On-the-Job Training (OJT)

Experience is the teacher of all things.” – Julius Caesar


Traditionally, the son of a carpenter becomes a carpenter, the kid of farmer trains to become a farmer, and the child of a businessman or a doctor goes into the same profession. The question is ‘why does it happen? The logical answer is that the growing up age, the child learns the essence of the profession (farming, business etc.) from their parents and it becomes logical and easy to transform into that profession.


The key objective of on-the-job training (OJT) is to provide hands-on knowledge about a particular topic so that it becomes easy for the trainee to understand it practically and it can be implemented effectively.

OJT may not always be a standard practice in an organization but certainly, it can help any company to enhance its productivity and efficiency in specific areas. Moreover, OJT can also help the organization minimize the standard classroom training and related cost.

This article will cover what is on-the-job training for employees, how it can benefit the company & workforce and what are the present industry challenges. Once you read this blog, you will understand the advantages of on-the-job training and how to implement it at your workplace successfully.

Read More: https://bit.ly/ROI-Training


Competence (ISO 9000: 2015, Cl 3.10.4): Ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results

Skill (ISO 30401: 2018, Cl 3.30): Learned capacity to perform a task to a specified expectation

Knowledge (ISO 30401: 2018, Cl 3.25): Human or organizational asset enabling effective decisions and actions in the context

Read More: https://bit.ly/OrganizationKnowledge

Detailed Information

What is On-the-Job Training (OJT)?

It is a practical approach to acquiring new competencies and skills needed for a job in a real, or close to real, working environment. It is often used to learn how to use particular tools or equipment in a real-life scenario, simulated, or training environment.

Rather than having theoretical training and showing slides about how to do a particular task, the on-the-training can help the trainee to have practical exposure from their supervisor, manager or another knowledgeable employee.

New employees that undergo on-the-job training get firsthand information on all the work procedures they can expect to experience. They can learn real-life expectations, work with the equipment and any other skill they need to complete their job successfully.

The duration of the on-the-job training may vary on the type of program that they need to learn (a day, a week, a month). Often, new employees start by shadowing other employees and then move on to completing these tasks with supervision.

Read More: https://bit.ly/EmployeeSatisfaction1

Example: In the automotive sector, contract workers are employed for the manufacturing process and the attrition rate for these employees is very high. The on-the-job training for such contract/agency role employees is provided so that they can quickly understand the process and start delivering the result.

How to Give OJT?

There can be different ways by which on-the-job training can be provided. It will depend upon the level of the person, the complexity of the job, the timeframe to learn and any legal requirements. The following are 4 key methods to provide on-the-job training  

  • Unstructured: Where specialized skills or complex tasks are not required, in the unstructured OJT, experienced personnel will perform their tasks for a specified period and the trainee will observe it to learn job-relevant skills and abilities. Example: Loading/unloading/transfer of material from one location to another
  • Structured: Where specialized skills or complex tasks are required, the structured OJT is more useful wherein a detailed plan can be prepared to impart the on-the-job training to one or many trainees. This plan includes details about each task and the desired objectives. It thus requires more effort and time to implement and is often more effective in preparing new joinee for their role. Also, it enhances accountability for both trainers and trainees. Example: OJT training to the quality inspector about SPC (Statistical Process Control) and MSA (Measurement System Analysis) study.
  • Standalone: For some roles, hands-on practice and job shadowing are enough to learn the basics required for the role. Companies can use the standalone method for uncomplicated roles or if the employee already has previous experience in the job. Example: In the moulding/assembly process, by regularly watching the repeated process, the new operator can understand, learn and implement.
  • Blended: Blended learning fuses OJT with other instruction types. Apart from gaining hands-on experience and shadowing, the new hire also reads job-related materials, watches videos, attends industry training events and participates in online courses and classroom learning. This type of training is ideal for Organisations with specific processes and procedures that are required to be learned by employees. Example: When any new ERP system is implemented in the organization, a combination of OJT and classroom training is effective.

Read More: https://bit.ly/TraningNeedIdentification

Importance of on-the-job Training

As human beings, we all have different qualities and strengths to learn new things. Some of the possible ways to learn a new activity include

  • Visual
  • hands-on
  • reading instructions

However, on-the-job training has incredible importance and an edge in learning anything new. The key difference in OJT in comparison to classroom training is that it gives a

  • real-life experience to the personnel which they may be facing every single day
  • the trainees can use the same tools, measuring equipment, work instructions etc. that they need for their routine job while being guided by an experienced trainer

While other training methods like classroom training, online training or seminars give employees basic information rather than practical experience.

Example: When FMEA is prepared and different controls are defined (prevention and detection), whether all those controls are included in the control plan or another relevant document, hands-on training can be planned to make the people understand the requirement and its implication.    

Read More: https://bit.ly/TrainerCompetency

Where on-the-Job Training may be needed?

  • New Joinee
  • Job Rotation
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • 4M Change (Man, Machine, Material, Method)

Read More: https://bit.ly/CompetencyMapping1

Benefits of OJT

On-the-job training benefits both employees and employers. Some of the key benefits of on-the-job training are highlighted below.

–         Retention of Knowledge Management

When the experienced employees share their knowledge and experience with the new employees, it remains preserves even if they leave the company. Although the knowledge transfer may not cover deep or specific knowledge still it is useful.

  • Effective Training with Real Experience

Traditional training can be a lengthy process, and employees may not retain much information. This means employees may need correction or retraining later on.

A typical classroom training may be relevant in some cases but in the majority of the cases, people learn quickly what they need to do and perform their job when they get hands-on training. With on-the-job training, employees learn precisely what their job entails and ask any questions that arise while shadowing coworkers.

Read More: https://bit.ly/Kirkpatrick4LevelModel

  • Faster Adaptation to a New Job

In present times, employee attrition is very high at all levels, especially in some sectors like retail, restaurants, door to door delivery. OJT can help with faster onboarding and getting an acceptable level of performance. It allows employees to learn processes in their organization faster and more efficiently.

In many organizations, for easier jobs like answering the call, loading/unloading, directing someone to the right person etc., OJT can be an easy route to train.

–         Employee Retention

Retention of a good employee is always crucial in any industry. However, when the employees are not clear about their job profile, what is expected out of them and how they can perform their duties effectively, the motivation level of good employees goes down and they tend to leave.

On-the-job training helps the employees to know exactly what they’re expected to complete and exactly how to complete them. This eliminates confusion, and stress, and allows employees to perform their job to the best of their abilities.

–         Team Building

With on-the-job training, new employees meet their new coworkers and this creates familiarity and opens up opportunities for new employees to ask questions, even if their training is complete. Additionally, trainees become more familiar with various work processes and can expand their skill set over time.

–         Financial benefits

For the OJT, there is no additional time or space required as it happens as part of the routine and requires less time. While traditional training requires defined training sessions and space. Thus, the employer saves money on training, and at the same time, the employee performs some of the work duties and brings additional profit to the company.

Possible Disadvantages of OJT

  • When the new employee doesn’t have the required skills and OJT may result in more cost and time for the organization
  • Can often cause distraction from the regular working day which can affect productivity
  • Safety hazard and could lead to injury if not adequately trained for safety precautions
  • Loss of assets in case of any misuse

Read More: https://bit.ly/CompetencyRequirement

Industry Challenges:

  • How often on-job-training are systematically planned?
  • How often the effectiveness of the OJT is monitored and evaluated for improvement?
  • How often OJT is conducted by qualified personnel?

Read More: https://bit.ly/DifferenceCoachingMentoring


ISO 9001: 2015

ISO 9002: 2016

ISO 9004: 2018

IATF 16949: 2016

Industry Experts

This is the 170th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.” I invite you to ask anything about the above subject. Questions and answers are the lifeblood of learning, and we are all learning. I will answer all questions to the best of my ability and promise to keep personal information confidential.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments