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On-the-Job Training: Benefits, Examples, and How to Implement it

6 min read
on the job training

When you’re in the process of hiring a new employee, it’s crucial to have an effective training programme in your onboarding process. In fact, employees who go through an effective onboarding process are 58% more likely to remain with a company for up to three years. Not only that, but they’re also 69% more likely to be engaged in their roles and 89% more likely to understand their job responsibilities.

The most common type is on-the-job training. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of on-the-job training, the different types that exist, how they compare to other training methods, and how to implement a training process at your company.

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What is On-the-Job Training?

On-the-job training is a form of training that takes place in a real work environment and involves learning by doing. It’s a hands-on approach where individuals acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies required for a new job or task while actually performing the work.

This training method allows individuals to immediately apply what they learn in a practical setting, often under the guidance of more experienced colleagues or mentors. It’s an approach that includes several practical training methods, such as mentoring and coaching from expert employees.

Benefits of On-the-Job Training

This type of learning process has many advantages for both employers and on-the-job trainees.

For Employees

  • Practical Skill Development: Employees learn new skills and abilities and gain hands-on experience, allowing them to develop practical skills directly relevant to their job responsibilities.
  • Immediate Application: They can apply what they learn in real-time, reinforcing their understanding and enabling them to contribute more effectively to their role or projects.
  • Personalised Learning: On-the-job training often caters to the individual needs of the employee, focusing on areas where improvement or specific skill development is necessary.
  • Mentorship and Guidance: Working alongside more experienced colleagues or mentors during training provides valuable guidance and mentorship, offering insights and knowledge not found in formal education settings. This is especially the case for highly skilled jobs.
  • Increased Confidence: As employees gain proficiency in their role through the training process, they become more confident in their abilities, leading to higher job satisfaction.
  • Career Advancement: Acquiring new practical skills throughout the training period can open doors to new opportunities and career advancement within the company or industry.

For Companies

  • Reduced Training Costs: On-the-job training can be a cost-effective way to train employees as it occurs within the actual work environment. It often doesn’t require expensive external training programmes or the absences associated with these.
  • Tailored Learning: Employers can tailor on-the-job training to suit their specific business needs, ensuring that they teach employees skills and knowledge directly relevant to their roles within the company.
  • Immediate Application: Training while working allows employees to immediately apply what they learn. This practical application can result in quicker skill development and a faster return on investment for the employer.
  • Increased Productivity: Employees who go through a job training program tend to become more productive faster. They acquire job-specific skills, which leads to increased efficiency and better performance in their roles.
  • Promotes Company Culture and Values: It provides an opportunity to instil company culture, values, and specific working methods from the outset, ensuring employees align with the company’s goals and way of doing things.
  • Improved Employee Retention: A massive 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning, according to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report.

Experienced employee mentoring another

Types of On-the-Job Training

1. Orientation: Orientation is typically the first step for new employees. It’s designed to familiarise them with the company, its policies, culture, and their specific role within the organisation. It covers basic information like company history, mission, and vision, and introduces employees to their colleagues, workplace environment, and initial job responsibilities.

2. Internship: This is a structured programme that allows students or individuals, often in education, to gain practical work experience in a particular industry or field. Interns usually work for a fixed period, learning from experienced professionals while contributing to real projects or tasks within the organisation.

3. Apprenticeship Programme: Apprenticeships involve a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. This model is commonly used in skilled trades or vocational professions. Apprentices work under the guidance of a mentor or journeyman, learning the practical aspects of their craft while also attending formal training to gain theoretical knowledge.

4. Job Rotation: Job rotation involves moving employees through different roles or departments within an organisation. This helps them gain exposure to various functions, understand different aspects of the business, and acquire a more comprehensive understanding of how the company operates.

5. Mentoring Programme: Mentoring involves pairing a less experienced individual (the mentee) with a more experienced or senior employee (the mentor) within the organisation. Mentors provide guidance, support, and advice, and share their knowledge and expertise to help the mentee develop professionally.

How to Build an Effective On-the-Job Training Programme

Building an effective on-the-job training program involves strategic planning, thoughtful execution, and ongoing assessment to ensure it meets the needs of both the employees and the organisation. Here are the key steps to create such a programme:

  1. Firstly, identify training goals and needs. Understand the skills and knowledge required for each role within the organisation. Analyse the gaps and define clear training objectives. Whether it’s introducing new skills, improving existing ones, or adapting to new technologies, a clear understanding of these needs is crucial.
  2. Secondly, design a structured training plan. Create a well-organised curriculum outlining the topics, skills, and tasks that need to be covered. Break down the training into manageable segments that align with the job roles. Consider utilising a variety of training methods such as demonstrations, simulations, job shadowing, or mentorship to cater to different learning styles.
  3. Next, assign experienced mentors or trainers. Designate skilled employees to mentor or train new hires or those who need additional guidance. These mentors should not only be proficient in their roles but also possess the ability to effectively transfer their knowledge and skills.
  4. Additionally, provide necessary resources and support. Ensure that the necessary tools, materials, and resources are readily available for training purposes. Encourage an open environment where questions are welcomed and where employees feel supported in their learning journey.
  5. Finally, evaluate and adjust the programme. Regularly assess the effectiveness of the training. Gather feedback from both trainers and trainees to identify areas that need improvement. Be flexible and adapt the programme according to the evolving needs of the organisation and its employees.

Experienced staff member teaching new employees

On-the-Job Training vs. Off-the-Job Training

On-the-job training and off-the-job training are the two main methods used by organisations to train their employees. Both types of training are effective, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each type. For example, OTJ training will cost less than off-the-job training. However, training on the job allows for less control over how the trainee learns and is taught.

It’s crucial to understand the differences between both approaches to plan a training programme that works for your company.

What is Off-The-Job Training?

Off-the-job training takes place away from the usual work environment. There are many different types of off-the-job training, including classroom training, conference or seminar, role play, simulation exercises, programmed instruction and distance learning. It’s also known as “formal training” and is usually managed by expert mentors who have the teaching skills needed to drive employees to success.

Most Popular Off-The-Job Training Ideas

  • Lectures also called conferences or seminars

Lectures may be used to provide background information for other types of off-the-job training such as seminars or workshops. The main advantage of lectures is that they are comparatively cheap and easy to arrange, however, the disadvantage is that the interaction between trainer and trainee is limited by the number of trainees in attendance.

  • Case studies

In this method, participants examine actual situations that have occurred in business. The case method allows participants to practice applying concepts and theories to real-world scenarios.

  • Roleplaying

Is an effective technique to bridge the gap between the actual and desired behaviour of employees. It involves acting out a real-life situation with imaginary characters related to the business environment. For example, if you were working as a sales manager, you would take on different roles such as buyer/customer, colleague etc., and analyse the buying process of your clients.

  • Conferences and seminars

Conferences bring together colleagues for a specific purpose such as learning about a new topic or discussing certain issues in depth. Seminars are smaller versions of conferences and can be held in your workplace or off-site.

  • Management games and simulations

Management games and simulations can be effective learning tools. The advantage of this type of learning is that it provides a “safe” environment where the trainee can make mistakes and learn from them through immediate feedback.

Big companies like Amazon and AT&T are choosing on-the-job training programs, while others go for off-the-job options to keep the workspace working as usual. It’s in your hands to decide which option is best for your business to drive a successful employee onboarding experience.

Optimising Your Training Programme with Factorial

Keep track of your trainings, receive feedback and manage all of the relevant documentation from one place with Factorial.

With our Performance Management tool, you can identify areas for growth and implement training plans to boost it. Managers can easily detect training needs and create action plans, as well as set training courses for individual employees and monitor progress as they develop skillsets.

With our user-friendly digital platform, you can keep a centralised record of all information about trainings, including their progress and completion rates. Plus, you can track the costs of each course through custom reports to ensure you’re always staying within budget. Managers can also review the efficacy of each course and make adjustments as needed.

Book a free demo to speak to an expert and learn more about managing employee performance and training with Factorial.


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