Generally, OJT (On-the-job training) is considered to be cost effective, since it focuses upon the tasks present in hand and also does not require any equipment apart from what is already provided by the vendor. Also, it is found less disruptive when taking into consideration other training forms. This is because, instead of removing employees from their assigned duties, they are provided further training to improve their skills, knowledge and expertise.
Actual training is conducted by the supervisor or manager, coaching the employees as they work. The supervisor offers almost immediate feedback and helps the trainees to improve their overall job performance. Even employees receiving training from their seniors do get much more confident with regards to job performance. Hence, OJT is found to be a fabulous way especially to help the new employees to develop better relationships with colleagues and seniors, who use the best elearning tools developed specially for the purpose.
Some problems that are better avoided
Few potential issues are present in the OJT process that needs to be understood.
Essential skills in trainers and supervisors
Probably, the experienced employees and supervisors might not have the necessary skills to train other employees. It is often noticed that the managers or supervisors had been promoted simply because of their being good enough to manage or perform their work. However, it should not be taken as a guarantee that these employees do posses the ability or skills to provide proper coaching to the new employees. The fact is that no every person can be termed to be a born teacher.
This is definitely a big issue. Mentors and supervisors are likely to be busy in their own work and might not have additional time to spare to provide assistance to the new employees. As OJT does not follow any specified content or formal procedure, it is quite natural foe the mentors and supervisors to require more time. This additional time will enable them to pass on useful knowledge and skills as well as business contexts which the new employees will require to solve future problems faced in their work. It also enables them to respond quickly and appropriately to business changes. Hence, the senior management needs to introduce some effective e-learning and development tools that will make the task much more quick, effective and positive result oriented.
Lots of practice
It is quite nature for the trainees to take out sufficient time, so as to practice the learnt skills and become a master in it. Hence, adequate drill materials and references are to be created by the trainers and supervisors for their trainees. Early and frequent feedback is a must during the drilling process, to ensure that trainees do not acquire those unwanted job behaviors.
This important feature is often overlooked and is likely to plague OJT. The trainees are to be provided with consistent, clear understanding pertaining to the terms and concepts used in the organization. It is often seen that new employees even after not understanding a particular tem or concept might not seek answers for the same. This is probably to not appear incompetent. Hence, it becomes essential for the mentors and supervisors to repeat constantly as well as reinforce the concepts and terms needed to be learnt by the new employees.