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On-the-job learning: make it work for you

On-the-job learning – we do it more than we think because it’s often informal and part of our day-to-day.

As a hands-on and more practical way to learn new skills by learning in a real working environment, it’s unsurprising that it was the most commonly used method for 37% of our learners in this year’s Learner Survey Report. And as we know, no two learners are the same. Some are visual, others are more practical, while some do well when following instructions. But what do all the techniques have in common? They learn by doing – and that’s where on-the-job training lies. So, why exactly is on-the-job training such a popular method?

Speedy onboarding

It sounds pretty simple. But it’s true! We only really learn the job by doing the job. Starting a new job can be very daunting with so much to learn (why so many acronyms?!). With learning on the job, new hires get to visualise the training through an experienced colleague/trainer and receive hands-on experience. Despite different learning preferences, when we actually do things, it’s more likely to stay in memory. On-the-job learning will get your new hires up to speed and provide them with the confidence to go out on their own. When they’re confident they’ve had the right training, job satisfaction increases, and employee retention improves.

Easy and flexible

A great benefit of on-the-job training is that it doesn’t take up extra time or resources; it’s all about utilising your current people to support. There’s no time out taken to complete courses, specific resources needed, or even a cost. Your people are literally doing the job whilst learning, so workflow never stops. As long as you’re selecting (or assigning) great mentors, this method is very easy to implement. Now that’s surely a win-win.

High retention

There’s nothing scarier than having absolutely no idea if you are doing the right thing in a job. We’ve all been there, and it can really affect motivation and job satisfaction. So, when your employees know exactly what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how they’re making an impact to the organisation, it builds a great sense of productivity and job satisfaction. Confident people make happy people. And happy people = long-term commitment.

Team collaboration

The Learner Survey Report discovered that a whopping 84% of people cite teamwork and collaboration skills as important to their future development. On-the-job training is a great method of building teamwork skills because as they collaborate, they’re supporting each other to learn. New employees get to know their colleagues quickly, and together they build strong bonds by solving solutions and learning from each other. A bonus? This creates a sense of belonging for your people, further increasing your retention rates.

What about the modern workplace?

There are some eye-watering fantastic benefits to utilising on-the-job training, so we really can’t be surprised it’s the number one method used. But in the past two and a half years, the way we work has dramatically changed. With 65% of UK workers citing they are either remote or hybrid workers, how does on-the-job training work for them? Of course, with Zoom and Microsoft Teams, we can easily have meetings and conversations with colleagues as if we were face-to-face. But how effective is on-the-job learning in a remote world? Is it really the best method for the modern workplace? With eLearning close behind on-the-job learning at 35%, it’s clear that this method is being highly utilised by remote workers. And it’s no surprise as it takes learners only half the time to complete the learning! So, what does this mean for your learners? Are they receiving the best learning that is suited to them? Ask them! The only way you’re going to find out if you people are enjoying and engaging with their learning is by asking them. Maybe on-the-job is the best for them. Or eLearning better suits their needs. Maybe it’s a mix of both! So, how can you provide for different learning needs? Invest in an LMS  Our LMS, Learn, provides a platform for your people to learn whenever suits them, through eLearning, quizzes, videos, and so much more. With ease of reporting, you can continually track your people’s learning to ensure the methods are successful! An LMS can even boost workplace productivity, and reduce training costs for an organisation by 25% to 40%! Show your people you’re invested in their learning needs. Speak to an expert today.

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Written by Claire Moloney

Claire is an enthusiastic and meticulous content writer whose passion is to support growth and continual learning for everyone.


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