Two publishing organizations hired the same number of English graduates from the same batch of a leading university. While the first organization arranged off-the-job training for the recruits over one-and-a-half years, the second organization felt such an investment would be an unnecessary expenditure.
Two years later, each new recruit at the first organization received a promotion for their excellent performance while half the recruits at the second organization were asked to leave for not being able to deliver expected results.
If faced with a similar situation, would you have followed the first route or the second? How would you have weighed the advantages and disadvantages of off-the-job training?
What Is Off-the-Job Training?
Off-the-job training involves any form of supplementary learning that’s arranged by an organization to boost their employees’ skills or help address their weaknesses. Off-the-job training takes place outside the work environment but is included within the working hours of employees, as stipulated in their contracts. Any separate learning that employees undertake on their own outside working hours is not included as part of off-the-job training.
Conventionally, off-the-job training involves a variety of methods and techniques—lectures and seminars, simulation, role-playing, business and management games.
Advantages Of Off-the-Job Training
There are several advantages of off-the-job training, including encouraging employees to try new things and move out of their comfort zone. The primary benefits of off-the-job training are as follows:
One of the main purposes of off-the-job training is to optimize employee performance and provide clarity on their role in an organization. It also gives employees an opportunity to self-evaluate and study their development in a systematic manner over a period of time. All these factors ultimately combine to make employees more efficient and productive.
Even if employees mess up during off-the-job training, there are no tangible costs that the organization has to bear. This makes off-the-job training a suitable training ground where participants can push their limits and experiment with their working styles.
A well-designed off-the-job training program means that organizations can simultaneously train several employees without having to devote time to individuals. A well-structured off-the-job training program helps organizations optimize resources to get the best out of their employees.
Insight And Knowledge
One of the biggest advantages of off-the-job training is that it provides employees with insights and knowledge by simulating real-time scenarios. Research has proved that what employees learn during off-the-job training, both in terms of theory and practical application, prepares them well to deal with a variety of scenarios as part of their jobs.
Promotes Team Spirit
Most off-the-job training exercises involve working in a collective environment, with many techniques requiring active collaboration and teamwork. It’s no secret that a successful organization is built on successful teams across departments. Through off-the-job training, employees get hands-on experience of working with associates who they’ll need to work with as part of their jobs as well. This provides a great opportunity to develop a healthy working environment and cultivate team spirit.
All of these not only help improve employee performance but also nurture their foundational skills, assisting in personal growth and development.
Disadvantages Of Off-the-Job Training
For all its benefits, off-the-job training has some shortcomings as well. These have more to do with the application of different methods and techniques and practical problems. The main disadvantages of off-the-job training are:
Reduced Exposure To Work Environment
What is the main disadvantage of off-the-job learning? Surveys have shown that most employees believe that off-the-job training doesn’t provide adequate exposure to their work environment. Regular off-the-job training sessions mean that employees spend a fixed time every week away from their workstations. This may pose a problem for new recruits who need time to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. In jobs that require handling complex equipment, reduced exposure to the work environment can be an even bigger hindrance to performance.
Requires Considerable Investment
While a well-constructed off-the-job training program is generally profitable in the long run, organizations have to make a considerable investment initially. This investment, both in terms of financial resources as well as time and personnel, may not always pay off. There’s always the possibility that some employees will not take off-the-job training seriously or cannot juggle its requirements alongside their primary responsibilities.
If an employee excels during off-the-job training, they can be under the impression that they are bound to ace the same challenges on the job. This is a naive approach as the pressures of real-time scenarios may prove harder than the simulation.
Lack Of Feedback
The way in which most off-the-job training programs are designed leaves little room for feedback or engagement from employees about what works for them and what doesn’t. On the surface, this may seem easy to fix, but in practice, it can be hard to provide a proper feedback mechanism for off-the-job training.
Notwithstanding the advantages and disadvantages of off-the-job training, recent history has shown that organizations are better off with it than without it.
Learning With Harappa
Harappa Education’s 10 on 10 program helps mitigate the major disadvantages of off-the-job training while amplifying its benefits. Through this program, your employees will have access to observed feedback, a dynamic dashboard and always-on behavior custodians that help them achieve peak performance and map their qualities to suit their workplace needs. Through learning needs analysis, skill benchmarking and the provision of effective levers to drive behavior change, your organization will be able to get the best out of off-the-job training.
Several organizations, including Secure Now, IIFL Wealth, Mahindra, etc. have signed up for the 10 on 10 program and reaped the benefits. Enroll your organization today and witness the wonders of off-the-job training!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as The Guide to Distance Learning, What Is On-The-Job Training, What Is The Kirkpatrick Model, Principles Of Outcome-Based Education & Off-The-Job Training For Employee learning and development that will help organizations tap into their employee's potential.
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