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OTJ: Makin’ it Better

I have been thinking more (a lot more) about training and development and the areas I find interesting. One such area is the on-job-training (OTJ). OTJ is very common, can be formal or informal, dominant form of training in many organizations. For a brief overview, see On-the-job training .

From my experience, OTJ has occurred something like this:

Supervisor: “Mike, go talk with Steve, he knows how to do the process X.”

Mike: “Hey Steve, our supervisor wants you to show me how to do process x.”

Steve: “okay, here is how you do it……done”

Mike: “okay, I think I got it. Thanks.”

My guess is that this is a typical scenario in many organizations. From a training and development experience, there are few things wrong here and few ways for improvement.

First, the wrong. There was:

  • No baseline assessment to see if Mike knew how to do process X
  • No evaluation of whether Mike could execute process X after the demonstration
  • No documentation or job aide (step-by-step/how-to guide) was done
  • No verification of learning

Second, the fix:

  • Explain context
  • Demonstrate to learner
  • Explain steps
  • Document process (note taking)
  • Have learner demonstrate process
  • Check-in with learner to ensure that they are doing the process

Following a few simple steps with OTJ can make it more effective for the learner and organization.

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