On-the-job training isn’t really standard in most industries. But industries like business process outsourcing, manufacturing and IT can benefit from this method.
In the article, we talk about how to create an OJT program for employees, and what its benefits are.
What is On-the-Job Training?
An OJT, also known as on-the-job training, is a method of learning new skills and competencies while working. It aims to provide insights to employees to do their job in a supportive working environment.
On-the-job training allows new hires to take a first-hand look at all the work tasks they will encounter. They learn about workplace norms, equipment, and any other skills needed to do their job well.
It is vital to know what on-the-job training is as it lets individuals learn while working in their current setting. The main goal of the OJT program is to persuade employers to hire a candidate. Other than that, the goal is to upgrade the skill-set of an existing worker.
Learning about the company policies and using inventory systems effectively is part of the OJT training program. Filling out the business expenses for reimbursement is another purpose of OJT.
On-the-Job Training vs. Off-the-Job Training
On-the-job training is a type of training conducted at the workplace while the employee is doing their job.
On the other hand, off-the-job training occurs when employees are provided instruction outside their typical working environment.
There is no work disturbance during on-the-job training because training and production go hand-in-hand. However, work is hampered in off-the-job training since instruction is delivered first, followed by the actual performance of work tasks. Off-the-job training takes place away from the workplace, removing the stress of day-to-day work.
Both methods are fit for different roles and it is up to management to figure out which processes require which type of training.
On-the-Job Training Methods
Mentoring is the development of a long-term relationship between a manager and an employee. It allows the new hires to grasp how the business plans to achieve its objectives. The strategy lets mentors figure out what the new employees need to enhance their performance. Further, it identifies the issues and weaknesses to address. After that, the mentor can recommend appropriate training to the new employees. They may also offer the opportunity to work on unique procedures or projects that demand the new hire’s unique skill-set.
Coaching is one of the training methods for employees that help identify their strengths and weaknesses. In coaching, senior management plays this leadership role and provides the trainees their job-related knowledge and skills. The coach expects the players to perform to the best of their abilities. They teach them how to fix issues proactively so that they may perform well through training on the job.
Coaching provides an opportunity for high-level involvement and quick performance feedback. Further, coaching can help in identifying the weaknesses of the individual and in reviewing the performance thoroughly. However, not all managers turn out to be good trainers and it is important to keep track of their performance as coaches.
Job Instructions Procedure
Four steps can be taken for formulating job instructions procedure, as follows.
- Planning: The stage involves a written summary of the work to be done. Both the trainer and the trainees must focus on creating this document to improve job familiarity.
- Good Environment: The next step is to create an environment for the trainees. A good environment allows them to get familiar with the training program and available resources.
- Trial: In this step, the managers or trainers provide the trainees with constant and on-the-spot feedback.
- Follow-up: The trainer monitors the trainee regularly after the training program finishes. It ensures the employees do not develop poor work habits.
The trainees must perform various tasks in a department on a rotational basis. It allows them to gain a broad range of skills. In turn, this helps them when they get to senior-level job positions. Job rotation allows the trainers to get rid of monotonous work routines and enhance cooperation across departments.
Vertical or horizontal rotation of jobs can help companies. Hence, the promotion of a worker into a new position is known as vertical rotation. As per needs, horizontal job transfers can take place. On similar lines, it can help in testing the competence and talent of managers. In this way, the company can make effective use of its managers in challenging situations.
What Is The Right Time to Start an OJT?
The right time to start OJT is during policy changes and new policy implementation. A company should plan on-the-job training to improve the learning curve if company policies are in flux.
Benefits of On-the-Job Training
A large number of companies recognize the importance of on-the-job training. Here are some of the notable benefits of OJT programs.
Easy and Cost-Effective
One of the most appealing benefits of training on the job is its simplicity and effectiveness. Other training methods may need a large number of learning resources and the presence of a qualified instructor. On-the-job training requires a more experienced employee who may instruct a new hire on discharging their responsibilities effectively.
Therefore, on-the-job training methods can help teach the new employees the necessary skills without affecting the regular work at the office.
An employee with significant real-world experience can supervise new employees. Allot the company’s best employees to provide training on the job to newly hired individuals in the organizational environment.
Retention of Employees
In any industry, employee retention is a critical aspect. But employees are less productive if they are unaware of what their job entails. Lack of clarity regarding the job role and responsibilities can lead to a tense work environment and high employee turnover. Studies about on-the-job training state that OJT creates awareness. On-the-job training plays a vital role in making the employees aware of the tasks they have to perform. Subsequently, it manages the stress of a new job learning curve and helps in keeping the employees engaged longer.
Employees practice the tasks allotted to them during their training phase, which prepares them for the future. On-the-job training helps the employees in tackling uncertainty and stress. In this way, employees can perform their jobs in the best possible manner.
Attracting the Best Talent Pool
Companies can attract suitable employees for desired positions by conducting OJ training. OJT also makes the companies appear appealing to potential candidates. Moreover, employees can analyze the capabilities of the individuals through training on the job better.
Creating a Team Atmosphere
OJT can allow the company to establish direct contact among new employees and superiors. Working directly with the team will let the new hires get to know their co-workers in a relaxed environment. It would create a deeper understanding of the company culture. The employees get to upgrade their skill set according to market and business changes.
Difference Between Structured OJT and Unstructured OJT
A business can plan how a new hire moves through several training steps using an organized OJT program. It usually includes a task list, information about who will monitor each task, and the training’s desired outcomes. Some on-the-job training programs involve a training supervisor or a contract that the employees must sign to complete their training.
Unstructured OJT usually entails spending days or weeks on the job shadowing an experienced employee. You might observe a single employee or several different co-workers learn the skills you need for the job. On the other hand, structured on-the-job training programs take more time and effort to set up.
However, the OJT program properly equips employees for new functions. A defined OJT strategy also provides more accountability for both you and your trainers.
How To Create a Successful On-the-Job Training Program
On-the-job training programs help in building flexibility and extending the ability of the employees. The ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) method can help create a successful on-the-job training program. It is not difficult to formulate a training program if you break it down into reasonable steps.
When you are starting a new training program, the ADDIE method comes in handy.
Assessment of Employees and Required Skills for Job Role
Assessment and analysis are vital aspects of any training program. They help in identifying the skills and knowledge that employees must learn. Also, they can be handy to learn if the company has qualified people to train the new employees or not. It is vital to know the long-term goals and align the assessment and skill upgrade program with them.
Determining the individual demands of specific employees and tasks is part of the assessment process. Managers and trainees can start by making a list of hard and soft skills required for a specified position. They can identify the ideal employees effectively through regular assessment. Further, they can formulate a list that contains information about skills new employees possess when they first arrive.
It is vital to analyze the necessary tools and systems before creating a training program. In addition, simplify systems to get rid of any vague communication. Additionally, discard outdated technologies and replace them with the latest technological advancements at every step.
Training Program Design
Determine which resources are most appropriate for your goals and workplace. There are possibilities for classroom training, coaching, and organized programs. Structured on-the-job training programs are the most basic and task-oriented.
They are beneficial to employees who do repetitive duties, such as those in an industrial setting. The trainer and the employees can work using a checklist that includes all the necessary tasks. After the new hire has proved the required expertise, they are permitted to begin working.
Choosing the Appropriate Material for Training
Companies should use verified resources and materials to train the employee. Some verified material can include industry resources, online courses, company handbooks, and other outreach programs.
Further, it is helpful to provide material with some on-the-job training examples for clarity.
Frequency of Training On the Job
The frequency of OJT should be high as employees must stay aware of the market and business changes. Further, the organization should create a new employee training plan template for on-the-job training programs.
Key components representing the managers and trainers can monitor the employee training. Managers can come up with a method to measure employee progress after each session. Before the employee moves on to the next phase, each aim should have a defined success line to reach.
Choosing the Right Trainers for Job Training
It is not easy to put together a training program for the new employees. Moreover, it is vital to ensure that the right people are put in place to conduct the training. Companies can appoint a manager, a co-worker, a mentor, or a training expert to conduct OJT.
They can also outsource their training and learning on the job. Some organizations might lack the desired resources or skills to impart the training effectively. In this case, outsourcing the training can be beneficial for training the new employees.
Feedback of On-The-Job Training at Work
Employee feedback can help to determine the efficacy and success of an on-the-job training program. A survey can check the efficiency and validity of the new training program. Thus, surveying the training program or a few months after the training program majorly benefits the organization.
After analyzing the employee’s work, identify the areas where they can improve. Such measures have a positive impact on their performance and the overall growth of the company.
Lastly, consider hiring employee retention and observation managers. Through them, the company can gain awareness about matters across departments.
Is On-The-Job Training the Best Road to Take for Your Business?
OJT focuses on enhancing the productivity and efficiency of employees, which can benefit the company in both the long and short run. Further, OJT programs provide hands-on experience and instructions to individuals in an actual work environment.
The ADDIE method can also effectively analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate on-the-job training. It can be employed to create a successful on-the-job training program.
But the base of any successful program is the humans involved in it. Be sure to have a system in place to monitor the performance of trainers and management, not just the trainee.