On-the-job training (OJT) is a practical and efficient method of teaching employees the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to perform a specific job within the workplace. By embracing a hands-on approach, OJT allows employees to gain direct experience, grasp job-specific tasks more efficiently, and fully understand their organizational role.
In this blog post, we delve into the Safe On-The-Job Training model, its purpose, and the steps involved in its application. Furthermore, we’ll illustrate the potential benefits this training could bring to your business, especially regarding safety, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. As we explore this topic, you will better understand why OJT is regarded as one of the most impactful tools for employee development and how its proper application can significantly enhance the safety and efficiency of your work environment.
What is OJT Meaning?
On-the-Job Training (OJT) is a training approach that is organized and delivered in the actual work environment of an individual. During OJT, employees learn and perform their job tasks by directly working on them rather than learning through theoretical instructions or in a classroom setting. This form of training typically involves a more experienced worker or supervisor teaching a new or less experienced employee how to perform specific tasks, duties, or roles.
OJT is often used when the skills needed for a particular job can best be acquired through practical experience. It is commonly used for jobs that are either difficult to simulate or can be best learned through a hands-on approach. It can include direct instruction, work-study programs, internships, apprenticeships, and instruction-led learning.
This approach provides the benefit of a real-time work experience for employees, which helps them understand their roles and responsibilities. It also aids in enhancing their skills and efficiency in performing tasks while fostering familiarity with equipment, tools, systems, and team members they will interact with daily.
OJT is especially beneficial for new hires, allowing them to acclimate more rapidly to the organization’s work culture and expectations. However, it can also be a valuable tool for existing employees learning new tasks or technologies or moving into a different organizational role.
Different Examples Of On The Job Training (OJT)
On-the-Job Training (OJT) can be utilized in various contexts depending on the nature of the job, the specific skills required, and the employee’s level of expertise. Here are several examples:
- Apprenticeships: These are long-term training programs where a less experienced individual, known as an apprentice, learns a trade or profession under the guidance of a skilled worker or a master craftsman. This is often seen in trades like carpentry, plumbing, and electricians, but it also extends to certain professional roles.
- Internships: Internships can be viewed as a form of OJT, especially when structured to provide hands-on experience in a particular field or profession. Interns are typically college or university students seeking practical experience in their field.
- Job Shadowing: This type of OJT occurs when an employee follows and observes a seasoned worker to learn how they perform their duties. This is commonly used for newer employees or those transitioning to a different role within the company.
- Coaching/Mentoring: An experienced worker or manager guides an employee through certain tasks, providing advice and feedback. This is often used for leadership development and succession planning.
- Cross-Training: This form of OJT allows an employee to learn the functions and tasks of another job. It helps understand the work process, develop new skills, and ensure that tasks can still be accomplished when someone is absent or there’s a personnel shift.
- Rotational Training: In this type of OJT, employees rotate through various departments, learning how each department functions. This can be useful for managerial roles or roles requiring a broad understanding of the company.
- Training Workshops and Seminars: While these often have a more traditional classroom setting, they can also include hands-on elements and practical exercises that provide OJT experiences.
Each of these examples can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a job role or an organization, allowing for flexibility and adaptability in employee training programs.
Purpose Of On-the-Job Training (OJT)
The purpose of On-the-Job Training (OJT) extends beyond just teaching employees how to perform specific tasks. Here are some of the primary objectives of OJT:
- Skill Development: OJT allows employees to acquire and refine the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles. It allows the practical application of concepts and principles, often resulting in more effective learning.
- Increased Productivity: Employees who become more proficient in their job roles through OJT can increase their productivity and contribute more effectively to the company’s goals.
- Understanding of Company Culture: OJT occurs in the working environment, so employees can learn about the company’s culture, values, and working methods. This can help them adapt quickly and integrate effectively within the team and the organization.
- Cost-Effective Training: OJT can be more cost-effective than other forms of training as it does not usually require a separate location or extensive resources. Also, employees still contribute to the company’s output while being trained.
- Employee Retention: Employees who receive training are more likely to feel valued and invested by their employer. This can increase job satisfaction and loyalty, which can help to improve employee retention rates.
- Real-Time Feedback and Evaluation: OJT allows for immediate feedback from supervisors or experienced colleagues. This can accelerate learning and improve performance. It also helps the company to evaluate the effectiveness of their training and make any necessary adjustments.
- Succession Planning: OJT can prepare employees for higher positions by equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge. This can be particularly beneficial for succession planning.
- Risk Management: Particularly in industries where safety is paramount, OJT provides employees with hands-on experience to safely navigate their job duties. This helps reduce the likelihood of accidents or errors, ensuring safer and more efficient operations.
In summary, the main purpose of OJT is to create a competent, efficient, and safe workforce by providing employees with the practical experience and knowledge they need to succeed in their roles.
the Safe On The Job Training (OJT) Model
The Safe On-the-Job Training (OJT) model is good for training specific safety procedures. Measurement occurs throughout this process while keeping employees safe from injuring themselves while learning. If, in using this training method, the employee is not exposed to hazards that could cause injury, you may be able to delete step 3. Otherwise, do not skip a step.
Step 1- Introduction
The instructor tells the trainee about the training. At this time, the instructor emphasizes the importance of the procedure to the success of the production/service goals, invites questions, and emphasizes accountability.
Step 2- Trainer Shows And Tells
In this step, the student becomes familiar with safe work practices in each step and why they are important. The trainer explains and demonstrates each step and responds to any student questions. The trainer continues demonstrating and explaining each step until the student understands what to do, when and why, and how to do it.
Step 3- The trainer Shows And Asks
The student tells the instructor how to do the procedure while the instructor does it. Including this step if the injury is possible; otherwise, this step is optional. There is an opportunity for the instructor to discover any misunderstanding and, at the same time, protect the student because the instructor still performs the procedure.
Step 4- Student Tells, Asks, And Shows
Now it’s the student’s turn. To further protect the employee, the Instructor must give permission for the student to perform each step. The student carries out the procedure but remains protected because he or she explains the process before actually performing the procedure.
Step 5: Trainer Concludes The Training
Once the formal training is finished, the trainer should:
- Recognize the student’s accomplishment – “Good job!”
- Reemphasize the importance of the procedure and how it fits into the overall process.
- Remind employees about their responsibilities and accountability by discussing the natural consequences (hurt/health) and system consequences (reprimand/reward).
Step 6: Trainer/Supervisor Validates The Training
After the conclusion of the OJT session, the trainer, or better yet, the supervisor, should observe the employee applying what they’ve learned in the actual work environment. Doing so results in strong documentation that helps legally protect the employee being trained and the employer.
Training Tip: To prove the employee has the knowledge and skills to do a job safely, have the employee teach you how to do the job. If the employee can effectively train you how to do the job, he or she is qualified, and you can sign them off. If they can’t, you should not qualify them; it’s time for some retraining.
By the way, When OSHA inspects, the compliance officer may ask employees about their job. The employees won’t be able to hide their ignorance, and it won’t take long for the compliance officer to determine if they are qualified to do the job.
Step 7: Trainer/Supervisor Documents The Training
The well-known OSHA adage, “if it isn’t in writing, it didn’t get done,” is true for any kind of safety training.
Documentation should be more than a mere attendance sheet for OJT safety training. It should be a formal “certification.” Suppose the employer gives OSHA detailed safety training documentation in written certifications. In that case, OSHA will be impressed, and this “first impression” can go a long way in making the rest of an OSHA inspection a pleasant experience (if possible).
The Trainee Certifies:
- Training was accomplished
- Questions were answered
- Opportunities for practice were provided
- Accountabilities understood
- Intent to comply
The Instructor Certifies The Trainee Has, Through Evaluation:
- Demonstrated adequate knowledge
- Developed the skills to complete the procedures
On-the-Job Training (OJT) fosters skilled, competent, and efficient workforces. OJT makes learning more relevant and effective by enabling employees to learn directly in their work environment and offering real-time experiences. It leads to increased productivity, a better understanding of company culture, and improved employee retention.
We’ve delved into various examples of OJT, such as apprenticeships, internships, job shadowing, coaching, cross-training, rotational training, and workshops. These examples demonstrate the flexibility of OJT and its adaptability to various roles and industries.
As we explored, OJT’s main purpose extends beyond skill development. It aims to increase productivity, foster an understanding of company culture, provide cost-effective training, improve employee retention, enable real-time feedback and evaluation, assist in succession planning, and manage risk, especially in safety-critical industries.
By implementing a well-planned OJT program, organizations can ensure their employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles, thereby contributing positively to the organization’s overall success. In an ever-evolving business landscape, the significance of OJT cannot be overstated. It is an investment in human capital that yields returns through enhanced productivity, increased efficiency, and a safer and more harmonious work environment. As a business, cultivating a culture of continuous learning through methods like OJT can set you apart in today’s competitive marketplace.
For compEx training, we must understand how to get safety in hazardous areas. The locations for the hazardous area are sewage treatment plants, flammable materials, and many other places of work, including oil refineries. The dust can be part of hazardous areas. Although it creates hazardous areas, a lot of companies fail to understand. Many other places dealing with food products, even flour mills, can be hazardous.