Why is on-the-job training important for the development of employees in a company?
Grace Duffy
89 Posts
I have been doing a lot of reading on the subscription services like McKinsey and Company and Knowledge@ Wharton about how manufacturing is 88% essential services during the Covid 19 epidemic. Recent surveys by Quality Magazine show that training, especially specialized and OJT are continuing to be critical in moving the skill base to newer technologies and processes. It is encouraging to see that companies continue to invest in their employees and that internal training is more of the focus than external hiring for skills. What is happening in your organization? Are you able to get the training you need to sharpen your skill set during this crisis? 
9 Replies
Jerry Rice
55 Posts
I've been doing a lot of OJT on the use of the Microsoft Teams platform lately... including webcam etiquette. Who knew having a cocktail or two during a meeting was bad form?

On a serious note. I think there is a lot to learn about remote meeting platforms and how they are used within an organization. Organizations are really starting to understand just how powerful these platforms can be for remote learning. We are actually trying out remote meetings to train people at their workstations since we all can't crowd around a workstation anymore. 
A quote from W. Edwards Deming from "Out of the Crisis: is included in our previous post, People are Part of the Management System:
People are part of the system; they need help… Many people think of machinery and data processing when I mention system.
Few of them know that recruitment, training, supervision, and aids to production workers are part of the system.

Stay Healthy!

Grace Duffy
89 Posts
Well said, Jerry and Bill. Where the 1980s and 1990s saw a push for organizations to drive external skills development, the tighter budgets of the 2000s and 2010s have seen an increased support of OJT. Part of this is economics. We have leaned out our workforce, so it is not as easy to move a promising new leader or skilled technician from full time productivity to part time to allow them to attend university or technical training off site. I remember supporting some of my employees in full doctoral programs in the 1980s. Times have changed, and yet, Dr. Deming is still correct. We learn or we die. Employers have the responsibility to support their workforce in doing the job effectively. Training and cultural climate are part of that support. There is also a resurgence of behavioral training available through OJT lunch and learns, virtual or single-topic webinars. ASQ has developed a number of them and made them available during our monthly member benefits. 

Actually, there is a trick to after hours webcamming. I never understood why Human Resource managers checked out empty soda bottles when doing a management audit. I have since learned that all kinds of liquids allow themselves to be poured in once the cap is removed. I always was naive. 
Luigi Sille
122 Posts

What is happening in your organization?
During the first 2 weeks of this Lockdown we slowed down a little and just did the basic processes 
to keep the organization running on the same quality level. We started with one additional procedure (after validation):
COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donations.
After that we started focusing and brainstorming on new ideas (INNOVATION is the KEY to Survive), for the after COVID-19 Pandemic. Some of these changes have already been implemented. 
Our nurses went through online training, upgrading their skills too.

Are you able to get the training you need to sharpen your skill set during this crisis? 
Oh yes, Our Lab is doing there online training online with the Netherlands.
We as management have to facilitate this. We need to keep improving our organization / PEOPLE.

There are a lot of NEW opportunities, you just have to adapt, change, and improve !
I'm loving this discussion.  I think now that we can't/shouldn't have additional "outside" representatives into the organization, employees teaching employees, through OTJ training is more important then ever.  If you haven't already, cross training is now a priority, ensuring one can do the job of many is critical.   Sharing organizational knowledge will help to smooth the staffing and resource requirements moving ahead.  On the Job training will need to be creative with social distancing and technology is answering this need.  "Out of chaos comes creativity."   
Grace Duffy
89 Posts
I just read an article by the Association for Talent Development on use of training modes. It shows the percent of companies using OJT. I will add it to my DropBox public account for any who wish to read it. It is copyrighted by ATD, so I must not upload it here.    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/afa0hq163w2cnrg/AADHBA59GAAjuM7b-AoDbVJca?dl=0
Thank you for the article by the Association for Talent Development, Grace!
It seems that the pace has accelerated in the past weeks! The projects are moving, the meetings are not stopping, and surprisingly everyone has adapted to the new virtual environment quite well!
As companies are moving forward in some cases with reduced workforce and resources, but same or higher amount of work to accomplish the importance of OJT is critical. Cross-training and re-training after been out of you working areas for several weeks, if not months, becomes crucial for the safety and development of the employee and the success of the organization.
This worldwide crisis has made us all more creative communicators. Since the travel ban has been in place, companies across the world have been willing to meet their clients’ needs in new and creative ways like providing “OJT” trainings via Zoom or Skype meetings. Companies I have been servicing have been proactive in their offerings so the personnel does not feel lagging and/or lacking in any way.
Grace Duffy
89 Posts
Well said, Betsaida. We were talking the other day in a Quality Management Division conversation that we have reached what Malcolm Gladwell called the tipping point in his book of the same name. Our business community embraced technology for remote work before the Covid-19 pandemic to the point where we are now able to more fully accept its effectiveness for our every day productivity. As a baby boomer at the end of my career, I have resisted the new technologies because I am so good at the old ones. I made my "fortune" through the old ways. This pandemic has shown that even I can move to the new technologies to continue my endeavors in this new environment. ASQ provides the platform where we can test our new skills and transfer them to our personal business opportunities. I am delighted to know that you and your company are supporting OJT as a way to empower your employees. You not only increase their skills, you honor them as partners in this new environment. 

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