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Methods for Training Employees: Mentoring, On-The-Job & Job Rotation

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  • 0:07 Training Methods
  • 0:31 On-the-Job
  • 1:41 Job Rotation
  • 2:53 Job Mentoring
  • 4:07 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

There are several different types of training methods used to acclimate an employee to a new job or even to a new position within his current organization. In this lesson, we'll discuss several different methods, including on-the-job training, job rotation and job mentoring.

Training Methods

In this lesson, we will study several training methods managers use to teach an employee a new job or task in the organization. The training methods include on-the-job training, job rotation and job mentoring. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

Let's look at how Cookie, a training manager at Sweets Candy Factory, uses the training methods to train new and current employees.

On-the-Job Training

On-the-job training allows employees to learn by actually performing a specific job or task. The employee will perform the job and learn as he goes. On-the-job training can be structured by using hands-on application supported by classroom-type instruction. It can also be unstructured using only hands-on application.

Cookie hired a new candy wrapper named Patti. Patti had no experience working in a candy factory. In fact, Patti had no experience working on an assembly line either. Cookie used unstructured on-the-job training to teach Patti how to do her job. This method works well for the job of candy wrapping. As the candies move along the assembly line, Patti learned how to wrap each candy while working alongside a more experienced candy wrapper. The more experienced candy wrapper showed Patti exactly how to wrap candies, how to time the assembly line and how to detect irregularly shaped candies. If Patti made a mistake, the trainer would be able to correct it immediately.

The advantages of this method are:

  • Immediate feedback on performance
  • Swift remediation if task is not performed to standard

The disadvantages of this method are:

  • Can slow down production for the trainer
  • Can disrupt the workflow

Job Rotation

Job rotation teaches current employees how to do various jobs over time. The employee will rotate around to different jobs within the organization, performing various different tasks unrelated to his original job.

Cookie uses job rotation for tasks that require a specific skill set, like chocolate mixing. By learning different facets of the candy making process, the employees develop more skills. This method is useful when employees call out sick or take vacations.

Cookie temporarily moved Melvin, an experienced candy cutter, over to the mixing department to learn how to mix chocolate. Melvin worked alongside an experienced chocolate mixer to learn the job. With Melvin well trained in mixology, Cookie knew that if necessary, she could quickly and easily move him from candy cutting to chocolate mixing without disrupting the factory's output.

The advantages of this method are:

  • Reduces employee boredom
  • Increases skills
  • Opens new opportunities to employees
  • Hones in on employee interests

The disadvantages of this method are:

  • Employee may not be satisfied with the new rotation
  • Employee morale may decrease if employee is moved for a long period of time
  • Can disrupt the workflow as employee learns new task or job

Job Mentoring

Job mentoring involves providing an employee with an experienced coach to oversee his or her learning experience. The mentor or coach provides advice and instruction, but is not performing the job with the employee as in on-the-job training. The trainee employee learns the job firsthand and may consult the mentor or coach at any time for assistance.

Cookie uses this method for high-level positions, like management trainee programs. This method works well for employees who have already acclimated to the company and have been moved up or promoted through the ranks.

When Coco, the marketing manager, notified Cookie that she would be moving out of state in a month, Cookie assigned Coco to begin mentoring Ruth, the current marketing coordinator, for Coco's position. This meant that Ruth would shadow or watch Coco as she performed her job. Ruth would take on some of Coco's responsibilities during the transition. Eventually, Ruth would perform all tasks of the job. Coco would be on hand to offer advice as needed.

The advantages to this method are:

  • One-on-one training is often personalized
  • Mentor is available to offer advice
  • Mentee experiences growth within the company

The disadvantages to this method are:

  • Mentor-mentee pairing may not be a good fit
  • Workflow may be disrupted due to one-on-one training

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