On the job training is a cost-effective way to quickly teach new hires the how-to’s of your business, and help experienced employees increase their abilities and learn new aspects of your operations. It’s not difficult to do it well, but without a plan it’s all too easy to do it poorly. Consider the following Dos and Don’ts of on the job training:
• You don’t have the time to do the training yourself, so you have the most recent hire train a new recruit in skills they just learned themselves.
• When it’s time to practice what they’re learning, the trainee is given repetitive and unimportant tasks.
• The trainee isn’t given a sense of how their role fits in with the rest of the organization. This lack of a big picture leads to a lot of unknowns and confusion about their relation with other departments.
• The trainee is asked to job shadow another employee, without developing a plan of what they need to know, and how long the training period will be.
• A new hire already has considerable experience in a skill area, but you start at the basics anyway.
• You make sure the employee doing the training is seasoned in the skills the trainee needs to know, has a high quality of work, and is an enthusiastic and engaged team member – and if they’ll be reporting to you, you make sure you’re involved in showing them yourself how you like things done.
• Company leadership sets out a training plan and learning objectives: including the skills needed for the position, who will provide the training, and length of the training period.
• There is time built into every day for a review of what is learned, questions from the trainee, and constructive feedback about performance.
• As manager, you’re involved in delivering at least some of the training – which is an excellent opportunity to develop or strengthen your relationship with the employee. This also provides good opportunities to check the trainee’s learning along the way.
• The trainee is quickly given responsibilities to make use of their newly learned skills – which speeds up the learning curve and creates a sense of confidence.
Spending some time planning your on the job training will result better skills for your employees, who develop the abilities to do their jobs well. Their positive experience with training will create a more engaged and productive workforce.