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Guide To Developing A Coaching-Based On-The-Job Training Program; Coaching Skills For On-The-Job Trainers
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  • Description:
    On-the-job training is a common means of training or retraining workers and the practice may seem simple and straightforward. Doing it effectively however requires more thought and preparation than simply having someone follow an experienced worker around and watch what they're doing. Over the years, various techniques and practices have evolved that pass on the skills and knowledge of a trainer or coach in a manner that leads an inexperienced trainee to really absorb the information being taught. On-the-job training thus becomes less a haphazard show-and-tell and more a real transfer of information. The goal of this document is to describe how to develop or manage an on-the-job training program so that information is passed on from trainer/coach to trainee efficiently and effectively. By efficient is meant the best use of time and resources of all those involved in the training process, and by effective is meant that the trainee truly learns the skills and internalizes the knowledge needed to perform the job well. The first part of the document discusses topics to think about when developing a formal on- the-job training program. A structure based on coaching is suggested. Then a workshop designed to prepare trainers as coaches is described. Workshop materials include an instructor s guide and trainee workbook. These materials can be used to train coaches and to assist trainees as they go through the learning process. Content related to specific jobs can be added to these materials to create targeted on-the job-training manuals. Structuring a formal on-the-job training program It is likely that some form of on-the-job training (OJT) is being conducted at your workplace. The formality of that training can range from a structured program to an informal follow Joe around method. If your program is completely unstructured, it may not be meeting current training needs. Worse, it may perpetuate bad habits and create trained employees who are not given the same information or evaluated to the same standards. Wiehagen et al. comment that, Success in using unplanned OJT is usually dependent on the luck of the draw, that is, whether the informal trainer is competent at the task he or she is teaching, is motivated to teach, can organize the job into logical components, and knows something about good practices in teaching and evaluating (2002, p. 27). It is only through planning a structured OJT program that consistency can be created and maintained. At the least, all trainees who have successfully completed such a program can be expected to perform at an established level they will know what they must do to be successful.

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