What are the Benefits of Training in Groups?
There are many benefits of training in groups; as such it is perhaps unsurprising that companies are increasingly choosing to use external training providers who conduct courses in such a way.
Public training course
Public training courses typically involve an instructor leading a training session with a group of participants. The session may take the form of a presentation followed by feedback and questions, a more interactive seminar or workshop, or a classic classroom style session with exercises to work through. None of these structures are mutually exclusive: a public training course could incorporate all elements of the above throughout a day-long session. Similarly, there is scope to tailor the nature of the participant-involvement to meet the needs of the ground; as such, public training courses will typically involve elements of group work, ranging from mind-mapping and group discussions, to drama and role-plays.
Training courses of this nature are often the most effective at teaching staff new skills, modifying behaviour, and helping to change corporate culture, as they involve teaching a group collectively, which encourages the group to collectively “buy into” a new idea, concept, or way of working.
Why and how we learn better
Studies indicate that people can often learn more effectively in groups, particularly when it comes to staff training. This is due to a range of factors, specifically the availability of feedback and the nature of the environment in which learning takes place.
Training in a group allows those participating to receive peer feedback, as well as trainer feedback, thus creating a more complete learning experience. In order to encourage better learning, it is important to ensure that people actually want to receive training in the first place – this is often more likely to be the case when colleagues can engage in training together. Furthermore, if this group training is taking place in an environment that is a “safe space”, this will encourage people to further engage with the training process, to try new things, to make mistakes and crucially to learn from mistakes. Such a process will ensure that participants assimilate the key learning points.
A shared experience
If the above criteria are met, engaging in a group training course will encourage participants to:
- Foster responsibility
- Engage in sharing
- Undertake learning
- Change their behaviour accordingly
If all participants have “bought into” the ideas and principles being communicated in a group training situation, this shared experience should generate a sense of camaraderie and accountability between members of the group, in that they will have all been exposed to the same concepts and will all be expected to modify their behaviour going forward. This sense of expectation can underscore and solidify the learning experience.
All of the above adds up to training in groups being a highly beneficial exercise for all concerned.
by Carl Duncker