What’s it: Off-the-job training refers to training conducted outside the workplace or office. Your employees learn from the experts and professionals out there. Training providers can come from training centers or universities. Training materials vary widely, possibly learning skills and knowledge through simulations, case studies, and role-playing.
Training takes place outside the workplace, perhaps at a college or training center. Nowadays, training can also be held at home via online. So, your employees can learn remotely.
How long will your employees attend the training? It can vary. Certain training may only last a few hours. Others may take a few days with more comprehensive and interrelated material. Moreover, it may occur during working hours or outside working hours, for example, on weekends or after work.
Why is off-the-job training important?
Like any other training, off-the-job training helps your company improve your employees’ skills and knowledge. But, compared to on-the-job training, for example, it offers a diverse perspective for your employees. So, your employees can bring new ideas and perspectives from external to your company. Such benefits are important when your company is building innovation.
Then, more diverse options are another reason why off-the-job training is important. There are many training centers out there with various materials. For example, they might be technical, cognitive, or behavioral training.
In addition, this training is important to create a more conducive environment to teach your employees. They leave their daily work. Finally, they can focus more on training.
What are the types of off-the-job training?
Various off-the-job training is available out there. It can be specific to a particular work area, for example, production, finance, and marketing. Or it varies based on the materials and methods used. For example, training materials could be related to technical, cognitive knowledge, or behavioral skills. Meanwhile, the methods can be classroom lectures, simulations, or role-playing.
Under this method, the trainer asks participants to play different roles to deal with a given situation. It aims to expand their horizons by accommodating various points of view.
So, they don’t just teach them to make the right decisions to solve different problems. But, it also trains them to respond quickly to these problems. These are all important in dealing with situations in real life.
Trainers use equipment or machines similar to those used in the workplace. Participants then exercise the methods and procedures for using them.
This training is suitable when your company, for example, buy a new and advanced machine and your employees have no experience with it. Finally, they are better equipped to operate machines by training, thus minimizing the risks.
Classroom lectures take place in a classroom-like setting and usually teach general knowledge such as administration or management rather than technical aspects. Also called the lecture method.
The trainer presents the material in class, often opening or introducing related theories. After the presentation, they may allow participants to ask questions and discuss. Or they give them a task to complete.
In this method, the trainer provides a case, actual or hypothetical, for the participants to solve. They are then asked to analyze and provide conclusions or recommendations.
This method explores participants’ original thinking and strengthens their analytical skills. In addition, it is beneficial to broaden horizons because, often, each participant is asked to present their own results. Thus, they learn from each other’s points of view, broadening their horizons.
Case studies can also be applied to better decision-making, communication, and interpersonal skills.
What are the advantages of off-the-job training?
Off-the-job training offers benefits such as increased productivity and motivation, just like any other training. Your employees learn the knowledge and skills they need in the workplace. It increases their effectiveness in carrying out their current role, making them more productive.
In addition, by allowing them to take training, employees perceive your company to value them. Thus, they are more motivated and more loyal to your company. Finally, it increases their retention and reduces their turnover.
Bringing in an external perspective. If your company lacks the skills or knowledge you need, off-the-job training is the right choice. It enables your employees to bring external insight to your company, essential to driving innovation. In addition, the training also provides broader insight to overcome problems that cannot be overcome using conventional approaches.
More experts out there. This training allows your employees to gain knowledge from external experts. There are many professionals out there and experts in related fields. Thus, your employees have the opportunity to receive high-quality training from them.
Higher concentration. Your employees are not working during the training. So, they can focus more without distractions, like if it is done at work. As a result, they should absorb the training materials better.
Without interrupting work. Since your company relies on external trainers, it is less annoying than on-the-job training. The latter occurs in the workplace where senior employees provide training while doing their job. So, seniors may not focus on doing daily work during training.
What are the disadvantages of off-the-job training?
Your company has no control over the training materials. Besides it may not suit your company’s needs, it’s more difficult to gauge how successful the training is. Unlike on-the-job training, you cannot directly monitor how seriously your employees are taking the training.
Expensive. When your employees take external training, your company doesn’t just pay for the benefits they receive. In other words, you don’t pay for the knowledge or skills the trainer imparts. However, your company also pays for supporting resources for training such as catering, training grounds, and support equipment.
Lost output. Your employees cannot perform daily tasks during training. In other words, they produce no output. If you pay them monthly, the time spent on training is the cost.
Thus, you have to make sure the training generates high returns for the company. Increased productivity after training should exceed lost costs during training.
Irrelevant material. Your employees may apply for training to avoid routine work. Thus, they may opt for any training as long as it fulfills their goals. As a result, training materials may not suit your company’s needs.
Personal interests. Your employees take training to prepare to leave your company. Thus, they submit their resignations when they become proficient after training or obtaining professional certification.
What to read next
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- Cognitive Training: Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- Behavioral Training: Types, Advantages, Disadvantages
- Apprenticeship: Costs and Benefits
- Employee Development: Types and Benefits
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