People Magazine

What is “on the job training”?

On the job training
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Training doesn’t need to take a lot of time with OJT.

On the job training teaches us because we learn by doing.

There are various approaches to OJT, such as the apprenticeship.

OJT is linked to more creativity and success.

How do you offer your newly onboarded employees training? There can be significant differences between on the job training and other types of training.

For example, many entry-level positions at major corporations have new employees watch a video of do’s and don’ts. You’ve probably experienced at least one job that implemented this strategy. How much do you remember from this passive video? Probably not much, which is why on the job training, or OJT, is so important. Videos can be a great tool, but they aren’t enough on their own.

OJT can reduce training time

On the job training trains you by doing. You’re not a passive participant in this type of training, but instead, you’re actively doing as you learn. There are many approaches to OJT, and choosing the right job training programs for your company is a must.

Most employees learn faster by practicing tasks in a hands-on environment. Creating a training scenario that mocks the actual job will save time rather than reviewing written materials, which may take several hours to review.

On the Job Training examples: learn by doing

One of the most well-known types of OJT is the apprenticeship. This usually is a semi-formal program for highly-skilled workers such as carpenters or electricians. However, you can create a kind of training inspired by the apprenticeship for a wide range of jobs.

An entry-level cook can “apprentice” under a more seasoned chef at your restaurant, for example.

OJT Examples

Here are a few more avenues for implementing on the job training.

  • Job Shadowing. Spending a day shadowing someone who’s doing your future job is a great way to get an active sneak peek. They can also delegate smaller tasks to you throughout the day. It’s a way to get a genuine feel for the position.
  • Mentorship. Mentoring is different than lecturing. A good mentor leads by example and imparts advice stemming from expertise and experience.
  • Job rotation. If a job demands a lot of different skills, job rotation can be a great introduction. It allows employees to experience a wide range of tasks. You can rotate jobs in a single shift, or rotate different tasks on different shifts.
  • Internship. Somewhat similar to an apprenticeship, and internship doesn’t require quite as much commitment. Internships are better suited for those who want to sample a job or role before committing to a job or apprenticeship. Opening up your company to internships might bring you some fantastic future talent.

On the job training can be as varied as your company. Customize programs to suit your needs, and get feedback from both the leaders and the trainees.

Why On the Job Training works: enhance creativity and success

Studies have shown that OJT leads to more creativity, better work quality, and achieving the objectives of the organization. Why wouldn’t your company adopt it? In many cases, it’s simply a matter of habit. If you’ve shown training videos as the sole form of training for decades, it can be tough to try something new.

Having the data to back up your decision, like increasing creativity, is paramount.

On the job training works because it taps into human nature:

  • We learn by doing. There are many types of learners, but in reality, most of us learn in a myriad of ways. You can watch thousands of cooking shows, but nothing prepares you like simply getting into the kitchen.
  • We learn from leaders. Leading by example works because we want to mimic those we deem skilled or great leaders. These people exist in real life, not in videos.
  • Reality doesn’t always match training videos. How often does a job actual mimic what we see in a training video? We need the “real thing” to learn.

With on the job training, we can tap into various types of learning. We’re being coached and guided by a real expert. That’s what people need to learn and succeed.


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