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OJT (On-the-Job Training), sometimes called direct instruction, is one of the earliest forms of training (observational learning is probably the earliest,). It is a one-on-one training located at the job site, where someone who knows how to do a task shows another how to perform it. In antiquity, the kind of work that people did was mainly unskilled or semiskilled work that did not require specialized knowledge. Parents or other community members, who knew how to do a job necessary for survival, passed their knowledge on to the children through direct instruction.
Trainees are provided with job experience, an invaluable asset for achieving gainful employment. * Trainees are exposed to the numerous advantages that are associated with being employed. They earn an income through a stipend but they also become more familiar with interpersonal relationships, networking, responsibility and the importance of interdependence within the working environment. * Trainees get an opportunity to prove themselves to an employer and, based on their work performance and the existence of vacancies within the organization, they may eventually be employed on a more permanent basis.
* Training time is reduced when compared to traditional off site learning.
From an employer’s prospective, OJT can be an advantage in that it can increase the productivity of workers. Well-trained employees will be better at performing their jobs no matter what type of job they hold. Even though it is costly to train employees, the investment can pay off in the future as workers employ their new skills.
Work that is low quality or performed improperly can also be costly; training can help eliminate these issues.
Traditional OJT relies heavily on an experienced employee to provide the instruction based on what they feel are the most important topics. What is important to one employee may not be important to another. The result is what is learned may vary greatly, depending on who is assigned as the trainer. Without a structured lesson guide, OJT trainers often forget to cover important information. What is learned is likely to be based on what happened that day rather than on what a new employee needs to know to be safe and productive.
While the hands-on aspect of OJT may appeal to the practical learner, often the underlying theories of operation are not covered in sufficient detail or accuracy. Without this foundation of knowledge, trainees often learn what to do, not why they are doing it, resulting in poor decision making when things don’t go exactly right. The trainee observes and may adopt the trainer’s habits and attitudes about all aspects of the job including safety, quality, customer service, and relationship with management. Poorly selected trainers can have many unintended consequences. More prone to errors and risk .
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