On the job training is a practical approach to acquiring the competencies and skills required for a role in a working organization.
If your day-to-day requirements of an employee involve working with specialized tools, software, or processes, on the job training can help new hires and career changers upskill faster.
This is because performing the tasks required is often the most effective way to learn. Instead of sitting through presentations or reading educational material, real or simulated work environments better prepares them for the reality of a situation.
On the job training happens at the workplace, with guidance from a supervisor, manager, or another knowledgeable employee.
It is a method that takes careful supervision from a manager or other superior but can reap many benefits for the employee and company involved.
Faster adaptation to a new role
For industries with high turnover rates such as retail, manufacturing, or sales, adapting to what is often a high-pressure environment can be key to staff retention.
On the job training can help a new hire feel comfortable with what they’re required to do in less time than if the onboarding process was more drawn out.
The sooner an employee feels at home at their work, and capable to meet the requirements expected of them by their seniors, the less likely they will be to leave.
An effective way to learn
The theory of “learning by doing” is at the core of what on the job training tries to accomplish. This hands-on approach means the learner must interact with their environment in order to adapt, and has been proven to be very effective when retaining information.
People learn quicker when they have to perform what they need to do, even if they make mistakes. Correcting such mistakes is an important part of the process, as it allows a deeper understanding of what went wrong as well as how to fix it.
Traditional, “hands-off” learning can be a lengthy and boring process, and, as such, employees may not retain much of what was taught. This means they may need correction or even retraining later on.
Easier to implement
On-the-job training is simpler to set up and execute than a classroom-based training experience because it involves doing the job the employee is training for.
Because you already know what the job involves and are supervising the new hire, you only sacrifice a little time showing them how to do it in order to gain the same result. When the employee is in a classroom, they are not contributing towards productivity, and more of that time is lost.
Presentations, handbooks, and worksheets all take time and money to produce. All you need to do is choose a high-performing employee who is willing to let a new hire shadow them, and let them show the new hire how to do it.
Productivity increases instantly
Trainees can take on small responsibilities even before they complete training, and these don’t have to be related to their eventual line of work.
For example, when your trainee is not learning, they can answer phones or direct customers, get coffee or photocopy documents.
Trainees are excellent in assisting in multiple ways around the office, and will benefit from a well-rounded education in how the wider organization operates. This in turn saves on costs, as you don’t need to hire a part-time assistant or sacrifice the more valuable time of a highly-skilled employee.
Retain good employees
Employees are less willing to stay in a role if their job responsibilities are not clear from the outset. Confusion about expectations can create a stressful environment, which in turn contributes to high turnover rates.
When you provide on the job training, they know exactly what is expected of them from the start. This means they have the confidence to meet targets, hit goals, and succeed.
People enjoy performing to the best of their abilities in a job they know they have the skills for, no matter if they occasionally meet challenges. The crucial part is equipping them to overcome those challenges through on the job training.
Evaluate a worker’s skills
A new hire may ace a written test or ask pertinent questions during the interview, but if they cannot demonstrate the practical skills you need then they aren’t a good fit for your company.
Once a new hire starts on the job training, it will soon become clear whether or not they can cut it at your organization. They must show capability during the training process in order to pass their probationary period and secure the job permanently.
While the interview stage is still just as important for assessing a candidate’s suitability, it is only when they start on the job training that you get a real idea of what they are capable of.
Attract better candidates
Investing in on the job training communicates to potential new hires that you care about their professional development.
Not only that, it also reassures them that you don’t expect them to be an expert in the role from the start. This is important in a diverse workforce where young, bright candidates may have limited opportunities to gain experience.
Offering on the job training means that your organization cares about the quality of its output, and that the time you invest into training new hires is well spent.
Ideal employees will also see the training period as a way to get to know the company better in a mutual evaluation that benefits both sides.
Nurtures a supportive work environment
On the job training is excellent for team building and fostering an inclusive workplace. When new hires join others on the floor, they start integrating from day one. This creates more cohesive working relationships and eases any friction.
Familiarity with colleagues opens up opportunities for new hires to ask questions, even after their training is complete. This leads to a higher quality training experience, and makes sure everyone at the organization feels involved in the trainee’s success.
Not only that, but trainees will feel more confident in communicating with other departments, expanding their skillset as they make connections across the business.
Transfer of knowledge
As experienced, senior employees pass their knowledge and experience onto new hires, that expertise is kept within the company even after they retire or leave.
Deep knowledge is hard to pass on, but high-performing individuals often amass unique sets of skills which are nigh on impossible to replace. By having trainees in place to receive this knowledge, you are future-proofing your business against its potential loss.
Many employers refer to this process as “knowledge management”. Retaining and refining specialist skills and knowledge within the company is how organizations become renowned in their fields.
Trainees are cost-effective
Not only does on-the-job training happen as part of the regular workday, without requiring overtime or out of office hours to complete, but trainees can often provide more value than is immediately obvious.
Traditional training requires sessions of a set length and sometimes seminars, along with travel time and expenses. Trainees who learn on the job are much more cost-effective, especially as that employee performs at least some work to bring additional profit to the company.
Train your employees with Pareto
With 25 years’ experience in sales training, Pareto offers the knowledge and expertise your trainee needs to succeed. Get in touch to find out more.