Since the beginning of the working world, on-the-job training has been used to train workers. The effectiveness of on-the-job training has been called into question relatively recently, but it is still a topic of debate as to whether training works better on the job or off-site. As we take a look into the effectiveness of on-the-job training, it will become clearer as to what method is the most appropriate in today’s world.

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While on-the-job training might seem to be an obvious choice for employers, this method can come with many issues. One of the biggest issues with on-the-job training is that it tends to ignore different learning styles. When a new employee is being trained, they need to be allowed some room for error especially when certain concepts are particularly foreign. There are typically constraints with on-site training since the training and the work are happening simultaneously, and that can make it difficult for people with learning styles that aren’t conducive to the nature of the work. Additionally, trainers can be distracted during on-site training if they are expected to deliver the same results as when they are not training someone. The role of the trainer is extremely important in job training, and a distracted trainer will typically result in ineffective training (Pulley, n.d.).

With off-site training, the trainer is dedicated solely to training new employees. In this case, the trainer has the opportunity to cater to different learning styles, and the training program in general can be designed to train people with different learning styles. Regardless of the method of training, developing a program with specific goals is vital for an effective program. Additionally, accurate record keeping regarding program effectiveness and trainee satisfaction can streamline the program development process (Rothwell, 2004). Many times, a combination of off and on-site training is the most effective. A business consulting company, for example, could benefit from this combination training program since there is knowledge that should be learned off the job and techniques that should be learned on the job.

On-the-job training is not a bad thing, and in some scenarios it can be the perfect training method to implement. However, it is important to account for many different factors including different learning styles, the nature of the job, and the desired results of the training program. For many companies in modern times, it would be wise to consider a combination training program that includes on-the-job and off-site training sessions.

  • Pulley, P.A. (n.d.). ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING: EASY TO DO IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PROGRAM. Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Retrieved from:
  • Rothwell, W.J. & Kazanas, H.C. (2004). Improving On-the-Job Training: How to Establish and Operate a Comprehensive OJT Program. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Retrieved from: