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Unusual employee training methods

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Everyone knows learning and development is a key constituent of employees’ corporate experience.

Not only do training programmes contribute immensely to their personal and professional development, but they also help boost organisations’ productivity and growth levels.

This might also be the reason why companies around the world are increasingly looking for unique and out-of-the box training strategies which have proved effective in delevoping standard skills, such as team-spirit and perseverance, in a novel manner.

For instance, Allianz has established a unique training programme, “Dialogue in the Dark”, where employees are made to participate in activities such as jigsaw puzzle solving in total darkness or silence.

When participating in these exercises, staff become aware of how best to cooperate and are forced to learn very fast on how to best reach their project goals, while getting a different perspective of their strengths and weaknesses.

According to this Business Insider article, baby goods maker Combi adopts a slightly more dramatic approach when it comes to immersing employees in new and unexpected situations.

The company confiscates employees’ mobile phones and drops them deep in the mountains for three days with only a map.

Called pilgrimage training, Combi’s strategy is meant to focus a new recruit’s mind on a single goal (such as getting out of the mountain) and help achieve clarity of thinking.

Ritz-Carlton, too, has made its mark when it comes to training employees. Forbes cited the company as the best company in the United States for employee training.

The organisation’s trademark training strategy is entrusting every single Ritz-Carlton staff member, without approval from their general manager, to spend up to US$2,000 (S$2,501) on a guest.

The logic behind such a policy is not only to display a deep trust in staff’s judgment, but also to get them to utilise their professional training and creativity on how to make their guests’ stay an exceptional one given the budget.

Have you heard of an unusual employee development programme, or do you feel such programmes are effective in the long run? Do write to me at

Image: Shutterstock

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