What’s it: On-the-job training refers to job training carried out in a place where employees perform daily tasks. It could be that employees learn by doing, where their co-workers become teachers or coaches.
Besides being cheap, this training is also relatively effective. Employees learn the skills and knowledge they need for their daily tasks and work. In addition, your company also has control over the training materials tailored to your needs.
Why is on-the-job training important?
There are several reasons why on-the-job training is important. First, it facilitates different ways of learning among your employees. Some may be able to effectively absorb knowledge through visuals. Others learn faster by reading guides and instructions or, more practically, doing it in person.
Second, training experience is similar to the actual situation. Your employees learn the skills and knowledge they will need every day. Likewise, they also use the same tools and equipment. Thus, it makes them more prepared and effective in carrying out their daily tasks.
Third, training can be more tailored to your needs. You have control over the training material and output. So, how successful the training is to support your company’s goals can be more measurable.
How does on-the-job training work?
There are various variations on how this training is carried out. For example, participants only need to start their work under the guidance of a more experienced senior employee. Senior gives instructions, and participants do it. In other words, participants learn skills and work processes while working directly.
In other cases, seniors work on tasks step by step. Participants learn it and then practice it directly under senior supervision. By doing so, seniors pass on their knowledge and skills.
Then, running this training requires you to appoint an appropriate mentor or senior. They have the experience and technical ability to match the training objectives. In addition, they are dedicated to making progress and understanding your company’s goals.
In addition, you must also define the objectives and outputs of the training. So, you can measure how successful it is concerning your desired goals.
Types of on-the-job training
Several different methods you can apply, depending on your needs. For example, it could be job instruction training, mentoring, or coaching.
Job instruction training. The trainer provides an understanding to the participants about the goals and what skills are needed to complete a job. They also explain the instructions and the steps to complete it. It can be through face-to-face or e-learning.
Coaching. The coach, usually a more experienced and skilled senior, plays the role of an expert. Seniors provide advice and guidance to participants. They also facilitate through asking questions and providing feedback to support participants to reach their full potential.
Mentoring. Mentors share their knowledge, skills, and experiences to help participants develop and grow. As a result, it speeds up learners’ learning and prevents them from making possible mistakes. Different from coaching, mentors can develop a more personal relationship with participants. Meanwhile, coaching focuses on predetermined goals.
Temporary assignment. For example, participants are assigned to work on a specific project with other team members. There, they learn while helping the project succeed.
Job rotation. Participants are transferred to another division in your company outside of their current position. They learn how your divisions work, helping them understand how the business works.
Job shadowing. Seniors who are more proficient become trainers and guide participants on how to do and complete a job. They then give participants a chance to try it out, often while providing feedback and suggestions.
What are the advantages of on-the-job training?
In addition to effectively improving the skills and knowledge of participants, on-the-job training is also inexpensive. For example, your company doesn’t have to pay for trips and external coaches, which are often expensive. In addition, when your company pays for external training, it is not one hundred percent to pay for the materials or benefits participants received, but it is also to pay for other costs such as training rooms, equipment, and catering.
Furthermore, you can also reduce costs by offering e-learning. For example, participants learn instructions through a video where the trainer shows how to do a job. Thus, this method can accommodate more participants because they can view it on their own computers.
Some of the other benefits of on-the-job training are:
- Customizable. You can customize the training materials according to your company’s needs. You can make sure it is effective in supporting their daily activities.
- Effectiveness. There is no opportunity for participants to be too relaxed to participate in activities as when they take part in external training. In addition, the benefits are also more measurable. What they learn is needed in their daily work.
- Flexibility. Participants do not have to be monotonous in attending the training. Instead, they can keep up with it while doing their daily work. In addition, they can also access all information about training at any time through e-learning.
- Retention. Like any other training, on-the-job training also helps your company increase retention and reduce employee turnover. It reduces stress and confusion about work. The trainer can show participants what tasks need to be completed and how to complete them.
- Synergy. By relying on coaches from within the company, you improve interpersonal communication. It contributes to building a positive work environment where trainers and participants can better get to know each other.
What are the disadvantages of on-the-job training?
Providing this training can interfere with the workflow when you don’t have a dedicated team. In addition, trainers are not available for work while providing training. As a result, it can reduce your company’s productivity.
Therefore, you must appoint a special employee to be the trainer. You should also prepare a backup to perform the tasks left behind while providing training.
In addition, other disadvantages of on-the-job training are:
- Perspective. Since the participants and trainers are internal, it does not contribute to diverse perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and skills. On the other hand, external training allows it by bringing it from the outside.
- Concentration. Participants and trainers may find it difficult to focus on the material because they are distracted by the office environment, especially when your company is busy.
- Habit. The bad habits of other employees can be contagious during training. So, it doesn’t just pass on the required knowledge and skills.
What to read next
- On-the-job Training: Types, Advantages, Disadvantages
- Induction Training: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Off-the-job Training: Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- Cognitive Training: Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages
- Behavioral Training: Types, Advantages, Disadvantages
- Apprenticeship: Costs and Benefits
- Employee Development: Types and Benefits
- Training: Definition, Importance, Types, and Benefits