12 on-the-job training advantages when starting a new role

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022 | Published 30 November 2021

Updated 30 September 2022

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

On-the-job training allows you to learn practical skills related to your new role. New employees receive training from long-standing co-workers or supervisors who can help them navigate their position in the workplace. Understanding the type of job training you may receive can help you determine what other skills you possess that may be beneficial for the role. In this article, we discuss what on-the-job training means and what training advantages there are when pursuing specific roles.

On-the-job training advantages

On-the-job training offers many advantages for employees, such as understanding how machinery work, what program the company use and how to perform the role efficiently. It may be a better option than reading manuals, attending conferences or listening to guest speakers, as it can give you more insight into what the role may entail when you begin work. When divided into targeted micro-learning modules, the opportunities to grow your skill set and contribute to your personal development are endless. Advantages of on-the-job training may include:

1. Professional supervision ensures you remain on target

It's important to remember that, as a new employee, it's normal to make mistakes in the beginning. Expert supervision allows you to minimise this possibility and ensures you remain safe in the workplace. This is particularly crucial if your new job requires you to use specialised equipment or heavy machinery.

Experienced staff members can teach you the proper protocol and methodologies. This way, you're less likely to pick up bad habits or make mistakes. Professional supervision also acts as a safety net, so that you have someone to consult if you experience any problems.

Related: On-The-Job Training Examples (With Benefits and Tips)

2. On-the-job training saves money

Training can be expensive, especially in technical industries. Sometimes, companies may ask you to pay your own travel expenses and, if a training event is optional, to contribute towards enlisting guest speakers and recruiting outside trainers. On-the-job training curbs these costs and provides instant access to resources. This means that you can learn quickly and efficiently, and start earning as an employee rather than spending money on training.

Related: How to train new employees (with instructions and examples)

3. It is easily applicable

People interpret information in different ways, so manuals can be risky if they're the only means of supplying information. Training modules prevent this by giving employees the chance to practise their skills before qualification. Information is more readily available as you can talk to your supervisors or consult online modules rather than flick through several pages of text to find the right answer.

Additionally, your supervisor is likely to see when you're carrying out a task wrong, even when you're unaware of it yourself. In these instances, consulting a manual is not very helpful as you don't know what needs improving. On-the-job training allows your supervisor to include practical training where necessary and correct your practice for better applicability.

Related: What is off-the-job training? (Plus methods and benefits)

4. It can help you better memorise what you've learned

When gaining knowledge through practical experience, you're more likely to recall this information accurately in the future. This is because you can visualise what's required of you whilst facing a similar hands-on setting. An increase in retention means that employers can benefit from your high productivity levels and can feel more confident in assigning you more skill-based tasks at an early stage.

5. It saves time

On-the-job training allows individuals to acquire information as and when it's required. Simply put, on-the-job training involves micro-learning, so learning takes place in small increments and as necessary. It teaches new employees short-term-focused strategies that are integral to their job role. Employers allocate their time and resources to provide your essential information rather than trying to teach you everything at once. This means that employees benefit from target-specific learning that teaches them important skills more quickly.

Sometimes, classroom learning doesn't do workplace justice. This means that employees waste more time trying to navigate how newly acquired information is relevant and when to draw upon it. On-the-job training prevents such frustrations and allows you to pick up knowledge faster with the help of professionals who know what they're doing and how the business operates.

Related: 6 essential training manager skills (with definitions)

6. On-the-job training promotes teamwork

As an employee undergoing on-the-job training, you get to work alongside peers and management from the beginning. This close contact makes you feel more at ease when entering the workplace and encourages friendships with those around you. You're more likely to build trust with those you work with you over time, so on-the-job training promotes a team ethic from the offset. By working alongside others, you can better understand the work culture and share team responsibilities and objectives.

7. It reduces employee turnover

Employee turnover refers to the rate at which individuals leave employment. This rate is likely to be higher when employees cannot meet expectations or feel incompetent in the workplace. On-the-job training reduces this as you learn skills from the offset and can refine them through practice and consultation with other colleagues.

By encouraging industry experts to supervise new members, on-the-job training gives you the chance to meet new people in the workplace and feel comfortable in a new environment. This decreases the chance of someone quitting because they don't fit in or feel alone on the job.

Related: How To Welcome New Employees (With Steps and Examples)

8. It involves paid training

Since you're essentially contributing to business functions whilst you acquire new skills, companies compensate your time by paying you as you learn. This means that you don't have to search for part-time work or use your savings to fund living expenses whilst training for your new position. However, check with your employer or hiring manager first before assuming they cover training costs.

9. It gives you the chance to develop new skills

Some people enjoy jobs that challenge them and allow them to grow as a person. On-the-job training supports this by allowing you to develop your skill set through engaging activities. You're more likely to take an interest in learning if you're able to get involved and develop new skills, whether it be mastering a new skill or first-hand knowledge.

Related: Training plan template (with tips on how to create one)

10. It increases productivity levels

As an employee undergoing training, there's no need to waste time passing knowledge tests or completing a certain amount of training hours at an alternative location. On-the-job training allows you to get to work straight away, which can increase business productivity levels instantly.

Productivity levels indeed remain low for the first few days as you adjust to your new role, but when combining training with online resources, for example, you can perfect your knowledge and grow to complete tasks successfully and in a more timely fashion. Higher productivity levels contribute to a positive work environment and allow you to feel confident in your abilities.

11. On-the-job training is more flexible

Classroom learning is very linear and rarely accounts for any unusual circumstances, similar to classroom learning delivered in a monotone format, such as textbooks or presentations. Alternatively, on-the-job training ensures that you only acquire information on a need-to-know basis. This can also help prevent you from receiving information or details that are irrelevant to your job specifications.

There are several ways to diversify on-the-job training to increase retention and adapt to individual learning styles. Employers may hold skill-based workshops, run practical sessions or initiate group seminars so trainees can ask questions.

Related: A Complete Guide To Starting a New Job Successfully

12. New employees can socialise with other colleagues

Your co-workers often know how to perform tasks more efficiently and have insider knowledge of how to operate particular machinery. This means that they're the best mode of support for you as a new employee. By socialising with your colleagues, you can gain insider knowledge of how to conduct tasks more efficiently and better understand hard concepts or challenging procedures. This is especially the case if you feel uncomfortable asking for help from your manager on your first day at work.

Related: Retraining: What To Know When Broadening Your Skills

What is on-the-job training?

On-the-job training involves various observational and hands-on experiences that are instructional for new employees. Typically, training managers or colleagues create and perform this type of training for new hires in their specific departments. New employees complete tasks and deadlines that fall under their job role. This means that you learn the business processes of an employer whilst earning a wage.

Typically, sectors that require practical skills employ on-the-job training as you can learn more about specialised equipment, tools or software. Such sectors may include mechanical industries, technical industries and construction. On-the-job training usually follows certain frameworks that include:

  • it's performed at the workplace

  • it's timely

  • it's explicitly outlined

  • it's targeted at increasing skill sets

  • it applies to the employee's position

  • it's helpful and allows employees to ask questions

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