On-the-job training introduction

How do you train new employees to fit in with the company culture? How do they come to know their job roles and responsibilities? How do they find out who their coworkers are?

Every company needs to focus on a robust on-the-job training strategy to improve the employee retention rate and better work productivity.

In short, your answer to what is on-the-job training is it’s simply a method of training that takes place at the workplace.

Employees become familiar with different aspects of their job and gain hands-on experience. Gartner found that 70% of employees believe they do not have the skills to do their job. Employee training is hence vital.

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What is on-the-job training definition?

On-the-job training is an immersive method of delivering knowledge and teaching skills to new employees at the workplace to become competent. The learning process takes place where they will have to execute their duties later on. As a result, the employees feel more comfortable and can do their job effectively.

On-the-job training has gained popularity in many developed countries. It is highly practical and inexpensive, which makes it the perfect addition to the onboarding process. According to Gallup, companies gain 21% more profit when they invest in employee training.

On-the-job training advantages and disadvantages

On-the-job training has both advantages and disadvantages. Being familiar with both is important before going ahead with it.


  1. On-the-job training allows employees to be a part of the real production process. They can learn through observations, which is more effective than a simulated learning process.
  2. Employees who train in their workplace are more well-prepared and efficient as they already know their way around. There are no surprises.
  3. On-the-job training enhances the onboarding process because the new hires get a chance to warm up to the company while understanding their role and duties in a structured manner.
  4. It is cost-effective because there is no need to hire external trainers or book other locations.
  5. The new employees interact with the team and get familiar with the company values during the training period itself.

on the job training food and beverage


  1. If the new employee requires longer training, the process will become more expensive.
  2. In some cases, on-the-job training can distract other workers and lower their productivity.
  3. Training can sometimes be rushed to wrap up the onboarding process sooner. As a result, the employees are less efficient.
  4. It is important to train the trainers when it comes to on-the-job training. An experienced professional might not necessarily be a great teacher. The company must allocate resources to this initial training.

What is off-the-job training?

Off-the-job training usually takes place outside the actual workplace. It adopts a more theoretical approach which inevitably takes up more time. Off-the-job training is usually conducted by an outsourced trainer who replaces human interactions with simulations and tests. Off-the-job training is usually more expensive for this reason. Unlike on-the-job training that encourages learning by doing, the employees have to rely solely on acquiring information.

Which is better?

On-the-job training has an advantage between the two variants because it allows employees to observe different procedures and learn their work by shadowing. They receive hands-on training and learn how to fit into the company while learning.

Managers can train the employees based on their needs which leaves lesser room for error and misunderstanding. 68% of employees prefer to learn or train in the workplace, which speaks well in favor of on-the-job training.

Benefits of on-the-job training

On-the-job training must be helpful, relevant, and targeted in order to be effective. On-the-job training, coupled with microlearning, can be a great way to onboard new employees without pressure.

Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report found that 85% of employees do not engage in work actively. On-the-job training can improve engagement since the new hires must interact and participate at all times.

Why is on-the-job training important?

  • Easy to conduct

On-the-job training is usually designed to be specific, which means that it focuses on the needs of the employees. They can access information stored in training modules to aid their real-time learning process.

  • More economical

Employee training is considered to be one of the most expensive steps of onboarding. Off-the-job training adds to the cost because the company has to hire external trainers and presenters as well as book locations. On-the-job training is more accessible and requires a lesser investment.

on the job training in manufacturing

  • Time-saving

On-the-job training occurs at the workplace which saves time because employees do not have to travel or get adjusted to their office later on. Incorporating microlearning during a regular workday is effective and allows the employees to use their time well.

  • Flexible

On-the-job training allows you to change up the training method based on the current requirement. Experiment with different methods and choose the one that is best suited for your employees.

  • Social training

Teamwork and collaboration are crucial for the success of a company. New employees can learn a lot from just communicating with their coworkers regularly. On-the-job training helps to build good employee relationships and lets new hires receive support through challenging tasks.

What are on-the-job training methods?

Finding the perfect on-the-job training method will require some experimentation.

Coaching and Mentoring:

Coaching and mentoring involve experienced professionals and managers teaching the new employees. The supervisors and employees can develop a one-to-one relationship during coaching. This ensures a continuous flow of guidance and feedback as the employees navigate their tasks.

89% of HR leaders understand that a constant cycle of employee feedback and training is essential. Executives who are willing to groom junior employees in similar work as theirs for an extended period become mentors.


Trainees become understudies when they are trained by a superior to fill the same position later on. The trainee inherits the same responsibilities as their superior and helps them be eligible for the role.

on the job training understudy

Job Rotation:

Job rotation refers to the practice of assigning different jobs to employees so that they can get familiar with the various functions and responsibilities within the organization. Job rotation also allows the new employees to come in contact with a large number of people.

They can cooperate better with the other departments. Companies benefit from a cross-trained workforce because it is versatile.

Committee Assignments:

A group of trainees is tasked to come up with solutions for an actual organizational problem. Committee assignments require trainees to collaborate. They develop a team spirit by working together towards a common goal.


The increased access to e-learning tools has made it easy for companies to distribute knowledge virtually. E-learning is highly procedural and easy to follow. It is easy to arrange for virtual classrooms, and employees can access online repositories of information whenever they wish. The 2019 Training Industry Report in TrainingMag stated that 44% of institutions wanted to invest more in online training tools.

The perfect on-the-job training method usually combines all of the above elements.


On-the-job training is an important element of the modern onboarding process. New employees can train and learn at the workplace, which helps them to adjust to the work environment. They can shadow their superiors and communicate with their coworkers for faster learning.

On-the-job training is inexpensive but efficient because it offers hands-on instructional training.

With Bites, you can make bite-sized learning material for your employees. Record instructional videos and compile presentations to make nuggets of knowledge that are easy to consume. You can share the complete playlist of videos with your employees, who can then post their questions.

The analytics dashboard will let you track their progress. Bites offer an effective and engaging remote training solution. You can make quizzes to test them or create flashcards to help your employees. Bites will allow you to cut down on training costs too!