Whether introducing new work methods, new skills, or working on development, choosing the right training methods to deliver new ideas is important if you want to ensure proper adoption and absorption. You will often deliver the same information to a group of individuals, which can lead to choosing between delivering training in a group or individual format.
While both options have their pros and cons, you can typically review each on an individual basis to choose the best training option for the material being presented. Understanding the pros and cons of team and individual training will give you a good basis to make that decision so you can choose the best training for each situation.
Team or group training is one of the most common ways to push information to a large number of people, because most can conveniently learn together under a single teacher or coach.
Pros of Team Training
- Groups learn tasks together and complete them together. Some studies show that social factors influence learning, resulting in greater retention learning skills, which are later utilized with the same groups
- Groups learn together, reducing time-investment and costs
- Teams can give each other input and feedback, increasing learning opportunities
Cons of Team Training
- Entire teams will be pulled off work at once
- Social camaraderie can get in the way of topics everyone is resistant to by reinforcing resistance
- Individuals who require special attention or different learning methods may not receive it
Individual training or one-on-one training is typically the process of using a mentor or coach to teach a specific skill or behavior to an individual, to coach them, or to work on development on a one-on-one basis.
Pros of Individual Training
- Individuals can easily receive personalized attention, curricula, and coaching to ensure that they have everything to do their best
- The individual’s specific barriers and obstacles can be approached and tackled by the coach or mentor
- Curricula can be tailored to meet the individual’s current knowledge, learning speed, and adaptability
Cons of Individual Training
- Can be time-consuming and expensive
- Individual training does not facilitate the same group/social retention of skills
- Individuals who learn alone may not work as well in teams as individuals who learn in teams
Choosing Team or Individual Training
Both team and individual training methods have their benefits, so you shouldn’t disregard either. Instead, it’s better to choose a training option based on the information being pushed, the purpose of the training, and how that information will be utilized.
For example, if you’re working to introduce a new project management platform to a team and want them all to get onboard, group training definitely makes the most sense. This remains true whether you’re teaching skills or behaviors like Agile, which will be used as a team. On the other hand, if you were working to develop an individual into a leadership position, individual training might be a much better option. Similarly, if you were training one person to take on a new role and they were working alone, it might be better to approach training on an individual basis.
In most cases, both team and individual training are effective. However, you may find that using team training as a baseline for most skills is a good idea, which you can then follow up with individual coaching.