On the job training (OJT) offers employees a chance to use a range of tools, resources, existing staff and methods, to better understand their role, and perform their duties effectively. It’s also an excellent way to immerse new recruits in your culture and people, fast-tracking their networking in your organisation and embedding them in your values and practices.
In a busy company, it’s easy to skip on the job training. However, both employees and employers can benefit from it. If executed well, this process will help ensure your new employee gets onboarded successfully. It can also have a lasting, positive impact on your company and its reputation.
With the help of OJT, your employees can be more productive, your business will remain competitive, you’ll create a positive company culture and you may even attract quality talent to your business.
Here are four effective OJT methods to try out with your next recruit:
1. Coaching or one-on-one training
Coaching is a good way to train your new recruit. It is role-specific and seeks to comprehensively train your new employee on the duties of their role. It will also highlight what is required of them to work efficiently and successfully in the team and wider business.
The coach can be a manager, subject-matter expert, researcher or team member, but the central part of this on the job training technique is that it is conducted one-on-one, and seeks to increase the new recruit’s knowledge and practice, improving confidence and competence.
2. Mentoring programs
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial training technique in which a more senior staff member provides support and guidance to a new staff member. In addition to technical training and support, mentors also tend to provide emotional advice and support to new recruits. This is important for onboarding as it helps to effectively develop bonds between staff of varying departments, fostering cohesion throughout the business. A strong mentoring program has the capacity to build an organisation that feels truly supported professionally and connected personally.
It is, however, important that mentors and mentees are partnered appropriately, according to a combination of personality type, skill, role and career journey and aspirations. It’s also essential that regular catch-ups and reviews are conducted to monitor progress, ensuring that the relationship is both positive and productive.
Strong mentor-mentee relationships can also inspire and encourage employees to apply for more senior roles within the organisation, as they better understand what their mentor does and how to progress internally. In this way, mentoring can promote employee retention and help to develop staff with extraordinary knowledge that extends far beyond their own role and team.
3. Computer or online-based training modules
Systems like Mindflash, Velpic and Course Genius enable employers to create training modules, measure progression and test skills with assessment tasks like quizzes. These programs are an easy on the job training solution, as they are comprehensive and don’t require the presence or time of other staff. Most programs can be tailored specifically to the needs of your new recruit and the team in which they will work.
This OJT technique provides a detailed and documented way of learning. Your new recruit can then use this as a manual and guide, referring back to it throughout the onboarding process. It also provides you with tangible measurements of their learning and identifies areas that need to be further developed. Computer or online-based training modules complement other OJT methods and allow your new recruit to apply what they learned from staff, during coaching and/or mentoring.
4. Job rotation
Job rotation is the practice of moving a new recruit between different roles in your organisation. This can help to give them broader experience and train them in a variety of skills. This approach will improve your new recruit’s knowledge of the work each team is responsible for on a daily basis. It will also help them to understand who the best points of contact are for each team.
Like mentoring, job rotation can help develop strong ties between staff members from a range of departments, creating a confident and transparent group of employees who are excited about working collaboratively. It is also important that there are distinct tasks and goals in place so that you and your new recruit can critically assess the benefits of this OJT method.
Keep the on the job training going
On the job training allows new recruits to learn about your workplace culture, organisational structure, preferred processes and the specifics of their role within the context of your organisation. It is critical that your on the job training techniques include continuous education elements. This can ensure your staff feel there is an opportunity to grow at your business, which can increase the capacity for retention.
Offering a combination of on the job training techniques is also a useful strategy, as it acknowledges that people learn in different ways. It also helps to avoid fatigue in your new recruit, who undoubtedly has much to take in.