What is On The Job Training?
On the job training is a practical approach to training new employees. On the job training (or OJT) involves employees receiving hands-on experiences with a manager, coach, mentor, or supervisor guiding their progress closely on site. It is a pragmatic approach that requires active participation, while off the job training is more theoretical, requires less active participation, and frankly tends to be more costly for a company or organization.
Both are valid forms of training. It just depends on the focus of the training. For example, manufacturing firms might opt for OJT training in hopes of broadening an employee’s skill set, while non-manufacturing firms would be better suited for off the job training. OJT training has minimal work disruption due to the employee being at the actual office and carrying out tasks and producing the product during the learning. Off the job training inevitably causes a disruption, as the employee is not present in the work environment.
On the job training most certainly benefits employers, but it also greatly benefits employees in a myriad of ways. Employees will more likely be committed to growing their careers when immersed in an “always learning” environment. A highly-skilled workforce pays off big for employers who will have a rich pool to choose from when it comes to promoting individuals to managers in the future. That’s a win-win for all parties involved.
How corporations use online education in their OJT programs
On the job training programs ensure employees have the skill to carry out specific operations that benefit the goals of a company. The hands-on knowledge transferred is invaluable, but sometimes cannot cover everything. Therefore, online learning mixed with on the job training can provide the best of both worlds.
E-Learning assists on the job training in a myriad of ways:
Resources can be accessed off the clock to assist OJT
A lot of information is communicated in a day, and it may be difficult for an employee to compartmentalize it all immediately. E-learning platforms can provide the supplementary support employees need to reinforce what was learned in the day. Everything can even be accessed after hours, from your home laptop or your smartphone on your commute home.
Employees who want to supplement what they learned during office hours can engage in an elearning concept called microlearning when major elements of training are too difficult to digest at once. Microtraining delivers small chunks of content for learners to absorb at their own pace and convenience in order to bolster learning. The content can take many forms, including online videos, games, slides, and presentations. We live in an era of short attention spans and hectic schedules, so learning online is key.
Elearning provides more dynamism for OJT
What kinds of on the job training are your employees engaged in? Are they simply reading dry protocol documents during their OJT ? It might be beneficial for employers to distribute more dynamic homework to keep the employee engaged, providing more exciting resources like video. Video is dynamic, adds context to your instruction, and is extremely easy to consume from anywhere.
Videos can show you how to actually do, rather than try to explain it in words. Billions of people worldwide own a smartphone, so why not use this medium as an efficient way to deliver some of your most important messages? Employees can also collaborate and brainstorm on an interactive whiteboard, be split up into private breakout rooms, and can take shareable notes on what they are learning. More dynamic styles of learning will help assure the knowledge sticks.
Elearning saves time and money in OJT
It costs a tremendous amount of money to send employees outside the office to conferences or workshops. There are costs for the flights, hotels, food, and renting out a location. Also, a significant amount of time is lost in the process. Conducting elements of the on the job training online helps gather people together easily, even if they are not physically together in the room.
Employers conducting on the job training online can instead create a whole ecosystem of learning to accompany the live training new employees will be doing. They can create chapters of learning for the employees to access in the On Demand Section, filled with images, audio, video, slides, and quizzes. Recordings of previous conferences or workshops can even be shared as reference.
Assessing progress is key
It is not sufficient to simply communicate guidelines to employees, especially compliance guidelines. The employer must ensure that employees have fully internalized all the information and know the material comprehensively. With e-learning, you have the ability to assess learner understanding in real time by administering multimedia quizzes. This will also help the employer gauge if the on the job training was effective enough or needs to be tweaked.
Additional reporting beyond these quizzes may be necessary to ensure an employee has passed their training, but they serve as a good progress report at the very least. In addition to tracking attendance and the time spent in a class, certain e-learning platforms even offer a browser focus alert feature that notifies management or the main instructor if employees are not paying attention to the main browser. Afterwards, employers can access session stats that provide a summary report of total focus. On the job training is made extremely efficient by having these verifications.
Building an effective training program
OJT is key for employees to perform tasks under the close supervision of an employer, manager, or mentor. The training is used to expand the skill set of each employee to absorb them into the team quickly and ensure they are able to work as productivity and independently as possible. Performing such training sessions online can remove the personal, intimate effect necessary for an effective training if not handled correctly. But using interactive tools mixed with specific techniques designed for online training can counteract any potential downside.
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