How to Improve On-The-Job Training

  • 7/13/2020
  • Read Time : 3 min
on-the-job training methods

On-the-job training methods are essential in today’s manufacturing world. With the swath of new technologies being introduced into assembly lines, it’s no longer possible to rely on manuals and presentations alone; it’s imperative to utilize on-the-job training methods to retain your workforce and keep them up-to-date.

What are the benefits of on-the-job training?

On-the-job training is a program that is designed to give employees hands-on experience in the workplace. Off-the-job training, on the other hand, is a program that gives employees theoretical training in their field of work. Off-the-job training is an essential part of the development of any employee. There are certain key principles and safety protocols that an employee must understand before he or she steps into a workplace. However, it is notoriously hard to train people in practical elements from manuals and presentations. Translating written and visual instructions into actions can be difficult to do and even harder to remember. Of course, both types of training are essential for well-rounded employees. 

Let’s take a look at some benefits of on-the-job training.

Employees stay for longer: 40% of employees who don’t receive on-the-job training leave within a year. This is because employees who feel valued and adequately skilled for a job tend to be happier and more content at work.

Employees understand the business: Every manufacturing business runs slightly differently. Although it is critical to learn all the theory behind manufacturing before you start work, your employees will still need to understand how your business works. The only way to gain experience in your manufacturing line is for your employees to practice work.

Your workforce becomes more adaptable: On-the-job training enables you to train you employees in a variety of different fields. If you’re able to train more employees across a wider range of skill sets, your organization can become more adaptable to future challenges.

What are the downsides of on-the-job training?

Although it is effective, on-the-job training has some downsides. 

It can be inefficient: If you need to use a piece of machinery for on-the-job training purposes, your total production capacity will be reduced. It also requires the time of an expert, which is another disrupted resource.

It can be difficult to do it safely: Allowing inexperienced employees near heavy machinery and toxic chemicals could have some harmful consequences. And restricted use of real machinery can detract from the purpose of on-the-job training, which is to provide your employees with practical experience.

It can be expensive: On-the-job training simulators can be very expensive to implement and set up, and it can be hard to justify their ROI.

How can augmented reality help?

AR, otherwise known as augmented reality, is an experience that overlays the real world with digital information. AR is not be confused with VR (virtual reality) which is an experience that creates a virtual world unto itself. 

An employee can use an AR-enabled headset that can deliver step-by-step training instructions in the context of their actual work. Annotated instructions would overlay a user’s field of vision, instructing them about how to complete a task in the safest, most efficient possible way. This also means that the user does not need to shift his or her attention away from the workpiece, helping prevent accidents.

The science behind on-the-job training

There are some specific psychological reasons why people respond better to on-the-job over theoretical learning. Training people through the use of AR helps you to:

  • Minimize your employees’ cognitive load. When training new employees, you must remember that retaining and applying instructions puts a strain on your working memory and attention. Having to remember instructions from a textbook and then applying it to machinery requires a high cognitive load, leading to a lower retention rate. Similarly, if the place you’re learning a skill from is removed in time and space from where it should be applied, your students are likely to face additional cognitive strain.
  • Provide context. Understanding the technological context in which you are operating helps you to understand why you are doing what you’re doing. Remembering a list of instructions is much harder if you lack an understanding of the context of the process.

AR and the Future of Workforce Training

Augmented reality helps strike the perfect balance between safety and cost, and on-the-job training benefits. To prepare your workforce for the demands of manufacturing within the 21st century, tap into the power of AR.


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About the Author

Prema Srinivasan, Digital Content Marketing Manager

As a Digital Content Marketing Manager, I bring the latest technology stories to the forefront. I'm passionate about engaging readers and empowering decision makers with relevant, up-to-date content.