On-the-job training has been around for a long time. In fact, there are contracts of formal apprenticeships going back to the 1600s in America and much before then in other parts of the ancient world. This style of training has had such a long and robust history because of its effectiveness. Having someone by your side, watching every move you make, and correcting mistakes immediately with expertise is an extremely effective way to learn a new trade. As we look at the history of on-the-job training programs, it’s clear that it has always been the natural first step in training a new hire, although it is extremely inefficient. In today’s fast-paced, growth-driven marketplace, we are finding that this classic form of employee education is a dying breed.

Advantages of using on-the-job training software

On-the-job training software is hands-on

On the job training software is practical. HR representatives can build content in a learning management system that directly coincides with the tools employees need to perform their daily tasks. Employees tend to learn rapidly because they are directly participating instead of listening to lectures. Additionally, ever-changing industries and roles have the ability to update and create training as often or little as they need.

On-the-job training software is economical

Other training methods need facilitation by trainers or HR representatives, but with web-based employee learning, the only requirements are a computer and a connection to the internet. A recent HR onboard study found the average cost of onboarding new employees can be as high as $40,000. While investing in employees is necessary, there’s no need to let onboarding costs skyrocket. A learning management system can alleviate most of these expenses because it’s accessible from anywhere, so there’s no need to pay for employee travel, meals, hotels, etc.

On-the-job training software is flexible

Employees have to fulfill their daily tasks, and they may not have much free time during their regular workday. However, with the on-the-job training software, they can access their learning management system at any time. Additionally, employees might not be in their dream role so they may want to explore other areas. With an online employee training platform, employees can partake in learning other skills. For example, an employee could work in digital marketing, but potentially be interested in software engineering. Thanks to the company’s learning management system, the employee can learn to code, obtain a software engineer certification, and transition to a new role. Plus, the company doesn’t lose a valuable employee that fits the culture.

On-the-job training software creates a community of learners

In dynamic industries that experience a great deal of change regularly, such as sales, creating a community that shares strategies, new content, and best practices is important to the success of the organization. A learning management system can provide a feed where employees share content and engage with one another. The online training platform also fosters a collective of lifelong learners which is essential for innovation in today’s digital age.

Disadvantages of using web-based employee training

On-the-job training software requires digital literacy

Companies that train you to code are becoming more popular, and for specific cases, like software engineer training online, users without a digital background may struggle with learning the material without an in-person instructor. Luckily with an online training platform like Lessonly, the digital barrier can be alleviated by breaking content into smaller pieces, making it more digestible and not as overwhelming for users.

On-the-job training software can be distracting

The purpose of on-the-job training software is to boost employee productivity and create a more enriching experience for employees. However, one of the few drawbacks of employee training software is that it can divert attention from daily tasks to learning additional content that may not be requisitory for the employee’s role. It’s possible to mitigate the issue of low productivity by encouraging employees to learn unnecessary content outside of business hours. Such problems can also be easily mended in a simple feedback session between the manager and the employee.

On-the-job training software may not be everyone’s preferred learning method

There are seven different types of learning styles and every employee might not enjoy online training software. Others might prefer an instructor-led or lecture-style methodology. Regardless, blended learning can solve this issue by providing a learning style for everyone. Blended learning is an approach of learning that uses both an E-learning and online employee training platform, to enhance training and retention of content. We highly encourage this methodology and believe a learning management system is at the heart of blended learning.

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On-the-job training definition

On-the-job (OTJ) training can be defined in a number of ways. In today’s world, it seems to have strayed from an apprenticeship definition by including more than just the relationship of an apprentice and a master craftsman. Today, it includes job shadowing, individual hands-on training, group interactions, elearning, federal job training programs, and more. The on-the-job training definition of today is simply learning a new craft, role, or trade while you are at least in part performing in that same role. Said another way, someone in on-the-job training is putting the plane together while the plane is flying.

Other types of training to consider

The types of on-the-job training methods vary widely from one-on-one coaching and direction to very scaled eLearning crash courses combined with other employee training techniques. This latter type of on-the-job training is the method we agree with most. It has been proven over and over that a combination of eLearning alongside traditional, in-person or at least one-on-one or small group training provides for a fantastic balance between efficiency and effectiveness. Here’s what we find: before companies integrate eLearning and only use person-to-person strategies, there is much more travel cost and time used up simply to repeat very remedial material. When eLearning has been integrated to educate employees on the very basic, constantly repeated material, it allows for the in-person training to be much more question-based and focused on deeper, more meaningful topics.

Off-the-job training

While on-the-job training opportunities are a great place to learn new skills and even mindsets, off-the-job training provides some great opportunities too. With employee training software, you can allow your employees to obtain the new information they are required to learn without being on-the-job or at the office. With today’s technologies, your employees can learn what they need to understand on any device, at any time, from anywhere.

On-the-job training examples

Job-related training examples vary quite a bit and extend to a number of areas. Some examples include job shadowing, where new employees follow a senior employee around and learn about their role as it happens. Another example is having lunch and learns, where one person or a group of people teach the rest of the company or team about the most important parts of their role and how they can be more successful. There are even job training programs for unemployed individuals that can help unlock their potential and provide for a brighter future. Another example is hosting a book club, where a group of closely related roles all learn together about a certain topic they can apply in their daily activities. Another great way to provide on-the-job training is by transferring an employee to another department, where that employee can learn about a side of the business they have yet to experience. Finally, writing content and having your employees review the on-the-job training articles or lessons, especially if they are hosted within a cloud-based, trackable environment will give both you and them the insight they are looking for.

If you’re ready to take the next step in using on-the-job training software, request a demo.