The Benefits of On-The-Job Training

EZRA
Mar 16 2021 | Insights

On-the-job training is an effective way to prepare new employees and get them accustomed to their roles. Ezra discusses some of the top benefits that an organization can expect from getting workers to dive right in.


Training is an important practice that helps prepare employees for various roles in the workplace. However, far too many companies neglect the benefits that come with on-the-job training. In fact, a research project commissioned by the Middlesex University for Work-Based Learning found that 74% of workers felt they weren’t achieving their full potential due to a lack of development opportunities. The same research project also found that 56% of HR Managers considered training to be an essential business enabler.

Managers clearly understand the importance of training, but they aren’t doing enough to increase opportunities or convince their staff to train on-the-job. So in this post, we’ll be looking at what on-the-job training is, how it compares to off-the-job training, and what the benefits are.

On vs off the job

First off, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between on-the-job training versus off-the-job training.

On-the-job training

It’s exactly what it sounds like. On-the-job training focuses on training employees, using existing workplace equipment, documents, machines or other necessary materials, while they are in the workplace performing their duties. It’s considered a practical approach to training since it takes place in the workplace where employees plan to apply their skills. On-the-job training involves learning through actually performing the expected tasks as part of their daily activities.

There is usually no real disruption to a team member’s workflow when they take on-the-job training. Things might start off a little slowly or be less efficient, but staff make up for it, since they’re learning new skills that can be applied to their roles in the future. On-the-job training is also typically carried out by experienced individuals in the workplace, or an outsourced company that works with the business. This training is typically much less expensive than off-the-job training, since it uses experienced individuals that are already a part of your workplace. The exception to this is if you hire industry specialists.

Off-the-job training

Also true to name, off-the-job training typically involves the training of employees outside of the job location. In a classroom, at home with e-Learning, or even in an academic setting, this is typically a hands-off approach, since training comes from teachers or coaches that are not affiliated with the business. In many cases, the skills taught might not directly relate to the industry the individual is a part of, and some trial and error are involved when it comes to applying those skills to their role in the workplace.

Since employees aren’t physically at work, off-the-job training tends to disrupt a company’s workflow. While staff train, the business will need to cover for that individual as they are being taught. Off-the-job training usually involves teachers, lecturers, or coaches that are not affiliated with the company they work for. This might cost a business more to provide due to the need for industry specialists.

Does it matter?

But how important is on-the-job training for the average business? A survey carried out by TJinsite, a research and knowledge arm of TimesJobs.com, showed that 40% of employers voted on on-the-job training for increased productivity and 35% for enhanced employee morale in the organization. This shows that employees appreciate on-the-job training in order to improve their productivity and skills, but also to help bolster their morale in the workplace.

Employees understand that there is value in on-the-job training, but what are the tangible benefits that you can expect from it?

  • It tackles any weaknesses and shortcomings that employees face in relation to their role in the workplace.

  • It boosts productivity and ensures that legacy skills and knowledge from experienced staff members are passed down and innovated by younger and newer team members.

  • It can increase employee morale because it offers guidance and development that results in longer and happier tenures with the company.

  • It encourages staff to be more creative and innovative with their ideas and solutions. It drives a company’s competitive edge and promotes employee involvement.

  • It enhances teamwork within the company. On-the-job training can often be considered a team-building exercise which results in improved collaboration between staff.

Boosting effectiveness

So how does coaching help? The effectiveness of on-the-job training is far higher when a business involves coaching as part of a leadership development program. Coaches work to help employees analyze their shortcomings and identify strengths. An expert coach can offer on-the-job training directly to individuals, but they can also educate and motivate managers and senior members of staff that are expected to give on-the-job training to others within their team at some point in the future.

Effective employee development is heavily reliant on training and coaching. However, without the proper approach, it’s difficult to know how to allocate training time and money to guarantee the best outcome. A good coach can be a jack-of-all-trades in this scenario. They can help you better understand the role managers should play in on-the-job training, while also stepping in and becoming educators to your staff when needed. 

Compared to off-the-job training, this is a far better solution that minimizes business downtime, maximizes employee experience, and also greatly boosts the levels of teamwork and collaboration within your workplace.

Bring learning and development into business as usual with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization.

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