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Best on-the-job training programs: Employee training advantages and importance

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Rachita Jain

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We all know that every new joiner in a good company undergoes extensive training. Not only freshers but experienced employees are also expected to undertake on-the-job training in a well-reputed company. Ever wondered why? Why are learning and development programs so crucial to your organization? Why do renowned companies and organizations spend so much on the training of their employees?

With the latest technological upgrades and ever-changing workplace strategies, employees are required to adapt to them in terms of knowledge and skills. One of the most significant ways to enhance the knowledge, capabilities, and skills of your workforce is by providing them with on-the-job training. Providing suitable and consistent training to your employees can improve their performance and enhance their efficiency in the workplace.

Learning about the various types of learning and development programs can help you decide which option is the most beneficial for your business and situation. This article discusses the benefits of effective training programs that you can get inspired from.

Defining training

Training and development programs can be defined as those educational activities within an organization created to improve the knowledge and skills of employees while providing information and instruction to perform specific tasks better.

Need and importance of on-the-job training

1. To improve skills and knowledge

One of the most substantial importance of on-the-job training is the improvement in one’s skills and knowledge.

  • Employee training and development programs help improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities of employees and help them keep up with various changes in the industry.
  • These improvements can have a positive impact on employee productivity and improve organizational profitability and efficiency.
  • Work ethics, interpersonal relationships, and safety are some of the things employees can learn through training.

2. To prepare candidates for higher responsibility

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On-the-job training and development programs also help prepare employees for higher positions and more responsibilities within the organization. These programs help them learn the skills they need to function effectively in their new role. For example, you can provide them with training in leadership skills or specific software that will be used in their new role.

3. To improve IT and computer skills

Yep! You read it right. The importance of on-the-job training is that it makes your employees tech-savvy, at least those technological devices or software they need to work with.

  • On-the-job training methods help employees learn specific computer skills or IT topics, such as how to use particular software systems that run in your company.
  • You can improve your company's workplace efficiency by training your employees to create graphs and spreadsheets, manipulate data in databases, understand network layouts, and understand computers more broadly.

4. To improve organizational structure

When you have an organized system of training for your employees, it helps them acquire skills and knowledge consistently and systematically. It also prevents your employees from learning via trial and error.

5. Improve knowledge of company policies and goals

How do you think your employees will learn about your company’s values and policies? A good training and development program will always help your employees get acquainted with your organization's ethics, values, and policies. Furthermore, through extensive training, your employees also learn about your company's mission and vision and what you do to achieve them.

In many cases, the idea of developing a learning and development program from scratch is daunting. But lucky you, you can use these industry leaders as your mentors, following their examples of creating a robust solution that aligns with your organization’s specific needs.

If you are uncertain where to begin, then here are the top five companies that are truly leading with their best-in-class on-the-job training and development programs:

  1. Amazon
  2. Etsy
  3. Pilot Flying J
  4. AT&T
  5. SAS

On-the-job training example 1- Amazon

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At Amazon, the process of onboarding includes extensive training. Each new hire participates in a month-long journey that helps them become familiar with the company, build confidence, and improve their skills.

  • In 2012, Amazon launched its Career Choice Program. This program allows hourly employees to access educational benefits as soon as they complete their one year of employment with Amazon. Career Choice program covers tuition and fees and offers up to 95% reimbursement on textbooks. Such candidates can access up to $12,000 while they are earning a certificate or associate's degree, as long as they take the in-demand, niche course.
  • In 2019, Amazon pledged to invest in its workforce, providing more than $700 million to upskill and reskill 100,000 team members. The goal was to improve employee skills and make technical skills training available to non-technical employees. For instance, the Amazon Technical Academy enables its employees to develop their skills and transition into a career as a software engineer.
  • The program creates a win-win situation that empowers employees to pursue their dream careers and enables retail giants to fill skill gaps. In addition to creating opportunities for advancement within the company, participants also gain and carry valuable certifications that add significance when they go looking for work elsewhere.

On-the-job training example 2- Etsy

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Etsy focuses on a more comprehensive approach to on-the-job employee training and development. Its offering combines proven methodologies that include organizational psychology, adult education theory, and sociology. In addition to traditional learning opportunities, Etsy's employees have access to coaching, retreats, and online resources too.

  • Etsy's employees are not only learners but also teachers. Through Etsy School, they can explore a variety of topics, including many options focused on both hard and soft skill development. Along the way, employees who teach also develop important skills such as organization, leadership, and perseverance.
  • Plus, Etsy's L&D team makes it easy for its employees to choose their path. They work with them to identify options that can move their careers in the desired direction and pave the way for their growth and advancement.

On-the-job training example 3- Pilot Flying J

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At Pilot Flying J, helping their employees achieve their management goals is the topmost priority of Pilot Flying J's employee training and development programs. In management training, participants work alongside executives and learn everything from the nuances of point-of-sale systems to how to read financial reports.

  • After completing the initial program, participants continue to receive support and development opportunities. Once deployed, they will continue to receive training to acquire new skills, adapt to organizational change, and prepare for the upcoming technologies.
  • In addition, full-time employees have access to tuition reimbursement plans. Through this program, team members have access to up to $18,000 to help them with their critical educational expenses.

On-the-job training example 4- AT&T

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AT&T offers its employees training and development opportunities in two ways. First, AT&T has a robust tuition support program, making college more affordable for its employees. Second, they have internal on-the-job employee training and development programs that allow their employees to improve their skills and help them progress.

  • Moreover, AT&T University allows employees to participate in executive-led training programs focused on vibrant topics such as management and leadership. In addition to providing in-person learning opportunities, the telecommunications giant has partnered with Udacity to launch online, self-paced courses that give its employees access to non-degree programs in courses like data analytics and mobile development that can help them accelerate their careers.
  • But the company's education cap has one more feather. AT&T worked with Georgia Tech and Udacity to help create the first online Master of Science degree in computer science. This not only benefits its employees but also other people who are looking for online opportunities to advance their careers in tech.

On-the-job training example 4- SAS

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As a world-renowned leader in business analytics solutions and frequently featured in "Best Places to Work" lists around the world, SAS stands out when it comes to L&D opportunities. Their internship programs are focused on supporting professional growth and preparing college students for the next phase of their lives. SAS combines formal learning with on-the-job training and experience to create a balanced approach to training the next generation.

  • Along with that, SAS offers a variety of entry-level programs. Through paid "academy roles," SAS helps new graduates transition into an efficient workforce. Through their sales, account management, technical assistance, and marketing rotation programs, they help new professionals hone their skills at the company's headquarters and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.
  • In addition to the options above, their employees have access to programs designed to support emerging leaders. The goal of this service is to develop individuals who can advance their team's careers and rise to leadership ranks while carving out a unique path for their reliable succession planning.
  • But the company doesn't stop there. The SAS Academics program provides an in-depth introduction and preparation experience for new sales and technical professionals, typically freshers who just got out of college. Each newly hired employee has access to on-the-job training and classroom sessions to ensure they have the skills they need to succeed before transitioning to full-time employment.

On-the-job training methods to shape your company’s learning and development strategy

Did you get the crux of the above-mentioned examples of on-the-job training and development programs? If not, then read further. These examples mentioned above have a lot in common.

  • First, they cover not just the technical but also soft skills. A combination of leadership, teamwork, communication, and many other soft skills is essential for an employee's success. Do ensure to include them in your company's training and development programs.
  • Secondly, it's not wise to cram training into a short period. Many of the examples above focus on long-term training designed to be completed in weeks or months, not days. Also, providing continuous and comprehensive training is a major goal of most companies which makes it an important component worth adopting.
  • Finally, personalization plays a significant role in most L&D programs. Employees can choose their desired career path and access relevant courses. It's not about forcing all the employees into the same education box. Customization and flexibility are crucial aspects of the experience. This makes training a valuable asset for workers as well as companies.

Key takeaways

1. Continuous self-paced learning

Continuous and self-paced on-the-job training gives employees the freedom and autonomy to advance in their careers and learn skills and knowledge that are valuable to them as well as to the company as a whole.

2. Offer tuition assistance

Offering educational benefits such as tuition reimbursement is a great way to increase employee retention, improve talent acquisition, and increase brand equity.

3. An all-inclusive internship training program

A well-designed internship program can serve as an optimized talent funnel for your company. Many successful internship programs consider all things, from study to full-time employment.

4. Peer-to-peer teaching

Consider creating training and development programs for employees to teach each other. Not only it helps with skill acquisition, but it is also a great opportunity for younger employees to interact with each other and gain a deeper understanding of the company's values and culture.

5. Interaction with leaders

Great employees are always looking forward to opportunities to interact with and learn from their leaders. While attention should be paid to the time of top executives, these experiences are critical to the personal and professional development of employees.

On-the-job training advantages

1. Increase productivity

Did you know that according to a recent survey, individuals who received leadership and training programs enhanced their learning capacity by 25%, and their performance improved by 20%? When your employees undergo extensive on-the-job training, it improves their skills and increases their knowledge of the job while simultaneously building their confidence in their abilities. This helps them improve their performance and motivates them to work more efficiently and effectively.

2. Boost morale

How do the employees work harder? Is it when you push them or is it when you motivate them? The answer to better performance is high motivation. When your employees go through on-the-job training programs, they feel like they are a huge part of a supportive work environment where their contribution is valued and they are appreciated. This boosts their morale and makes them approach their on-the-job duties with more self-confidence.

3. Reduced need for supervision

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Training your employees does not eliminate the need for supervision, however, it can significantly reduce the need for excessive supervision in the workplace.

  • Excessive supervision can become a liability when it starts bothering your employees and all this can hurt your company's reputation.
  • Therefore, training your employees can help to build your company brand by reducing the need for supervision.

4. Uniform work

When your employees are trained in the workplace, it helps you to maintain a standardized work process among employees.

5. Reduced wastage

When you train your employees by providing them with good on-the-job training, they will learn to make sound, safe and economical use of your company's resources, tools, and equipment. With effective training and development programs, accidents, damages, and equipment damage will be minimized, which will keep waste to a minimum level.

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