Telecommunication – Live Teaching:

The faculty delivers lectures to groups of students in remote classrooms. The facility includes two-way voice communications where the students can address questions to the faculty. Through this teach­ing, the locations can be widely dispersed, say, the faculty may be located in the US and students in India, Pakistan, China, or elsewhere.

The students or participants may belong to branches in different countries of a multinational company. Experienced and highly-skilled faculty members are assigned the responsibility of lecturing so that the topic content is delivered in a logical sequence with minimal gaps. This reduces the number of questions raised by the participants, thus trimming down the time, and economizing the session.

Some faculty members use overhead or LCD projectors, too. The popularity of this method is ever increasing. Experts from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Busi­ness School, or London School of Economics share their knowledge, experience, and research findings through this technology-backed method.

Method # 21. Role Play:

A role is a set of interrelated behaviours, rights, and obligations as conceptualized by one in organiza­tional or social situations. In role-play, participants are assigned specific roles of characters that may have personalities, motivations, and backgrounds different from their own. For example, after selecting a group, one trainee may be asked to play the role of marketing manager, the second trainee the role of finance manager, the third trainee the role of chairman and managing director, and so on.

They may be asked to interpret their roles, and discuss among themselves, thus leading to decision-making for a given problem in a hypothetical situation. Role play is used for changing attitudes, practising skills, and analysing interpersonal problems.

Method # 22. Sensitivity (or T-Group) Training:

This methodology is widely used to enhance self-awareness, and to facilitate trainees to see how others see them. It is an experience of interpersonal relationships. This training encompasses learning and unlearning of certain things.

A situation is created and the trainees are virtually put into the situations in which the behaviour of each individual in the group is examined, along with the comments of other trainees. Generally, the group of trainees is unstructured. This is a vivid way for the trainee to learn the effect of his/her behaviour on other people, and vice versa.

There may be difficulties if the trainee learns something distasteful about him. Occasionally, a participant may indulge in arguments when the facilitator will have to handle the situation. Others’ comments must be taken sportively as this is the only scope when one can be aware about one’s own shortcomings and weaknesses.

The trainer acts as a catalyst or a facilitator throughout the process. Having been given a task, the group members are motivated to express their feelings, which are analysed, and dealt with by the trainer spontaneously. The behaviour of the group or groups as a whole gets examined.

The trainer or facilitator should have industrial experience or a psychological background. He has to analyse the behaviour and offer his comments in an acceptable manner to the participants. This enables one to understand why people behave as they do. It promotes communication skills, improves interpersonal relations, synergy, and working in a team.

Method # 23. Simulations of Real Life:

Training in the field is a major venture, and effective roles for participants can take time to be established and performed. In order to reduce the associated costs and to provide practice of roles in a variety of situations, the training designer can move one step ahead towards real life by incorporating simulation. Simulation can range from simple to more elaborate methods. It includes role playing, games, and in-basket exercises.

Lynton and Pareek (2007) have emphasized that talking about people and talking with people is different. Role playing is a very flexible training method, and can be very real in these situations. To provide practice of in-basket exercises, you are required to rotate the participants through key roles. Management trainees are given the opportunity to work at an office desk with ringing telephones, read reports and give comments, study noting and give decisions, mark letters specifying action plans, and deal with whatever comes to the in-tray.

Fundamental research has established that – (a) simulations and games are more effective at trans­ferring learning to students than case studies, (b) students with non-convergent learning styles enjoy simulations more than those with convergent learning styles, (c) senior managers, say, over 40 years of age, prefer simulations that use real industry data over games that used fabricated data, and (d) younger managers who have used computer games in their childhood, enjoy simulations and games more than case studies; they also learned more from simulations and games.

This method is useful for group projects to enhance decision-making skills and requires integration of many factors. The method inspires salespeople, marketing personnel, and public relation officials. The subject should neither be too complex nor too simple. As such, only experienced trainers are engaged in simulation exercises. The students’ motivation must be strong enough to carry out a self-development programme.

Simulations and games are widely practised on action plan, action replay, adult learning, building a great business, card sorting experiment, characteristic admired leaders, assertive communication, concern for customers, concern for employees, diversity management, conflict management, faster problem solving, influencing colleagues without authority, ice breaking, time management, goal set­ting, creativity, etc.

Training Methods in HRM – 4 Important Methods: On the Job Training Method, Simulation Method, Knowledge Based Methods & Skill Based Methods

Training method is defined as “a systematic procedure or techniques by which a skill is developed in a person, employee of an organisation”. Combination of different methods of training contributes to the effectiveness of the training programme.

1. On the Job Training Methods:

Within the job performance, the main training methods are given here:

i. On the Job Training:

On the job training is the most common and having a practical aspect for any employees or trainee. It has the concept on to learn by doing itself. The trainee learns while he is actually engaged in doing a job. The learning process may be on a specific job or there may be job rotation that is changing the jobs over the period of time. A trainee can get the help from a trainer to learn how to operate the machineries, perform the task and how to manage and organise job performance by means of different operating aspects.


a. It is very easy and economising method;

b. It develop the opportunities to get theoretical and practical knowledge;

c. It may remove the mistakes and errors as arising from job performance;

d. It may be possible to evaluate easily the level of training of the trainees;

e. It develop direct motivation and confidence among trainees.


The disadvantages of this method are given here:

a. In this method, it is not possible to give training by way of planned and programmed biased;

b. The senior and old employees are not paying their attention in it;

c. There is not an appropriateness or reliability on this method when the trainees are in large form;

d. Sometime it create the hurdles and obstacles within the routine process of job performance.

ii. Job Rotation:

Within the method, as per pre planned, in order to provide each and every aspect or part of every task, the employees are providing the training on job rotation. They are involved to perform different tasks from one job to another job, from one plan to another plan on a planned basis. Such movement may be for a specific period almost ranging from six months to two years. Normally, it is undertaken to perform the interdependent jobs or functions.


a. To provide an opportunities to understand the entire organisation;

b. It create the feelings of mutual knowledge, attitudes, cooperation and coordination;

c. By it a dynamic and comprehensive personalities may be developed.


a. It may develop mutual interferences and hindrances among different departments and jobs;

b. It consumes more time and energy.

iii. Guidance and Counselling:

Within an organisation, the managerial as well as supervisory level of management provide some guidelines and informal interactions with their employees towards job performance. They provide the transactional guidelines and shares their view points about job and organisation to develop confidence and inner feeling with their job etc.

2. Simulation Method:

This method is based on the mental abilities and preparedness to do the work with some human aspects.

The methods are given here:

i. Role Play Method:

Within this method, certain artificial situations may have to be created (in the absence of real situation) to suit the instructional needs so that the trainee would be feeling that they are experiencing life like situation. Role plays, which are sometimes called skill practices, provide trainees with the opportunity to apply new skills in a safe environment involves the trainees acting the part of other people so that they can practice newly acquired skills.

The role play method have some advantageous like the awareness about feelings, emotions and imitation among employees are increased, it may be able to add variety, drama and fun to an informal way, to explain the social and cultural differences simply and clearly analyse the information, demonstrate, describe and explain the contents of the programme, the learners can give some argues, reasons, persuade and defend their ideas and decisions and they can also remove the psychological barrier between learner and instructurer and between learners themselves, thus facilitating a multi-way process of communication.

There are certain disadvantages with this method, sometimes the role-playing participants inadvertently engage in self-disclosure and exposure. It loses some of its effectiveness when the audience is too large. The participation and presentation of a role-play will demand much time from both trainer and trainee. This method cannot be applied in all management-training situations.

It is not suitable, for example, for teaching in a process where the emphasis is on technical skills, step-by-step procedure, presenting factual material or doing computations.

While preparing the presentation through role play, it is needful to prepare careful planning and organising the part as to be play. It shows an ideal but active imaginatory part for training. It may be divided in five categories like single role play, multiple role play, rotational role play, role repetition and role reversal etc.

ii. Case Study Method:

Case study method present reckoned to describe an actual or imaginary incidental situations. It is essentially a problem identification and problem solving activity. The trainees must apply the knowledge and skill they acquire from the training and prior experience to examine the case make decisions and proper solutions.

It is needful to think over and finding out many ways of solutions and analyse the causative factors that are responsible for the problem. Cases are well utilised to the teaching of some operational contents, personal problems, resource capacity utilisation, grievance handling and different formal and informal relationship is taken up.


a. The knowledge and experiences of individual and the group of people can easily be analyse the case properly;

b. This method helps in developing cooperation and interpersonal skill among the participants;

c. This method facilitates synthesis of several conceptual principles resulting in a plan of action;

d. It facilitates analytical and communication skills of the participants;

e. This method creates different approaches, alternative and solutions to a problem and the participant is given a variety of solutions;

f. In addition to developing analytical and problem-solving skills may facilitate the development of teamwork, communication and presentation skills especially when the trainees are asked to report their findings to the group.


a. The case study method is time consuming compared to other direct methods;

b. Some case studies may be difficult for trainees to comprehend and imagine the situation as it happened when presented in written form.

Making Case Study Method Effective:

a. Presenting living case, which introduces an actual problem or situation occurring in the organisation;

b. Allow sufficient time before the start of case study analysis for the members to study and prepare over a written case;

c. This method can be made very effective if small groups of participants are there;

d. Mutual discussions on possible alternatives and solutions can be worthwhile.

iii. Management Game Method:

The management game is a new and effective tool for executive development. It has proved be a very effective educational exercise during the last one decade. It is a dynamic exercise utilising a simulation of a business situation. Here, the group of persons or players representing the management of competing companies, take the same type of operating and policy decisions as they do in real life.

The game is played over a period of time and the decision taken at one point of time takes into account the effects of their own earlier decisions. It shows and observed that what really happened in the business field during the period. At the end of the game a ‘critique’ session is held to focus attention on the main points of the problem and to review the performance of participants.


a. More attention is given to exercise of better or more confident leadership. Greater emphasis on good communication and delegation of authority;

b. It emphasise inter-departmental cooperation and greater awareness of functional relationship;

c. More flexible or improved organisational structures may be changed;

d. Increase effort to solicit varied opinion and approaches on important decisions;

e. Greater awareness of competitive factors;

f. It provides to increase interaction among the learners themselves. The interaction may be especially desirable in groups, which contain trainees from divergent socio-economic background;

g. Management games help in increasing the motivation of the learners;

h. They help in developing problem analysis and decision-making skills. Also, they provide practical, experimental and physical learning and encourage divergent solutions may be useful in the development of mental ability;

i. Management games provide for group enjoyment. Usually, those trainees who are most interested and those who participate to the maximum in the simulation, learn the most and appropriate solutions;

j. Games generally teach one the usefulness of mathematical models and the use of computers. Through the experience of actually using these methods, participants can develop their confidence.


a. It is a time consuming method;

b. Trainees as well as trainers may be unfamiliar with the method.

iv. In Basket Exercise Method:

In-basket method as the name implies is an interactive simulation in which learners analyse the feedback facts and informations, set alternate solutions with priorities and make decisions on issue given in the exercise. Within this method a close basket was given to trainees contains some problems, grievances, operating challenges and the trainees open this basket and find out the solutions with an imagination of real life situation. They are asked to perform typical management task and activities as they face on a day to day basis.


a. In-basket exercise method facilitates skill and knowledge towards the applicability of problem solving procedures;

b. Time management skills are developed as time pressure as in real life situations is in-build in the exercise;

c. Quality upgradation issues could also be the theme of in-basket exercises;

d. Provides concrete subjects for practical work and discussion opportunities for active participation;

e. The personnel matters may also be solved in it.


a. The real situation is difficult to duplicate in an in-basket simulation;

b. It is time consuming method;

c. If handled insensitively by the facilitator, it may lose the confidence of trainees.

v. Sensitivity Method:

This method is a part of demonstration with skill development. It is a small group interaction process in that people perform sensitively the unstructured play with imaginary presentation to interact the emotional feelings and views among the audience. It is carried out on a platform where participants simulate conditions for effective functioning of the group in an unstructured manner. The presentation is not pre-determined and the behaviour is not prescribed.

All of them are evolved through a natural process by the group. It aims to develop skill of employees with their inner feeling and proper self-presentation.


a. It is helpful to develop deeper self-confidence as well as increased sensitivity to others, thereby leading to an improvement in behavioural skills;

b. Increased self-understanding and self-respect;

c. Increased understanding of how people act as individual;

d. Knowledge of how they could work together as a team leading to increased organisational effectiveness;

e. Increased mutual understanding and trust among the participants.


a. The groups is expected to work on its own and there is no specific assignment or formal agenda;

b. It is very difficult to have competent trainers to handle laboratory training;

c. In the hands of a trainer who is not fully competent such training can have adverse results and traumatic effect;

d. Some trainers themselves do not follow all the unwritten conventions of laboratory training, which is a very great limitation and author himself has such a direct experience.

3. Knowledge Based Methods:

Some of the methods develops the conceptual knowledge concerning of job performance. They develop the literary forum to acquire the knowledge about job and its surrounding aspects.

The knowledge based methods can be stating here:

i. Lecture Method:

Within the training programme, a class rooms and lecture system which is a traditional method can be conducted. The trainer can deliver a lecture on some contents of training with theoretical aspects. It is a class room system to follow the formal and informal relations with employees. The schedule and contents of the lecture can be planned in detail well in advance. Lectures are unidirectional due to that trainer is the primary communicator who conveys the information to the group.


a. The primary advantage of lecture method is that it is an efficient way to transmit a large amount of information to learner in short time;

b. If the purpose of training programme is to raise awareness or supply information, lecture can be an appropriate method;

c. The lecture method is very easy to organise and also useful when training involves many learners;

d. This method is useful for conveying information in a time effective manner from trainer as expert to the trainees as learners;

e. Lecture is a method in which information can be communicated instantly.


a. The audience’s role is passive and audience feedback is limited;

b. This is the most criticised and least effective training methods.

Making Lecture Method Effective:

a. Lecture method can be improved by encouraging the audience to take notes;

b. It is needful to use of visual aids largely improves the effectiveness of lecture;

c. Try for making good use of stories and real life examples;

d. The review and regular summarising heighten the effectiveness of the lecture method;

e. Another way to improve traditional method is to reduce how much time you spend on them;

f. The trainer can ask questions frequently during a lecture to enhance the learner involvement. By this the lecture becomes more interactive and effective.

ii. Extension Talk:

A specified and appropriate form of lecture method can be conducted by means and source of specialised and expertise persons. The expert or resource person can give their extension lecture on a particular subject or some most relevant matter. In this method, the expertise services may be delivered within the class room programme.

iii. Group Discussion Methods:

The Group Discussion is defined as “the process of reaction and counter reaction between two or more than two persons on a common subject with the objective of achieving some specific conclusion or results”.

The trainer conducts a group discussion with purpose of solving a problem, getting feedback, sharing experiences, establishing a consensus or for exchanging ideas.

During the group discussion the trainer plays the role of facilitator and poses questions, encourages involvement, manages the environment and summarises the conclusions reached by the group. The trainer should be careful while handling discussion of controversial topics so as to avoid hurt feelings, tasting anger and frustrated learners. There are different types of group discussion like small group discussion, buzz method group discussion, symposium, seminars, huddle method group discussion, etc.


A group discussion is usually effective in engaging learners and encouraging participation. Peer learning is one of the most important aspect in it. Group discussions may be helpful to present the problems, questions, ideas or issues presented to the group for consideration and verbal exploration.


a. Behavioural problems like hurting feelings, personal conflict, etc., may happen in group discussion, if the trainer has not handled the situation and environment properly. Sometimes the discussion may be so lengthy that meaningful results may not be achieved;

b. In some cases the trainees get off the track or one trainee dominates the discussion, then the other trainees feel that the discussion was a waste of time;

c. It is not desirable in group discussion when many trainees may like to contribute at the same time or when trainees are verbose.

Making Group Discussion Method Effective:

a. The trainer should announce well in advance about his intentions to use group discussion method. This will communicate to the trainees that they are expected to participate;

b. The problem of “one man domination”, consuming more time without any purpose must be avoid and can be addressed by skilled facilitation by the trainer;

c. The trainer should remain neutral as far as possible to make the group discussion a successful method;

d. Physical setting like seating arrangement also plays a very important role in making this method a successful one. This method works best when chairs are arranged in a circle or with other seating arrangement that encourages trainees to look at each other.

e. Smaller the group more effective in the discussion. Usually in the group discussion method the group consists of 5-10 members.

Types of Group Discussion:

There are eight methods of group discussion, which are very important. They can be very profitably deployed in training, teaching, extension, etc.

a. Small Group Discussion Method;

b. Huddle Method;

c. Buzz Method;

d. Symposium Method;

e. Seminar Method;

f. Conference Method;

g. Workshop Method;

h. Panel Discussion Method.

iv. Seminars and Conference:

The conference method is usually a highly structure device for conveying a message on a large scale. Often to an audience of several hundred people delegates with common interest from a wide cross section of the society attend the same seeking an opportunity to hear the views and comments. Thus, it is literally a means of consultation.

The chairman is the key and significant figure in the conference method. He has complete control on both of the speakers and of the audience and in this respect he wields considerable power. He should plan well what the speaker should deliver and provide adequate question time after each talk.

The chairman has to sum up at the end of the conference. Relevance, coverage and brevity are the required characteristics and the chairman should have the skill to do the same.

The seminars is a little part of conference for sowing, nurturing and developing ideas. The Seminar Method is usually centred on a single theme which is examined in detail. The speakers are acknowledged specialists who are asked to make brief presentation on the topic of discussion and acknowledge the members towards attending it.


a. Members usually discuss the topics of high relevance and common interest to them;

b. The attendance to the conference is usually voluntary;

c. It is suitable for acquiring conceptual knowledge and helps in clarifying doubts;

d. The members are enthusiasts in that particular subject and they are brought together to share their experiences;

e. This method provides learning through sharing;

f. The expert may present studying a subject in detail and they guides the discussion learning with proper way;

g. A well run seminar through a detail and systematic discussion will facilitate a thorough investigation.


a. The attendance is often unpredictable;

b. The method is very expensive, as arrangements have to be made for the venue, accommodation and catering, etc.;

c. It is difficult for finding a skilful chairman to conduct the proceedings effectively;

d. Some of the members tend to play a passive role during the session;

e. Generally members do not come prepared and do not devote their time properly.

Making Seminar and Conference Method Effective:

a. The objective of the conference must be clearly defined and well understood;

b. Expert speakers should be carefully selected after going through their background;

c. Early planning of the programme and wide publicity is desirable;

d. Hand-outs summarising, the main points made by the speakers are useful and serve as a reference material;

e. The trainer may briefly summarise the points of the seminar so as to reiterate the common ground;

f. The closing session should identify future plans and action points arising out of the seminar;

g. The trainer should make the objectives of the seminar clear at the beginning of the seminar itself;

h. The success of these are depends on thorough research, balanced approach to avoid controversies, quality of presentation, the skill of the trainer and the experts and involvement and participation of the members.

v. Brain Storming Session:

Within the purview of applied behaviour science, the facilitators create and develop some mental views and feelings to different trainees with the aim to refine, renovate, innovate and redesign their thoughts, views and concepts. It is the basis process almost based on psychological feelings and motives to get some new ways and means for work performance.

4. Skill Based Methods:

i. Assignments:

The trainers delegate and assigned the responsibilities to trainees to perform the job smoothly and in the interest of employees. The trainers are provide the job facilities and different resources to trainees to perform the job with its pre-determined norms and standards.

They instruct them to organise and perform their task free and any interpretation. The trainees can perform their assigned task and to learn about new concepts, systems and technologies about the job. The self-development with their confidence may be developed.

ii. Practice after Demonstration:

Within the purview of practical experience of a job performance, the trainers provide some knowledge and skill to the trainees on the basis of their practical demonstration. The trainer provide some instructing for making the practices after his demonstration as given by him. The trainees can learn again and again about the nature and process of job performance.

iii. Task Performance:

Within the training programme, on the basis of contents and targets of training, the trainer assigned a specific job to trainees to perform a specific task according to its norms and standards. Through performing the task, which might be a part of the job, the trainees can learn about its methods and process, to interact with other parts as well as they can revealed their attitudes and motivational factors.

iv. Role Play:

This method is to provide the learner with an insight into his own attitude, behaviour and overall presentation.

v. Workshop:

It is based on presenting a practical aspect with some sort of experience. The theoretical and practical viewpoints are presenting in front of trainees to develop knowledge and skills of them.

Training Methods in HRM – Transactional Analysis, Lecture Courses, Simulation Exercises, Case Study, Coaching, Job Rotation and a Few Other Methods

The process of sensitivity training became quite popular during the 1950’s. It is a method of changing behaviour through group processes. It is often referred to as laboratory training. It influences the participants through unstructured group interaction.

Members are brought together in a free and open environment in which participants discuss themselves and their interaction process is loosely facilitated by a professional behavioural scientist. This scientist creates opportunity for the participants to express their ideas, beliefs and attitudes. He or she does not accept or overtly reject any leadership role.

The objectives of sensitivity training are as follows:

i. To provide managers with increased awareness of their own behaviour and how others perceive them.

ii. Greater sensitivity to the behaviours of others.

iii. Increased understanding of group processes.

Certain specific results that are expected out of the training are increased ability to empathise with others, improved listening skills, greater openness, increased tolerance for individual differences and improved conflict resolution skills.

Method # 1. Transactional Analysis (TA):

When people interact with others, there is a transaction for which a person responses to another. The study of these social transactions between people is called transactional analysis (TA). The analysis was popularised by Berne’s book Games People Play and Harris’s book I am ok, you are ok.

According to Berne, two people interact with each other from one of the three psychological positions known as ego states. These three states are called parent, adult and child. People, whose parent ego state is in control, may be protective, controlling, nurturing, critical and instructive.

They may dogmatically refer to the policies and standards. The adult ego state will appear as rational, calculative, factual and unemotional behaviour. It tries to upgrade decisions by seeking facts, processing data, estimating probabilities and holding factual discussions. The child ego state reflects the emotions developed in response to childhood experiences.

It may be spontaneous, dependent, creative or rebellious. Like a child, this ego state desires approval from others and prefers immediate rewards. The objective of TA is to provide better understanding of how people relate to one another so that they may develop improved communication and human relations.

Method # 2. Lecture Courses:

Formal lecture courses offer an opportunity for managers or potential managers to acquire knowledge and develop their conceptual and analytical abilities.

Method # 3. Simulation Exercises:

The widely used simulation exercises include decision games and role-playing. Role- playing and simulation are training techniques that attempt to bring realistic decision-making situations to the trainee. The problems generally encountered and alternative solutions are presented for discussion. Experienced employees can describe real world experiences and can help in developing the solutions to these simulations. This method is cost effective and is used in marketing and management training.

Simulated decision games and role-playing exercises puts individuals in the role of a decision-maker for sorting out managerial problems. Games provide opportunities for individuals to make decisions and to consider the implications of a decision on other segments of the organisation.

The advantages of simulation include the opportunities to create an environment similar to real situations that the managers face. It helps in avoiding the high costs involved that incurs in case the actions prove undesirable. The main disadvantage is the difficulty in duplicating the pressures and realities of actual decision­making on the job. It is believed that individuals often act differently in real-life situations than they do in acting out a simulating exercise.

Method # 4. Case Study:

Case analysis approach to management development was very popularised in some Business Schools. Taken from the actual experiences of organisations, these cases describe as accurately as possible, real problems that managers have faced. Trainees study these cases to determine problems, analyse causes, develop alternative solutions, select what they believe to be the best solution and implement it.

Case study can provide stimulating discussions among participants, as well as excellent opportunities for individuals to defend their analytical and judgmental abilities. It appears to be a rather effective method for improving decision-making abilities within the constraints of limited information.

Method # 5. Coaching:

When a manager takes an active role in guiding another manager, this activity is referred to as coaching. The effective coach, whether in any sports or in the corporate hierarchy, gives guidance through direction, advice, criticism and suggestions in an attempt to aid the growth of the employee.

The technique of engaging managers for coaching other managers has certain advantages attached with it. It ensures learning by doing and creates opportunities for high interaction and rapid feedback on performance. The method has two specific disadvantages.

These are as follows:

i. Its tendencies to perpetuate the current managerial styles and practices in the organisation.

ii. Its heavy reliance on the instructor to become a good teacher.

Just as we recognise that all excellent sprinters do not make outstanding coaches, for the same reason we cannot expect that all excellent managers will be effective coaches. An individual can become a good manager without necessarily possessing the knack of creating a proper learning environment for others to do the same. Thus, the effectiveness of this technique relies on the ability of the coach.

Method # 6. Understudy Assignments:

The term understudy assignment includes potential managers who are given the opportunity to relieve an experienced manager of his or her job. They are allowed to act as a substitute during the leave period the manager. This term also describes providing assistance to positions as well as temporary opportunities to assist managers in completing their jobs.

This method works best in those organisations where managers recognise that their own promotion and advancement depend on preparing underlining to satisfactorily move into their jobs. The understudy, who is given the job for a short period of time, is given the opportunity to see the job in totality.

While there are opportunities for sizeable errors, the technique is used predominantly in situations where major or critical decisions can be delayed until the manager returns or can be made in close consultation with the manager next up in line.

Method # 7. Job Rotation:

Job rotation involves moving an employee through a series of jobs, so that he can get a good feel for the tasks that are associated with different jobs. It is usually used in training supervisors. It represents an excellent method for broadening the manager or potential manager and of turning specialists into generalists. This can either be horizontal or vertical. Vertical rotation is nothing more than promoting a worker into a new position. Horizontal rotation is better understood as lateral transfer.

In addition to increasing the manager’s experience and allowing the manager to absorb new information, it can reduce boredom and stimulate the development of new ideas. It can also provide opportunities for a more comprehensive and reliable evaluation of the manager by his or her supervisors.

Additionally, since job rotation permits a greater understanding of other activities within the organisation, people are prepared more rapidly to assume greater responsibility, especially at the upper strata. As one moves up the organisation, it becomes increasingly necessary to understand the intricacies and interrelationships of activities. These abilities can be more quickly acquired by moving about within the organisation. Moreover, it helps in developing multi-skill approach in the organisation.

The drawbacks of this method are as follows:

i. Increased development costs

ii. Reduced productivity by moving a worker into a new position just when his or her efficiency at the previous position has started creating organisational economies.

iii. Job rotation can also demodulate intelligent and aggressive trainees who seek specific responsibility in their chosen field.

Method # 8. Apprenticeship:

This method helps develop employees who can do many different tasks involving several related groups of skills that allow the apprentice to practice a particular trade. The training takes place over a long period of time when the apprentice works for, and with, the senior skilled worker. Apprenticeships are especially suitable for jobs requiring production skills.

Method # 9. Internships and Assistantships:

These are usually a combination of classroom and on the job training. They are often used to train prospective managers or marketing personnel. Programmed learning, computer- aided instruction and interactive video have common features.

They allow the trainee to learn at his or her own pace. Also, they allow material already learned to be bypassed in favour of material which is posing difficulty for the trainee. After the introductory period, the instructor need not be present and the trainee can learn at a self-controlled pace. These methods surely have a lot of advantages. However, smaller companies may not be able to afford the resources needed for them.