On-the-job training methods

Training & Development

On the Job Trainings (OJT):

When an employee learns the job in actual working site in real life situation, and not simulated environment, it is called OJT. Employee learns while working. Take the instance of roadside mechanics. Small boys working there as helpers learn while helping the head mechanic. They do not learn the defect analysis and engine repairing skills in any classroom on engine models.

This type of training, also known as job instruction training, is the most commonly used method. Under this method, the individual is placed on a regular job and taught the skills necessary to perform that job. The trainee learns under the supervision and guidance of a qualified worker or instructor. On-the-job training has the advantage of giving firsthand knowledge and experience under actual working conditions. While the trainee learns how to perform a job, he is also a regular worker rendering the services for which he is paid. The problem of transfer of trainee is also minimised as the person learns on-the-job. The emphasis is placed on rendering services in the most effective manner rather than learning how to perform the job. On-the-job training methods include job rotation, coaching, job instruction or training through step-by-step and committee assignments.

Facts [+]
On-the-job training boosts employee morale: Survey
Over 40% employers voted on-the-job training for increased productivity and 35% for enhanced employee morale in the organization in a survey concerning training and development, conducted by TJinsite, research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com. A considerable share of the surveyed employers also claimed to reduce attrition by using training and development methodology. 

Employees too appreciate learning and training at the workplace since it enables them to develop knowledge and skills without leaving the work. In the TJinsite survey, on-the-job training by seniors has been voted as the most preferred method of training by 71% employees. Other training methods come at distant second; with workshop and seminars preferred by 15% of surveyed employees, followed by external trainers (11%) and least preferred manual & journals (3%). 

Mostly on-the-job training for new employees is followed by induction programme which is meant for making new employees aware of organisation's culture, policies, procedures and for interaction of new employees with each other. In India at NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation), is offering employee induction programme for its new employees and later sent to on-the-job training. Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) India office, is also giving on-the-job training with live Case study for 1 - 3 months for its new employees. 

On-The-Job Training Methods

(a) Job Rotation: This type of training involves the movement of the trainee from one job to another.
The trainee receives job knowledge and gains experience from his supervisor or trainer in each of the different job assignments. Though this method of training is common in training managers for general management positions, trainees can also be rotated from job to job in workshop jobs. This method gives an opportunity to the trainee to understand the problems of employees on other jobs and respect them.

Job rotation method has been using in the Indian banking sector mainly by State bank group for the probationary officers for the period of approximately 2 years to finally post them as assistant bank manager. Under this method of training candidates are placed in each and every job starts from clerical job, assistant, cashier and managerial job for the purpose of knowing importance in nature of every job before handling Asst bank manager position.

(b) Coaching: The trainee is placed under a particular supervisor who functions as a coach in training the individual. The supervisor provides feedback to the trainee on his performance and offers him some suggestions for improvement. Often the trainee shares some of the duties and responsibilities of the coach and relieves him of his burden. A limitation of this method of training is that the trainee may not have the freedom or opportunity to express his own ideas.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde.

(c) Job Instruction: This method is also known as training through step by step. Under this method, trainer explains the trainee the way of doing the jobs, job knowledge and skills and allows him to do the job. The trainer appraises the performance of the trainee, provides feedback information and corrects the trainee.

(d) Committee Assignments: Under the committee assignment, group of trainees are given and asked to solve an actual organisational problem. The trainees solve the problem jointly. It develops team work.

(e) Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship is a formalized method of training curriculum program that combines classroom education with on-the-job work under close supervision. The training curriculum is planned in advance and conducted in careful steps from day to day. Most trade apprenticeship programs have a duration of three to four years before an apprentice is considered completely accomplished in that trade or profession. This method is appropriate for training in crafts, trades and technical areas, especially when proficiency in a job is the result of a relatively long training or apprenticeship period, e.g., job of a craftsman, a machinist, a printer, a tool maker, a pattern designer, a mechanic, etc.

Internship is one of the on-the-job training methods. Individuals entering industry in skilled trades like machinist, electrician and laboratory technician are provided with thorough instruction though theoretical and practical aspects. For example, TISCO, TELCO and BHEL select the candidates from polytechnics, engineering colleges and management institutions and provide apprenticeship training. Apprenticeship training programmes are jointly sponsored by colleges, universities and industrial organisations to provide the opportunity to the students to gain real-life experience as well as employment. Exhibit presents the benefits of apprenticeship training.

Most of the Universities and Colleges encourage students for internship as part of the curriculum as it is beneficial to all concerned.

Advantages of On-the-Job Training:
  1. It is directly in the context of job
  2. It is often informal
  3. It is most effective because it is learning by experience
  4. It is least expensive
  5. Trainees are highly motivated
  6. It is free from artificial classroom situations
Disadvantages of On-the-Job Training:
  1. Trainer may not be experienced enough to train or he may not be so inclined.
  2. It is not systematically organized
  3. Poorly conducted programs may create safety hazards.