ON-THE-JOB TRAINING | HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
In this post, we will talk about on-the-job training, one of the important topics of the HRM Syllabus for CAIIB 2023.
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Now, to our HRM topic 2023:
On-the-job training is not always standard practice, but it can increase productivity and efficiency in specific industries. Not only that, it can benefit the company as a whole, from reducing training costs to creating more efficient and motivated employees.
We will understand the benefits of on-the-job training and how to successfully implement it at the workplace.
So, what exactly is on-the-job training?
On-the-job training, in short OJT, is a practical approach to acquiring new competencies and skills needed to work in a real or near-real work environment.
It is often used to teach you: how to use specific tools or equipment in a hands-on, simulated or training environment.
Instead of showing employees presentations or giving them worksheets, they learn about work by doing it. This training takes place in the workplace under the guidance of a supervisor, manager or another knowledgeable employee.
New hires who go through on-the-job training get first-hand experience of all the work practices they may encounter. They learn workplace expectations, equipment operation, and any other skills they need to successfully complete their jobs.
On-the-job training can last from days to weeks or longer, depending on the tasks the job requires. New employees often begin by observing other employees and then continue to perform these tasks with supervision.
Types of on-the-job training
- Job rotation: In this training method, new recruits are moved to other related job roles to familiarize them with different work environments. It helps them learn new tools and technologies and multitask when needed. They can also network well with other people in the organization.
- Coaching: In this method, training is conducted by a senior employee or an in-house trainer of a new employee. The intern can address their queries and carry out practical demonstrations and instructions from their seniors.
- Mentoring: On-the-job training is provided by a manager or internal trainer who is well-versed in their day-to-day tasks. The training is based on the method of individual training, where the manager or trainer is considered a mentor who guides the participants in difficult situations.
- Substudies: In this method, a senior employee trains an assistant or a subordinate to carry out his tasks and duties in the event that the former vacates his position due to transfer, promotion, death or retirement.
- Structured Training: In this training method, the trainer designs a step-by-step training procedure for the trainee that includes job overview, briefing and demonstration of the skills needed in the job role. The trainee can ask doubts and clarify with his trainer and also give him feedback on how effective the program is from him.
And why on-the-job training is so important?
There are all types of learners:
- some are visual,
- some are hands-on, and
- some do better by reading directions.
However, on-the-job training is incredibly important in today’s workforce as it allows employees to gain experience working in situations very similar to those they encounter every day. Employees will use the same tools and equipment they need to do their jobs, while being guided by an experienced trainer.
This allows: employees to learn and practice their job while they are still in training. While the other training methods, such as online training or seminars, only provide employees with basic information, not real-world experience. So, its rightly said that Experience is the teacher of all things.
So, how do On-the-job training Benefits?
On-the-job training benefits both employees and employers in the following way:
Faster training with real experiences: People learn quickly what they need to do and perform their work at a good or acceptable level. Traditional training can be a lengthy process and employees might not even retain that much information. This means that employees may need remediation or retraining later.
With on-the-job training, employees learn exactly what their job entails and ask any questions that arise while observing co-workers.
In most cases, the setup is easy: On-the-job training is one of the simpler training programs to set up. Because you already have employees who know the job, you have a knowledge base to draw from.
You don’t need to set up complex presentations. You simply need to choose a high performing employee to train the new hires.
Faster adaptation to a new job: It is essential in high-turnover industries such as retail, restaurants, customer service, manufacturing, etc. This type of training can help with a faster onset and an acceptable level of performance. It enables employees to learn the organization’s processes faster and more efficiently.
Keep good employees: Employee retention is critical in any industry. However, employees are not as effective if they are not sure exactly what their job entails. Not only that, confusion about the work expected of them can create a stressful environment leading to high turnover.
On-the-job training shows employees exactly what responsibilities they have to fulfill and exactly how to fulfill them. As part of their training process, they will practice each task expected of them and gain detailed information about what processes their job involves.
This eliminates confusion, stress and allows employees to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
The trainee can perform simple work tasks from the beginning: Trainees first start learning the easier parts of their job. As such, they may take on small responsibilities even before training is complete.
For example: answering phones or directing customers to the correct sales departments. If you have a shorthand and are busy, your intern can help and this can alleviate a block in your workflow.
Attract the right people: On-the-job training allows companies to find the right people for the job because they demonstrate competency during the training process. Also, by offering on-the-job training, companies become more attractive to potential employees who are right for their businesses.
These potential employees know their time is well spent, and employers can assess skills during training.
Team building: With on-the-job training, new employees immediately meet their new co-workers and begin to become part of the team. This creates familiarity and opens up opportunities for new hires to ask questions even after their training is complete.
In addition, trainees become more familiar with different departments in the workplace and can expand their skills over time.
Basic knowledge management: More experienced employees pass on their knowledge and experience to new employees, so that knowledge would not be lost when they leave the company. Of course, it doesn’t cover deep or specific knowledge, but at least it’s something.
Many employers call this “knowledge management”. Essentially, by having more experienced employees transfer their work knowledge, you retain those skills and knowledge within the company.
Financial benefits: On-the-job training takes place as part of the normal working day and requires less time. Traditional training requires pre-determined training sessions and sometimes even seminars which is a costly affair.
In this way, the employer saves money on training and at the same time the employee performs part of the work duties and brings additional profit to the company.
Here are some examples of on-the-job training: Training of associates, Shading, Internship & Delegation
Differences between off-the-job training and on-the-job training
It’s important that we also understand how off-the-job training and on-the-job training are different from each other. So the differences are:
- On-site training that involves hands-on experience is called on-the-job training. While off-site training means coaching members of staff outside of where the role is located.
- On-the-job training is very much practical, while off-the-job training is more on the theoretical side.
- On-the-job training takes place without any interruption to work as coaching and production run in tandem. Off-the-job training means interruption of work during the initial training, which the employee will later translate into performance and productivity.
- Experienced employees provide on-the-job training while experts provide off-the-job training.
- On-the-job training is usually more cost-effective than off-the-job training.
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