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On The Job training: The Why’s and How’s of OJT!

on-the-job-training

It is no secret that employers around the world struggle to get hold of the right candidates for the desired position. In the US alone, an estimated 1 million job positions are awaiting the right candidates.

If we are to view these stats against the global cry of non-availability of jobs, it may seem a sharp contrast. However, the complete picture of today’s business world is the fact that employers are unable to find candidates with the right skills and experience to support the position and that’s where on the job training comes to the rescue of employers, as well as, employees.

According to one survey report from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), human resource professionals find some level of deficit skills amongst half of the candidates who applies for the job, whereas, over 80% of employers reported that the candidates lacked applied skill to support the position.

On job training (OJT) program is perhaps the best way out for employers and recruitment agencies to overcome the deficit of qualified candidates to resume the vacant positions. The programs essentially build about the skills and abilities of the employees in specific areas, to be able to take over positions where they are required. Find Free Technical assessment demo for hiring any engineer.

On-The-Job-Training Definition

On the job training exploits the current workplace tools, skills, and equipment to build upon an employee’s capacity and skills to let him effectively accomplish his/her job duties.

The ultimate objective of OJT is to equip employees with the knowledge and skills that are required to complete his/her job duties effectively, thereby, it not only help employees gain knowledge and skills but also help employers to have better-skilled employees equipped with the right knowledge and experience to complete the job efficiently.  

OJT for Students

“If all I do is hear, I will forget. If I hear and see, I will remember. If I hear, see, and do, I will understand.” … Confucius

Students are most suited for on the job training programs, as they lack experience and applied skills required in the industry. Moreover, students are also the most eligible candidates for such training programs as they are in the most receptive age group. However, the lack of previous exposure may make it hard for employers to design an integrated learning program for students. Most of the time, students tend to take OJT programs during their academic years at schools or colleges. Many schools, in fact, encourage students to apply for the internship program as a compulsory requirement for their degrees. The on the job training programs are ideal for students to get hands-on experience in applied skills which will come handy once they are in the job hunt market.

Moreover, such training programs also offer students an opportunity to experience general workplace standards including dress code, compliance to company hierarchy, industry jargon, professional networking, and productivity expectations of employers.

Here are some of the benefits of professional training programs for students:

  • A higher evaluation grade at the end of the program may lead to direct hiring from the employer, once you get graduated
  • The skills learned during the training will go a long way in your job-hunt. Many employers love to see fresh graduates coming in with some industry experience in the relevant field and prefer them over grades as well
  • You may even be eligible for a monthly allowance, provided you perform well in the training
  • On the job training will act as your gateway to learn and understand the concept of professional careers and face the realities of the professional world
  • You may get recommended for your skills my your training supervisor
  • Such training will give help you to make better career choices at the end of your graduation

Types of On the Job Training Programs

Companies can approach on the job training programs in different manners, mainly depending upon their needs and resources. While some of the companies may prefer to go ahead with a structured approach towards training, others may otherwise like to go ahead with the unstructured approach, and others still may like to switch to a more hybrid style of programs for the employees.

Structured vs. unstructured OJT

The structured program is what is practiced by the majority of the multinational and corporate businesses. In this approach, the company has a well-defined structured pattern of training the employee through the stages in various steps. This type of approach incorporates every bit of detail like supervisors, tasks and other checklists to ensure employee progress through the training. While the structured training approach takes considerably more time and resources for the company, it also produces better results in setting up a consistent line of human resources ready to progress to the next role.

The unstructured approach generally incorporates the company designating junior employees to shadow an experienced employee for a specific time period to learn the skills. Most of the time, it’s not just a single experience employee who is to shadow, rather several experienced coworkers to observe and learn from. While unstructured training may bring in results for non-complex or non-technical tasks, it’s not recommended to learn specialized or technical skills, which require well planned and customized training for the skills to learn.

Standalone vs. Hybrid learning

Many companies still choose to go with the hybrid learning model, which is somewhere in between the structured and unstructured training model. Since many companies can’t afford to invest the amount of time and resources required to conduct structured training, and also can’t get the desired level of training through the non-structured training approach, they may resort to using the hybrid model.

The hybrid learning model comes with a two-stage learning process. In the first stage, a fresh employee may be left to observe and learn from experience coworkers for a specific period of time, at the end of which he will spend the remaining time to go through the written material, online content, videos or even taking classroom instruction to complete the training.

By blending in the two types of methods, companies resort to time/resource-efficient and worthy training approach that can keep up with required their demands of skills and capabilities for the company.

Benefits of on the job training for employees

Just like students, there are many benefits of on the job training for employees including:

Paid training

You actually get paid to learn and acquire new skills, which will then be used to get started with your new position

Skill Development

Worksite training which involved hands-on experience is much more engaging and interesting. Thus, employees get to learn in a conducive environment; skills which otherwise may not be learned that easily.

Higher Knowledge retention

Apart from easy learning in a conducive environment, the skills and knowledge gained through hands-on training are also retained better and for longer. Once you acquired a new skill through hands-on training, you are most probably going to retain it over a lifetime, with improved performance and higher confidence at work.

Team Atmosphere

Such training methods are the best time to get in touch with colleagues and supervisors from the very beginning. Early phase training for freshmen helps build a team atmosphere amongst coworkers and develop better work culture.

Importance of OTJ Programs for Employers

Well, employees aren’t the only one that gets benefitted from OJT program, in fact, employers also get to enjoy various perks and benefits of training, some of which includes:

Focused learning

On the job training programs are perhaps the fastest and most definite learning route for employees, which means that once they are done with the training, employers can trust them to complete their tasks more efficiently and take up more challenging roles, thus benefitting the company in the longer run

Cost-Effective

International and national seminars, conferences and one-day training sessions certainly come with their own benefit, however, these programs are often costly as the employer has to pay on per person basis. Moreover, oftentimes the skills learned in such seminars and conferences when not put to work immediately can be lost. Alternatively, in-house training for job ensure that the entire team is able to attend/learn the specific skill that’s immediately required in the company, so you don’t have to worry about spend costs on individual training and skillsets which aren’t immediately tested.

Employees Retention

After finding a suitable candidate, the second most pressing problem for companies is lost employees and finding their replacement. Now, employers have to remember that most employees resign when they feel stuck in their jobs. Thereby, by offering employees consistent and detailed in-house training that opens opportunities to learn new skills and progress in careers, employers significantly reduce the chances of unsatisfactory employees leaving the company.

Benefits 0f on the job training 

Apart from benefits to the employees and employers, there are various other benefits of on the job training for the company, including:

It’s customized to your business needs

Each business comes with its unique set of challenges and skills requirements. There are very few one-model-fit-for-all professional training that can meet unique business needs and challenges. OJT enables businesses to prepare their workforce as per their company requirement, thus future-proofing their business.

Happier and Loyal Employees

One of the biggest reasons that trigger employees to leave a company is when they feel stuck and not able to do anything new in their jobs. By offering employees customized training to acquire new skills, you actually give them the reason to feel excited and passionate about their jobs, thus greatly improving their happiness level and efficiency.

Build your Promotable Team

With a structured training program, companies are able to create a vast pool of highly skilled and trained employees ready to take on the leadership role, as and when the company requires.

Attract Top Talent

Top employees are looking for companies that offer them learning and growth opportunities. By maintaining a strong in-house training structure, you actually attract top employees to join your team with passion and zeal to outperform their abilities in search of more skills and promotions.

Flexible workforce

In today’s business world you need multitasking employees who can work across different tasks with equal efficiency. Customized on the job training enable employees to equip themselves with new skills and become flexible in their work approach, shredding the concept of the bare minimum.

Pre-Requisite and Things to Consider Before Starting Off On the Job Training Program

Now that you know the importance and benefits of creating a consistent training program in your company, it’s important to create a strong program that offers great value to employees and give them the right skills required in your company. The ADDIE method is perhaps the most versatile and useful approach that you should use to create a powerful and high-value training program. This method includes:

Analysis

Analyze the key limitations of our employees, as well as, key skills you want them to acquire to deliver their tasks efficiently.

Design

Create an outline of the training program

Development

Bring in resources, materials, and methods to deliver the training program

Implementation

Deliver the training program to the right people

Evaluate

Get feedback from trainees about the program and if they are able to get hold of the skills delivered in the program

7 Steps of Effective on the job training program

Lastly, let’s take a brief look at steps involved in delivering effectively on the job training program.

Step 1. Assess Company Needs

The first step for all effective learning programs starts with an internal assessment of the needs and requirements of the company. Here, you will look out for any specialized skills required in the production, logistics or any other department, where you need a specially skilled workforce.

Step 2. Defining the Training Objective

Now that you have the need assessment, you will have to define the training objective. It’s important to keep tangible KPI for the training, to be able to evaluate its success at the later stage. Here are some considerations you should keep in check when defining the objective of the training:

  • It should be tangible
  • It should be clearly stated and understood by all
  • It should be relevant to the company need

Step 3. Designing the Program

Once you are done with the need assessment and objectives of the training, the next logical step is to set out the outline of the training, which should include every little detail about the training including:

  • Learning resources
  • Instructional methods
  • Content and material
  • Content flow

Step 4. Adapt Training Methods for Adults

An important aspect to remember is the fact that you are designing the course for adults, which mean that they will be:

  • Self-motivated and experienced
  • Passionate for training to advance in their careers
  • More oriented towards task-based learning
  • Having prior knowledge about their industry a

Keeping these in view will help you to avoid wasting time on unnecessary details involved in the training.

Step 5. Training Development

Once you have your outline and preferred methods, it’s time to start preparing the content and material for training. Make sure you are able to create interactive, engaging and task-based learning material to keep employees motivated and hooked.

Step 6. Implementation

It’s time to execute the training for which you have worked so tirelessly. To keep the execution as flawless as possible try to:

  • Schedule all activities in advance
  • Mobilize all required resources
  • Decide the training location
  • Prepare the training room with all amenities in advance

Step 7. Evaluation of Program

Last but not least, you need to evaluate the training outcomes against the KPIs set in the above steps. Some ways to evaluate the effectiveness of the program include:

  • Employees Feedback
  • Employee Assessment
  • Program Assessment

Last Words:

Well, now that you know everything about OJT and what it brings to your company and employees, just a gentle reminder that on the job training may very-well define the foundation of your business with a direct influence on its success. Make sure you keep a strong and well-implemented planning structure intact in your business to make it future-proof.