Limitations of on-the-job training
Whilst on-the-job experience is very effective in providing action-based training to assist employees in learning the necessary skills to deal with the day-to-day routines encountered in their job, they get little opportunity to develop their response to infrequent, but high risk situations. Paradoxically, it is the employee’s response to infrequent, hut critical situations that often determines the safety and profitability of the railway itself. So on-the-job training must be supplemented to provide employees with the skills to respond to these situations correctly.
As the name implies, on the job training involves employees training at their place or work.
The most common methods of on the job training are:
– Demonstration/instruction; showing the trainee how to do the job
– Coaching – a more intensive method of training that involves a close working relationship between an experienced employee and the trainee
– Job rotation – where the trainee is given several jobs in succession, to gain experience of a wide range of activities (e.g. a graduate management trainee might spend periods in several different departments)
– Projects – employees join a project team – which gives them exposure to other parts of the business and allow them to take part in new activities. Most successful project teams are “multi-disciplinary”
Disadvantages of on the job training
– Teaching or coaching is a specialist skill in itself; unless the trainer has the skills and knowledge to train, this would mean that the training will not be done to a sufficient standard
– The trainer may not be given the time to spend with the employee to teach them properly, which would mean substandard training has been achieved and learning has only been half done
– The trainer may possess bad habits and pass these on to the trainee