On the job training programs are common ways to teach new employees basic operating procedures, and train experienced employees in new technology or guidelines. The practice of on the job training dates back to the concept of apprenticeship, where a young craftsman would learn by watching and listening to a master. There are many different types of programs that can help improve an employee's productivity and comprehension in nearly any profession.
When an employee starts a new job, it is common to spend the first few days or weeks undergoing a basic training program that teaches the person about the duties of the job. With an experienced employee or trainer, the new worker may be taught software systems, day-to-day operating procedures, and customer service skills. This period sometimes serves as a probationary time for both the employee and the employer, to ensure that the person is really right for the job.
If a company switches to a new software or computer system, on the job training may be used to get everyone up to speed. These programs may be done on a one-on-one basis with an employee who is an expert on the new technology, or they may be group lessons. Sometimes, a representative from the company that makes the software or computer systems will teach seminars to employees, or workers may be required to take classes in the new technology from a nearby computer school. Even if these classes take place outside the workplace or outside of normal working hours, employees are usually reimbursed for any fees, such as class costs and transportation, and may be paid regular working wages for attending.
After a company review, certain new policies may be put in place to target and improve efficiency and productivity. Rather than simply reading about new policies in a pamphlet or memo, employees can immediately begin applying new strategies to daily work through on the job training programs. Some experts suggest that this type of training helps some workers gain mastery over a new skill faster, since they are applying knowledge to real situations right away.
On the job training can be a means of teaching unskilled workers to perform necessary jobs. Some countries, such as Germany, offer extensive vocational training in a variety of fields that allow workers to earn money while learning a skill set. This type of training can help create a competent pool of workers in specialized fields, ensuring that few vocational jobs sit unfilled as a result of unqualified applicants.