No matter how highly skilled and experienced your employees may be, there is always a need for on the job training, whether it’s to prepare an individual for a new role with the business or to reinforce a process that may not have been used often enough to be fresh in your employees’ minds. Likewise, a new employee may need some initial training to provide an opportunity for him to get his feet wet before becoming fully entrenched in the full list of duties.
Often, the responsibility of training a new employee falls to managers and senior employees. Need some advice on how to become a better mentor and leader? Check out this course, which teaches you the skills to be a more effective coach and mentor, as well as how to build leadership qualities in others.
The Important of Employee Training
Regardless of the reason your company has for providing on the job training, it is often the best way for an employee to learn, as it allows for crucial hands-on experience in the learning process. It also benefits the company, since they can see firsthand how well the employee is picking up the information and ensure that they get the most out of an asset they have invested heavily in. For a business that is looking to provide on the job training for its employees, there are several methods to consider using in order to build a team of high quality professionals that can help make your company run like a well-oiled machine.
Note that training your employees to excel in their jobs is only part of the equation. Every company has to contend with the possibility that their most skilled employees will leave for other opportunities, taking all the company’s training with them. Visit this blog on ways to keep your employees happy for ideas on how to boost your retention rate.
This informal method of on the job training usually involves a veteran, trusted employee working one-on-one with another employee who is either struggling or in the trainee stage. Since this is typically a pretty casual setting for a training process, there are not necessarily set guidelines as to when the training will take place. The trainee will either learn in a hands-on manner by performing the duty while the trainer observes while also providing feedback and answering questions, or in the form of watching a demonstration given by the trainer. The person doing the coaching would usually perform the same general duties as trainee in this case, although it could be someone from management or a supervisor as well.
The advantages of the coaching method of on the job training are that it provides a relaxing, low-pressure atmosphere for the person being coached, and the added comfort level may make it easier for that individual to soak up the information better. It also allows the coach to quickly identify what the trainee needs the most help with, as one-on-one training is always more effective in that area.
As a downside, if this is too informal of a process, the employee doing the coaching may not necessarily be teaching in the preferred way of management, and in doing so, is simply spreading bad workplace habits around and ensuring not everyone will be on the same page. Consider enrolling in the Udemy course entitled “7 Keys to Workplace Coaching” for tips on how to get the most out of your coaching arrangement, and how to ensure you are doing everything you can for the employee you are working with.
In the mentorship style of on the job training, one employee is paired with another employee and the two are given a chance to work closely together. Obviously, the employee with more experience and skills is the one doing the mentoring, and it is that person’s job to pass their knowledge and abilities onto their mentee. Initially, mentoring may appear to be the same thing as coaching, but while the two are closely related, there are a few distinct differences.
Firstly, mentoring is a more formal assignment than coaching, and the times for the two employees to touch base with each other is more than likely a routinely scheduled occurrence, planned out for a specific allotted time period over a specific amount of time. With coaching, the employees more or less get together whenever time allows, and it isn’t necessarily a formal arrangement in any way.
Secondly, the mentoring method may focus on more than just job-related aspects; the mentor may also provide more in the way of personal support and guidance rather than just focusing on work duties. Even so, mentoring and coaching are very similar training methods, and consequently they have many of the same pros and cons.
Job shadowing is a lesser used form of on the job training, simply because it doesn’t necessarily provide the trainee with hands-on experience. Even so, it is commonly used at universities and internships, and workplaces may have certain situations come up where utilizing it makes sense as well. Examples include when an employee will be needed to provide assistance in a backup capacity for other roles other than his primary duty, such as overseeing the payroll process, or when an employee is scheduled to receive a temporary assignment to a different position with no prior notice, such as when an employee is let go or quits suddenly.
This form of on the job training could last anywhere from a few hours to a day to a month depending on the arrangement, and may involve varying levels of observation or occasionally active participation. It is more commonly used for those who are interested in a career but are not yet a part of it. By simply studying what someone in the profession does for a day, they will have a much better idea of whether or not it’s the right fit for them, and what skills they need to begin working on to succeed in the event the career is really worth committing to. Simply finding what your dream career is can be a very rewarding first step, but actually landing a job in that industry isn’t always easy. Find out what steps you need to take to wind up with the job of your dreams in this Udemy course.
Also called cross-training, job rotation gives employees a chance to swap positions and learn the skills needed to perform a wide variety of duties, perhaps even across completely unrelated departments. This process works as a benefit for both the company and employees. The employee receives an enhancement to their skillset, thus making them more valuable commodities and increases their chances of receiving both raises as well promotions. On the company end, they receive significant added flexibility simply by having multiple employees who can reliably perform more than one job.
Other benefits to job rotation include preventing an employee from getting too bored with the standard daily duties, decreasing the likelihood of boredom and improving productivity at the same time. Furthermore, by moving around in the workplace and doing different duties, the employee will get a chance to work with different people and build new relationships and feel more closely involved with the company as a whole. On the downside, job rotation may only succeed in muddying the waters if it not well planned out. Certain positions that are not at all related should probably not be involved in any sort of cross-training. Employers must carefully plan out job rotation to ensure it is effective.
A promotion provides extremely effective on the job training all by itself. What better way to teach your employee new skills and increase his value to the company as a result than to give him added responsibility? This rewards your employee for a job well done, raises his salary, and allows him to climb another rung in the organization while also showing other workers what could be in store for them if they come to work highly motivated every day.
Promoting from within is a necessity for the morale around your business, and it also creates a trickle-down effect, as another promotion could be in store to fill the spot that was just vacated. Likewise, your company could also take that opportunity to bring in exciting new external talent to bring in new, outside ideas and a fresh perspective on the business.
Promotions always entail some form of risk, simply because success in one position does not necessarily guarantee success in the next step of the career, but taking a chance on an employee sends a great message to all workers, and will increase loyalty as well. By giving your best performers your trust and providing them with an opportunity to sink or swim at the next level of their careers, you are extending goodwill to your most valuable assets, and that will not go unnoticed.
Even simply making a permanent change to an employee’s position can provide an individual with an excellent on the job training experience. The new position does not necessarily have to come with a drastically new title, or a higher salary. It may simply be working in the same position at a different branch, or working in a different department but with the same wage and overall level of authority. In any of these cases, the employee gets a chance to work with different people and enjoy new work experiences. This always leads to exciting new opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally, and that is everything you can hope for when it comes to effective job training.
The transfer process may be an entirely lateral move, but every change in routine will help to expand your employees’ horizons, and might even give them a chance to discover a passion for a career path they didn’t realize they had before. They will also have a better, fuller understanding of the company as a whole, and this growing knowledge may one day put them in an excellent position to take over in a management position.
No matter what your career goals are, and no matter what state you are currently at regarding them, you can always improve your chances of success by planning ahead. Take the steps now and figure out what you need to do to boost your career today. That way, when the opportunity for advancement does around, you will be ready to take advantage.