LMS Free Trial
Home > Media Center > e-Learning Articles and Resources

Improving On-The-Job Training with LMS and e-Learning Tools

Text Size  - +  Print  Print

By Mary Polley-Berte, Director of Customer Support and Training at SyberWorks, Inc.

On-the-job training (OJT) is common in both large and small organizations. It is usually done informally, with an experienced colleague or mentor overseeing or teaching the trainee. It may take place in a classroom, on the plant floor, or in any other place where work is being performed.

OJT is usually quite cost-effective, because it focuses on the tasks at hand, and requires no equipment beyond what the company already provides. It's also much less disruptive than other forms of training, because employees aren't removed from their duties, but are instead trained for their work while doing it.

The actual training is usually done by a manager or supervisor who is coaching employees while they work. Supervisor feedback tends to be immediate, and trainees often improve their job performance quickly. Employees also feel more confident about their job performance when they are being coached by supervisors, and on-the-job training is a good way for new employees to build relationships with their comrades.

Problems to Avoid

There are, however, potential issues with on-the-job training. Supervisors and experienced employees may not have the needed skills for training other employees. Often, supervisors or managers were promoted because they were good at performing or managing their own work, but this doesn't guarantee that they also possess the skills or ability to coach new employees. Not everyone is a born teacher.

Time also can be a huge issue! Supervisors and mentors may not have the time to spare to help new employees. And since on-the-job training usually follows no formal procedure or specified content (other than the task at hand), supervisors and mentors will need still more time, to pass on the extra knowledge, skills, and business context that employees will need to solve future job problems and respond to business changes. So upper management must give employees who are doing this training the time they need.

During on-the-job training, trainees also need time to practice the skills they must learn. In turn, supervisors and trainers must prepare adequate drill materials for trainees, and provide feedback early and often in the drilling process, to prevent trainees from acquiring unwanted job behaviors. So again, upper management must make sure that everyone gets the time they need.

An often-overlooked issue that can plague on-the-job training is company lingo. Trainees must receive a clear, consistent understanding of the concepts and terms used in their organizations. And even when an employee says they understand a word or concept, they may not. They will often say they understand to avoid looking incompetent. So supervisors and mentors must keep this in mind, and constantly repeat and reinforce the terms and concepts that new employees must learn.

And on top of all the above, supervisors and mentors are only human. They can easily pass on their own counter-productive habits to other employees…and must work hard to avoid doing so.

OJT Development Techniques

Usually, OJT employs one or more of the following four techniques:

How Can LMS and e-Learning Tools Help?

Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and e-Learning authoring tools can help with all parts of on-the-job training. Depending on your organization's needs, you can use an LMS to track and manage one or more parts of the OJT process, including:

About the Author:

Mary Polley-Berte is Director of Customer Support & Training at SyberWorks, Inc., in Waltham, Massachusetts. Mary is a graduate of Boston University and resides with her family in New Hampshire.

About SyberWorks

SyberWorks, Inc. is a leader in providing Learning Management Systems and custom e-Learning Solutions for Fortune 1000 corporations, higher education, and other organizations. Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company serves the multi-billion-dollar e-Learning market. Since 1995, SyberWorks has developed and delivered unique and economical solutions for creating, managing, measuring, and improving e-Learning programs at companies and organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, and other countries.

SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

Bobby/Watchfire Section 508 Approved level 1

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Home | LMS Product Suite | Industry Solutions | Services | Partnership | Courses | About Us | Free Trials | Media Center | Site Map