On Job Training:10 Fundamental Tips Most Gurus Ignore


You need well trained staff. And sound on job training is still the most effective form. But in this age of elaborate and expensive courses, it’s worthwhile to remember some on job training fundamentals.

  1. Training is rarely the solution to poor employee performance. Most employee performance problems occur because employees “won’t do” not because they “can’t do”.
  2. Training is of real value only when employees don’t know and can’t do. Always check what employees already know and can do before using training.
  3. Training and training courses are not the same thing. Attendance or participation in a training course is no substitute for effective on job training.
  4. The only true measure of successful and effective on job training is demonstrated competence by the “trainee” on the job. If that doesn’t happen, the training, not the “trainee”, has failed. Successfully demonstrating a skill in a classroom is valuable. But on job demonstration is the acid test.
  5. Practice is an essential feature of effective on job training. Schedule practice time so that employees can practice skill development before they have to use the knowledge and skills on the job.
  6. Before starting clearly define what the trainee will know and be able to do at the end of the training:  the final objective. Then arrange sequential and logical activities to reach that objective over time. Set interim objectives only after the final objective is set.
  7. Poor training is usually the result of poor training planning. Good planning starts with a measurable statement of the objectives. Only with clear, measurable objectives will you be able to plan training actions to achieve them.
  8. Throughout the training, constantly ask the employee/trainee, “How will you apply this skill and knowledge on the job?” Combined with skill demonstration the employee’s answer is a valuable way of discovering the effectiveness of the training. If the employee cannot explain satisfactorily, there’s almost certainly a deficiency defining the training objectives and the delivery of the training.
  9. If possible, design 0n job training so that the trainee can work at his or her own pace. The biggest intervention by the trainer should be in the design and evaluation, rather than delivery.
  10. Training delivery and presentation is a function of training design. Aids such as PowerPoint, useful as they are, cannot and do not compensate for poor planning.

Final Thoughts

Some managers still believe that you have to know how something works in order to make it work. This is simply wrong. Be careful to emphasize skill development before theory.

Remember too that today’s technology incorporates much good instructional design. Take care not to repeat this. Train employees to use a computer to achieve specific work goals. They don’t need to know how the computer works.


The fundamentals I’ve mentioned are very important. You won’t fine many references to them in texts and courses. If you want the best and effective on job training , make sure that your “trainers” follow them.

What To Do Now

How effective is on job training in your business? Maybe it’s time for a review. Let me know if I can help with advice. Feel free to call or email. Include other comments below.

Please remember to click on the “Resources” tab in the navigation bar to find other resources to help you improve on job staff performance.

4 Responses to On Job Training:10 Fundamental Tips Most Gurus Ignore
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    September 27, 2012 | 4:52 pm

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  3. Leon
    October 10, 2012 | 9:30 pm

    G’Day Morris, Glad that you found the information useful. Appreciate your comments.

  4. Leon
    October 10, 2012 | 9:33 pm

    Angie, Glad that you found it useful. If there’s more you’d like to know, just ask.

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