Business world is always evolving and hence, no matter what your seniority level is within the organization there is a need to learn and evolve with new methodologies or technologies. On the job training methods help you to cope with the latest trends in the business world ensuring that you are able to perform your assigned tasks. It helps you understand what your new tasks are and also helps you adapt to the new project more effectively. It can also lead to accidents and waste your valuable time for the project. Every process comes with pros and cons and we will discuss about this in the coming sections below.
Advantages or Benefits of OJT:
It is a practical way of explaining the new trainees of the project on how the project and its technology works, giving them a hands-on experience. It is said that practical knowledge is more effective than the theoretical one as it gives you the feel of the process and system hands-on. You can experience the real time projects giving you the better idea on how it works and what are expected of you. Let us look at some of the advantages that, on the job training method has.
1. Simple method of learning:
Are you confused once you join a project after classroom training? Have they assigned you a different task or expectations to what you were trained to do? It is easier to learn when you can see how a project is being executed. It is the most practical way to learn and even faster to understand the methodology adapted by the team and how they function. It ensures that you know in and out of the project by being the shadow of an experienced person for a while.
2. An economical way of learning:
Is your company spending a lot on classroom training? Is the classroom training helping you achieve your goals with the new trainees joining your project? If your answer is no then your solution is the on the job training. There is no training needs attached to the on the job training. You don’t need lecturers from outside or a classroom to train your new trainers or staff. All you need to do is assign them a project and a colleague who can show them what they need to do and how.
3. Get the feel right:
You get to train in the actual set up of your work, giving you the feel of the working style right from day one. There are no surprises or changes from what you are trained to what you have to actually do. It is all the same and consistent giving you the confidence of performing the job well. You don’t have to get nervous on the fact that you are assigned for a task that you were not trained to do or your environment is completely different from what was explained to you. Whatever you see while training is what you get.
4. Immediate productivity:
Every company wants to get their new trainers onboard as soon as possible rather than waste their resources on the bench. Be it on project or not they will have to pay them the salary. You are going to work within the team as a team member ensuring that some of the responsibilities will be assigned to you from day one. This will give assurance to the company that their resources are being used right from the day that they are appointed and hence making sure that immediate productivity is achieved and then there is no bench time.
5. Quick learning:
You get trained in a classroom using a mock up work station and when you arrive at the actual workplace you find that it is nothing like you have been trained to do! You are surprised and confused and hence, your productivity takes a hit as you would have to understand the whole process again. Whereas on the job training, helps you learn quickly by being the part of the execution and hence no extra time is wasted in understanding how the system works.
6. It is systematic:
A systematic way of learning is far more effective than a random way of learning. You have a stepwise training program when it comes to on the job training as your superior will be performing the task and you will be his or her shadow. This way you would be clear on the stepwise execution of your task giving you the chance to learn systematically and helping you understand whether there can be any improvement in getting the work done faster and quicker.
Disadvantages of On the Job Training Methods:
Are you not happy with the way the trainer is explaining you the process of your work? Are you facing difficulties in understanding the process and getting confused on what you have to do because of too much information being fed to you in a little time? On the job methods also comes with cons and hence let us discuss on some of the disadvantages that it comes with:
1. Teaching is a skill that everyone does not possess:
Teaching is a skill and there are trainers who are appointed to train for the same. You can’t pick up anyone in your project and ask them to train the new trainee. Not everyone can explain the job better as you need to have clear communication, patience to hear the questions and skills to answer them. You need to have skilled trainers who can ensure that the training given is effective and is not a waste of time.
2. It is a rushed process:
Every employer wants to have his or her new trainee on the job as soon as possible so that you can ensure the resources is utilized to the fullest. There is a higher probability of rushing through the process of training, creating lot of doubts and confusion right from the day one. Rushing into the training process to complete it as soon as possible can lead to new mistakes and less efficient trainee. Every process has its own time and hence you should not rush into completing the training as soon as possible as it can lead to a bad outcome.
3. Low productivity:
You are asking the trainees to join the project and learn the process while doing a project. This can cost you a lot of time to execute a task as it would be explaining each and every step of the task before hitting the green button. You might end of wasting your time as well as the time of the trainee at the cost of your project. This will take a hit on the productivity of your ongoing project which can lead you to late delivery costing you a bad review on the job satisfaction.
4. Creates Disturbance:
With new trainees crawling into the actual work place can lead to lot of disturbances within the team. The discussions between the supervisors and trainees can lead to unnecessary disturbances for the co-workers hitting on their concentration at work. You might end up poking them at the wrong time for giving information to the new trainees causing them their valuable time.
5. Accidents can happen:
This happens very likely in a manufacturing industry where you are dealing with machinery. If the trainers are involved in the production process directly and have no experience then the probability of having an accident is very high. You need to have the right knowledge of the machinery to avoid workplace accidents and the material used before you jump into the production environment.
On the job training helps the company to save costs on training by saving on time, space and trainers but it also comes with a price. There are pros and cons for the process and you need to analyze what fits your organization or project best. For example, a non-critical project can have a on the job training as it will not cost you on the performance and productivity of the team members where as a project that is in a critical state, if disturbed, can lead to lot of further issues. Hence you need to evaluate your needs and design your training methods accordingly.