The Benefits of On-The-Job Training
On-the-job training is an effective way to prepare new employees and get them accustomed to their roles. Ezra discusses some of the top benefits that an organization can expect from getting workers to dive right in.
Training is an important practice that helps prepare employees for various roles in the workplace. However, far too many companies neglect the benefits that come with on-the-job training. In fact, a research project commissioned by the Middlesex University for Work-Based Learning found that 74% of workers felt they weren’t achieving their full potential due to a lack of development opportunities. The same research project also found that 56% of HR Managers considered training to be an essential business enabler.
This shows that managers understand the importance of training, but they aren’t doing enough to increase opportunities or convince their staff to take advantage of on-the-job training. So in this post, we’ll be looking at what on-the-job training is, how it compares to off-the-job training, and what the benefits are.
On vs off the job
To start, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between on-the-job training versus off-the-job training.
As the term suggests, on-the-job training focuses on training employees while they are at the workplace performing their duties. This is considered a practical approach to training because it takes place in the workplace that they plan to use the skills. It involves learning through actually performing the tasks that are expected of the individual as part of their daily activities.
Typically, there is no real disruption to an individual’s workflow when they take on-the-job training. While they may work a little slowly or be less efficient, they make up for it because they’re learning new skills that can be applied to their role in the future. On-the-job training is also typically carried out by experienced individuals in the workplace, or an outsourced company that works with the business. The cost of on-the-job training is typically much lower than off-the-job training since it uses experienced individuals that are already a part of your workplace. The exception to this is if you hire industry specialists.
Off-the-job training typically involves the training of employees outside of the job location. This can mean a classroom, at home with an e-Learning course, or even in an academic setting. This is typically a hands-off approach because the training comes from teachers or coaches that are not affiliated with the business that the individual works for. In many cases, the skills taught might not be directly related to the industry the individual is a part of, and some trial and error are involved when it comes to applying those skills to their role in the workplace.
Off-the-job training tends to disrupt a company’s workflow because the individual is not engaging in their role in the workplace. Since they are typically not in the workplace at the time, it means the business will need to cover for that individual as they are being taught. Off-the-job training usually involves teachers, lecturers, or coaches that are not affiliated with the company they work for. Lastly, the cost of off-the-job training is typically higher due to the need for industry specialists.
On-the-job training typically requires the use of existing workplace equipment, documents, machines, and employees. It takes place within the workplace itself and the individual being trained will usually be carrying out their regular daily tasks, albeit with a reduced workload to compensate for the training.
Before any on-the-job training takes place, it’s important to communicate with all involved parties to establish the best course of action. This means speaking with both the individual to be taught and the employee that will do the teaching.
Does it matter?
But how important is on-the-job training for the average business? A survey carried out by TJinsite, a research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com, showed that 40% of employers voted on on-the-job training for increased productivity and 35% for enhanced employee morale in the organization. This shows that employees appreciate on-the-job training in order to improve their productivity and skills, but also to help bolster their morale in the workplace.
Employees understand that there is value in on-the-job training, but what are the tangible benefits that you can expect from it?
- It tackles any weaknesses and shortcomings that employees face in relation to their role in the workplace.
- It boosts productivity and ensures that legacy skills and knowledge from experienced staff members are passed down and innovated by younger and newer team members.
- It can increase employee morale because it offers guidance and development that results in longer and happier tenures with the company.
- It encourages staff to be more creative and innovative with their ideas and solutions. It drives a company’s competitive edge and promotes employee involvement.
- It enhances teamwork within the company. On-the-job training can often be considered a team-building exercise which results in improved collaboration between staff.
The effectiveness of on-the-job training is far higher when a business involves coaching as part of a leadership development program. Coaches are an essential component when it comes to employee development and growth because it gives them a way to analyze their shortcomings and identify strengths. An expert coach can offer on-the-job training directly to individuals, but they can also educate and motivate managers and senior members of staff that are expected to give on-the-job training to others within their team at some point in the future.
Effective employee development is heavily reliant on training and coaching. However, without the proper approach, it’s difficult to understand the best ways to utilize time and monetary investment. Good leadership coaching can help you better understand the role of managers when utilizing on-the-job training, but they can also step in and become the educator to your staff as well.
Compared to off-the-job training, this is a far better solution that minimizes business downtime, maximizes employee experience, and also greatly boosts the levels of teamwork and collaboration within your workplace.