What is On the Job Training? Importance, Function and Types

Imagine a learning process that transcends the confines of traditional classrooms, where hands-on experience reigns supreme. On the job training, often called real-world tutoring, trains employees with the practical prowess needed to excel in their roles. 

OJT is about mastering the essentials when you join a role and imbibing the collective wisdom of those who’ve walked the path before you. It’s about embracing change as a constant and learning the intricacies of revamped tools and systems. 

OJT bridges the gap, enabling new employees to embrace a company’s ethos, values, and intricate processes.

In this article, we’ll discuss the significance of OJT, contrasting it with off-the-job methodologies.

What is On-the-Job Training?

On-the-job training (OJT) is a hands-on way of gaining the essential skills and know-how needed for a job within an actual or closely resembling work environment.

It’s like learning by doing – focusing on using specific tools or equipment in actual or simulated work rather than just going through presentations or worksheets. Imagine being guided through the ropes by a seasoned colleague, supervisor, or manager right where the action happens – at the workplace.

Think of it as a firsthand immersion into your job’s ins and outs. You’ll learn the nitty-gritty of daily tasks, workplace norms, and even how to operate various equipment effectively – everything required to ace your role.

On job training also involves professional courses like upGrad’s Executive PG Program in Machine Learning and AI that epitomises blending academia with practicality. 

Importance of On-the-Job Training in HRM

Envision this scenario: employees stepping into situations that offer a preview of their daily work regimen. This isn’t just about reading manuals; it’s about being immersed in the tasks they’ll undertake daily, utilising the tools they’ll wield on the job. 

Let’s delve into why training on the job is truly the crucible where transformative learning transpires.

1. Faster training with real-time experience

Freshly onboarded employees can swiftly grasp the office environment’s intricacies, responsibilities, and the supervisor’s performance expectations. On-the-job training expedites the assimilation of job roles, offering precise comprehension. This avenue addresses inquiries during the shadowing phase, ensuring clarity and effectiveness in task execution and performance enhancement.

2. An easier transition to a new job

Industries marked by significant revenue streams and high business volumes, such as retail chains, the hospitality sector, manufacturing, and customer service, frequently find training on job indispensable. This approach is pivotal in facilitating seamless transitions for new employees, contributing to optimal work efficiency.

 3. Easily Applicable

On the job training presents a seamless and well-suited approach to training individuals. This method eliminates the need for extensive setup, as employees typically possess a preliminary understanding of both their role and the organisation they are engaging with.

4. Saves time

While off-the-job training can extend over several months, on-the-job training starkly contrasts by achieving substantial objectives within a shorter timeframe. This method capitalises on the new employee’s commitment to their role and enthusiastic pursuit of learning, resulting in advantageous outcomes for the company.

 5. Retain good employees

According to research conducted by the Brandon Hall Group, their findings reveal that organisations implementing a robust onboarding process witness an impressive 82% enhancement in new-hire retention rates. Incorporating on-the-job training within your onboarding framework offers a strategic solution to mitigate high employee turnover rates.

Types of On-the-Job Training

Here are the types of training on jobs

1. Job Rotation

The job rotation approach entails rotating employees across designated roles, fostering exposure to diverse experiences. By transitioning employees through different positions, it cultivates a sense of variety and offers new team members insights into the entirety of the process.

2. Coaching

Within this approach, the training is facilitated by a senior employee or an internal trainer to the newly onboarded staff. The trainee can address their inquiries and engage in hands-on learning through comprehensive demonstrations and guidance from their experienced counterparts.

Several organisations also encourage their employees to take courses like upGrad’s Professional Certificate in Global Business Management to upskill and provide better guidance to the company’s operating processes. 

3. Job Instruction Training

This program encompasses detailed instructions and practical demonstrations, enabling trainees to execute their assigned tasks proficiently. The program subsequently delves into the requisite skill set, fostering knowledge acquisition.

4. Mentoring

Enlisting a mentor for a new employee yields numerous advantages, foremost being on-the-job learning. This collaborative approach empowers the newly recruited individual with invaluable practical insights, encouragement, and a robust support system.

5. Apprenticeship Training

Apprenticeship training constitutes a comprehensive and enduring educational endeavour focused on nurturing skills within fields encompassing arts, crafts, trade, and technology. They necessitate hands-on involvement and an intensive learning journey spanning multiple years. 

Various On-the-job Training Methods

1. Induction

In human resource management, the practice of utilising an induction technique as part of on-the-job training is commonplace, aimed at providing newly onboarded employees with a concise and informative initiation into the workings of the organisation.

 2. Internship

Internships serve as a variant of OTJ training, offering students or newcomers an opportunity to receive professional training that kickstarts or enriches their skills and expertise. 

Within the framework of an internship, individuals are exposed to a blend of theoretical and practical dimensions. This comprehensive approach aims to equip trainees with a holistic understanding of their chosen field.

3. Delegation of authority

This method involves a superior entrusting a subordinate with specific task responsibilities and the requisite authority to complete the assignment autonomously. This training modality holds substantial value, acting as a catalyst for staff morale enhancement. 

4. Promotions and Transfers

Promotions encompass the transition to a different job role accompanied by advancement within the organisational hierarchy. In contrast, transfers pertain to employees harnessing their accrued skills to fulfil their job responsibilities in a new work context effectively.

5. Retaining

Training retention pertains to an individual’s aptitude to grasp and recollect acquired knowledge. It is a repository for learning and experiences within one’s memory, facilitating the prolonged retention of freshly acquired information. 

This skill encapsulates the capability to embed newly acquired knowledge deeply over time. It underscores that participants’ actions after training hold greater significance than the training itself.

6. Vestibule

Vestibule training involves educating employees in operating equipment integral to their daily work processes. However, this training transpires in an environment separate from the actual workplace. Within a classroom setting, employees interact with identical content, files, and equipment they would encounter in real-world scenarios.

This approach alleviates the supervisor’s burden of overseeing the production process by entrusting the responsibility of instructing personnel to skilled trainers.

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Examples of On-the-Job Training

Here are a few examples of different sectors where companies can effectively utilise on-the-job training:

  • Manufacturing: Companies in the manufacturing sector can employ on-the-job training to familiarise new employees with the operation of machinery, safety protocols, and production processes specific to their roles.
  • Healthcare: In the healthcare sector, on-the-job training can help medical professionals, such as nurses and medical technicians, acquire practical skills in patient care, diagnostics, and handling medical equipment.
  • Information Technology: In the IT sector, on-the-job training can aid in developing coding skills, software development methodologies, and troubleshooting techniques for tech support personnel.
  • Financial Services: In financial institutions, on-the-job training can be employed to educate employees about financial regulations, customer account management, and investment strategies.

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Differences Between Off-The-Job And On-The-Job Training

Introduction to On the Job Training and Off the Job Training:

  • OJT occurs at the job site, led by seasoned supervisors or proficient trainers possessing extensive practical expertise in their respective domains.
  • Off-JT is conducted away from the actual workplace and is typically administered by external vendors specialising in training services.

Approach to Training:

  • Rooted in practical application, OJT focuses on hands-on execution, utilising tools and technologies aligned with the company’s specific requisites.
  • Primarily theoretical in nature, Off-JT involves simulations, assessments, and instructional videos to convey concepts.

Time and Cost Implications:

  • OJT demands less time and incurs lower costs due to in-house supervisors, internal trainers, or colleagues conducting personalised training sessions.
  • Comparatively time-intensive and financially demanding, Off-JT entails higher expenses as external trainers need to be enlisted.

Organisational Preference and Benefits:

Many organisations prioritise On-the-Job Training due to its immersive workplace experience and superior knowledge retention.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) facilitates the acclimatisation of newcomers to company policies and work culture, significantly aiding their comprehension and integration.

While both training approaches have distinct characteristics, On-the-Job Training stands out for its practicality, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with organisational dynamics.

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On the job training programs are the gateway to mastering the essentials of a new role. This immersive learning experience welcomes change as a constant and embraces the intricacies of revitalised tools and systems. 

Embrace the opportunity to blend academia with practicality through upGrad’s Master of Science in Business Analytics. In collaboration with Golden Gate University, this program equips you with the knowledge and skills to apply data analytics to real-world business challenges. 

Explore upGrad’s program today and embark on a journey that will shape your career and elevate your potential.


What are the key benefits of on-the-job training for employees in HRM?

On-the-job training in HRM offers hands-on skill development, enhances understanding of company policies, fosters quicker adaptation to the work environment, and promotes effective interaction within the organisational context.

How does off-the-job training contribute to employee development in HRM?

Off-the-job training in HRM broadens employee skill sets through theoretical learning, simulations, and external expertise. It cultivates adaptable thinking, boosts professional growth, and enriches problem-solving abilities, translating to enhanced HR competence.

What are some effective strategies for implementing on-the-job training programs in HRM?

It involves structured mentoring, task delegation, job rotations, and shadowing experienced colleagues. These methods facilitate practical skill transfer, peer learning, and seamless integration into HR roles.

What are the main advantages of providing training opportunities directly within the job context?

Training within the job context enhances skill application and reinforces learning through real-world tasks, fosters immediate feedback, and seamlessly integrates employees into their roles, resulting in practical competence and heightened job performance.

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