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On-the-job training mistakes

5 On-The-Job Training Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Employee Growth

Research shows that companies that invest in employee training gain 21% more profit compared to companies that don’t.

Such statistics are a beacon of inspiration to train employees and cultivate a culture of high productivity. You are motivated to incorporate trends like on-the-job training (OJT) to build core competencies and create a talent pool brimming with high performers. 

Unfortunately, despite the efforts put into embedding learning in the flow of work, the employees’ performance reviews tell a vexatious story. Yes! You surely wouldn’t expect this after investing substantial money and resources. 

However, did you circle back and track the reasons for the failure of your OJT programs? We often focus on “what to do” and rarely pay attention to “what not to do.” The latter is equally vital. Small on-the-job training mistakes can significantly impact employees’ productivity. 

Continue reading to discover the 5 on-the-job-training mistakes you must quickly address to drive the performance improvement you envisioned. 

Why are you missing the mark? 5 on-the-job training mistakes

40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their roles in the first year.

Amidst the ongoing war for talent, where hiring a new employee is an arduous task, you wouldn’t want to lose your best employees due to inadequate training. Therefore level up your game to boost employee performance and retention by avoiding these common OJT pitfalls.

1. Recycling old training materials 

Old training materials don’t fit in the modern business market that is highly volatile. Skills are changing rapidly, and outdated training materials won’t help employees develop new skills needed for the capricious market. Recycling the old material will only lead to wastage of time as employees won’t engage with it. 

Julie Dirksen quote

Solution – To avoid this on-the-job training mistake, set up a process to keep training material up-to-date for motivating employees to learn on the job. Create learning objectives for your training materials. Learning objectives are critical for keeping training courses relevant and updated.

Maintain standard formats, but ensure the content is enhanced regularly. 

Below are a few ways to do it:

  • Stay abreast with the latest industrial trends and identify trending skills  
  • Keep a tab on software updates or changes in procedures/products 
  • Take regular feedback from the employees to understand what they think about your on-the-job training content 
  • Once you amass the above data, tweak the content to increase employee engagement and participation 

2. Missing the point  

The on-the-job training will probably be neglected if it is too theoretical or not in tandem with the company’s bottom line and employees’ aspirations. Not being pragmatic is an expensive training mistake that you should consider avoiding. 

Solution – Personalize your OJT programs and convey to your employee “What is in it for them.” Employees often have a lot on their plate; they need strong reasons to invest time in learning during work hours. Hence it is imperative to tailor training programs to each employee’s unique interests, personal goals, and skill gaps. 

91% of employees want personalized, relevant training.

Below are a few essential steps for creating personalized learning experiences 

  • Determine the skills needed to be successful at a particular job
  • Measure the proficiency level of the employee in each skill through self and manager assessment 
  • Have one-to-conversation to understand the employees’ learning needs and aspirations 
  • Design courses based on the skill gap and need analysis 

3. Underutilizing social learning 

The siloed approach to learning is one of the most common on-the-job training mistakes. It blocks opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, which is paramount for knowledge sharing in the workplace. 

Stephen Covey quote on social learning

Solution – Boost collaborative productivity by leveraging social learning. In the last two years, the pandemic has taught us that traditional learning and skilling techniques are no longer enough. A modern approach like social learning is essential to ensure continuous learning in the face of uncertainty.
Why Social Learning?
Social learning helps create a collaborative space to share knowledge and grow as an organization. It is an opportunity to learn from every nook of the organization and even every corner of the globe (if you have a distributed workforce). Employees show more interest in brainstorming and sharing ideas or experiences with peers rather than listening to an instructor. 

Below are a few best practices for making the most of social learning 

  • Outline specific goals and guidelines for social learning to encourage meaningful conversation 
  • Conduct polls and quizzes to engage everybody 
  • Provide topics to contemplate and debate every day
  • Have a leaderboard to strike healthy competition 

4. Ignoring continuous improvements 

Most L&D professionals create a learning journey and leave it in the past. They rarely measure the effectiveness of their learning programs. So, they are often stuck in the vicious cycle of disappointment for continuously using the ineffective approach that’s not reaping desired results. 

Solution – Evaluate your OJT programs to determine whether it is helping employees gain relevant knowledge and apply the same to improve their performance. When it comes to on-the-job training, it is essential to ensure that you are getting the most out of your investments. Hence track the OJT data to ensure employees are properly trained and equipped with the essential skills to do their jobs efficiently. 

Below are a few essential OJT metrics you need to track:

  • Course Adoption 
  • Course completion
  • Learner’s  satisfaction 
  • Learning outcome
  • Implementation in routine work 
  • Performance improvement 

5. Choosing the wrong platform 

Most companies either rely on email, messengers, or age-old technologies to provide learning in the flow of work. This is a significant on-the-job training mistake. While these platforms might appear as cheaper options, they fail to support on-the-job training by disseminating essential information at the time of need. 

Michael Allen quote

Solution – Embrace an advanced learning and skilling platform like the Learning Experience Platform (LXP) that enables you to drive impactful on-the-job training programs at scale. The right platform allows you to break down your L&D programs into multiple modules or learning paths. In this way, you can focus on developing different capabilities for employees to improve their performance.

With the right AI-powered LXP, you can: 

  • Integrate learning into the flow of work by creating a personalized learning pathway  
  • Ensure timely dissemination of knowledge with relevant content recommendations 
  • Focus on end-to-end skilling, from skill identification to skill building
  • Measure OJT effectiveness with in-depth analytics
  • Open doors for collaboration through social learning 

To learn more about how an LXP can help you avoid this on-the-job training mistakes, check out the blog “Take a step ahead of LMS towards an advanced LXP to enhance on-the-job training “. 

To implement a successful on-the-job training experience, explore Disprz’s AI-powered Learning experience platform.

Disprz is a complete skilling suite that enables enterprises to win in the digital-first world by onboarding, right-skilling, and unlocking the potential of employees. Be it knowledge or frontline workers, this AI-powered solution is designed smartly to bridge the skill gaps of the workforce across the board.

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