On the Job Training

On the job training (OJT) is job training that occurs in the work place. The new employee learns the job while he/she is doing the job and while earning his or her pay check. On the job training is also called hands on training. The new employee is usually assigned to an experienced mentor or guide that he/she  follows around while learning and observing the responsibilities that they will have to carry out.  On the job training has many advantages, but it can also have a few disadvantages if the training is not properly planned and executed.

It is the responsibility of supervisors and managers to utilize available resources to train, qualify, and develop their employees.

The person responsible for giving and evaluating the training has to be sure that his or her other job responsibilities are being met. Another disadvantage of OJT is that it can be difficult to find the right person to conduct it. The person doing the training must have the knowledge and skills with the same equipment that the learner will be working with. The mentor has to be careful not to pass on any of their “bad” habits to the new trainee.

OJT can be beneficial for both the company and the new employee. The employee gets to see first hand what it will be like in the work environment. They also get to know their fellow workmates along the training process as well, and sometimes, depending on the job, gets to have some interaction practice with the consumers. The business can reduce the costs of off-site training and expenses as well. The employee will also have the satisfaction of knowing his/her progress on a real time basis. They will benefit from reports knowing if they are doing well or if they need additional training.

One of the first structured on-the-job training programs was launched by Charles “Skipper” R. Allen, who based the program on the ideas of the psychologist Johann Friedrich Herbart. Allen sought to make training more efficient by having trainees undergo four steps:

  1. Preparation: show workers what they are required to do.
  2. Presentation: tell workers what they are required to do and why they are required to do it.
  3. Application: let workers perform the required tasks.
  4. Inspection: provide feedback, informing workers of what they have done right and what they have done wrong.

After seeing his plan successful, Allen went on in later years to expand and develop a 7-step plan program:

  1. Demonstrate how to complete a task.
  2. Review important points.
  3. Demonstrate task again.
  4. Let workers perform easier parts of the task.
  5. Help workers perform the entire task.
  6. Allow workers to perform the entire task, while being monitored.
  7. Allow workers to perform the task on their own.
There are several types of programs that you can apply to get into to assist with On The Job Training such as Apprenticeships, Co-Ops, and Internships.