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Case Study: TPK Appliances


ADMN 2926
Submitted By: Scott Thornton
Submitted To: Professor Gordon
Date: October 17, 2014















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Table of Contents
I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
II. An Analysis of On-The-Job Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
A. Strengths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
B. Weaknesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
III. A Comparison Between Two Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
A. Traditional On-The-Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
B. Job Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
IV. Recommended Training Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
V. The Application of Job Instruction Training to the Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
VI. Three Recommended Training Methods Leading to Improved Performance . . . . . . . 8
VII. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
VIII. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10









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I. Introduction
On-the-job (OJT) training can be defined as training that occurs in an employees place of work
by another individual in that workplace who has significant experience in that area (Saks &
Haccoun, 2013). Most people who have experience in the workplace have had to complete some
form of OJT, with it being the most widely used type of training for businesses. There are many
different methods used to conduct OJT, some of which include job instruction training,
performance aids, job rotation, apprenticeships, coaching, and mentoring (Saks & Haccoun,
2013). There are also different approaches to conducting OJT, which can include on-the-spot
lectures, viewed performance/feedback, following nellie, job-aid approach, training steps, and
the sequence approach (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). This paper will highlight the strengths and
weaknesses of OJT, provide a comparison of traditional OJT and job instruction, as well as
provide recommendations to improve the OJT process for TPK Appliances.
II. An Analysis of On-The-Job Training
A. Strengths
There are numerous advantages to OJT. The first advantage, and the reason most small to
medium-size companies with fewer resources use OJT, is that it is less costly than off-the-job
training. This is because there are no added costs to pay for things like training facilities, travel
expenses, and accommodations (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). Another advantage is that it is
available almost immediately, and takes very little time to prepare for (Rothwell & Kazanas,
2004). This is due to the fact that it takes place in the employees place of work, and is
commonly conducted by a supervisor or experienced worker who would be there regardless.
Therefore there is no need to schedule and pay for a speaker, book flights and hotel rooms, and
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pay for other miscellaneous expenses by sending their employees to an off-the-job training
session. OJT also has the potential to complete meaningful work while training an employee,
whereas off-the-job training provides no immediate return on investment for the employer
(Jacobs, 2003). There is also a higher probability that OJT will actually increase an employees
knowledge and productivity upon completion of training (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). This is
because the training takes place in the physical area in which the employee will be working in,
and provides them with hands on learning of the tasks they will be responsible for in their
position. One final advantage of OJT is that is provides more flexibility in terms of the delivery
of subject matter (Woods, 2004). Trainers can get a feel for the degree of knowledge the trainee
already has, and customize the difficulty and/or speed of content that they will provide to the
trainee using their discretion.
B. Weaknesses
There are a variety of disadvantages to OJT as well. First, the environment in which OJT takes
place can hinder the trainees retention of material provided to them (Saks & Haccoun, 2013).
For example, if the training were taking place in an automotive shop, there would likely be many
noises and other distractions, making it difficult for the trainee to focus on their learning. There
is also an opportunity cost associated with OJT if the training takes place on machinery, as well
as the potential of injury or damage to the equipment (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). The opportunity
cost would be attributed to the decrease in output on a piece of equipment if a fully-trained and
efficient worker was running it, rather than having a less experienced employee train on it.
OJT can also be inconsistent and incomplete if it is not designed and monitored properly
(Rothwell & Kazanas, 2004). The inconsistency of OJT stems from who is providing the
training to the trainee. Different people have different perspectives on what is important in the
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job and therefore will design the training based on what they think the trainee should learn. Also
some people are simply better at conveying challenging material to others in order for them to
learn, therefore it could depend on the trainer as to how much and what knowledge the trainee
will take away from the training. There is also the possibility that the trainer will forget to cover
important topics during the training, leading to incomplete learning and knowledge gaps. The
final concern in regards to who is conducting the training, is that the trainee could mimic the bad
habits that the trainer demonstrates during their training session. The last disadvantage of OJT is
that it can lack in giving the trainee the foundation of knowledge necessary for them to truly
understand the job (Jacobs, 2003). The training can teach the trainee what to do by walking
them through each step in the process associated with a job, but never teach them why they are
doing each step and the importance of it.
III. A Comparison Between Two Approaches
A. Traditional On-The-Job
Traditional OJT, also known as the unstructured approach, is essentially how it sounds, an
unplanned process in which a trainee basically shadows another more experienced worker
while watching what they do before performing the task themselves (Rothwell & Kazanas,
2004). It focuses primarily on the work itself and less on the trainee performing the tasks they
are trying to learn. Therefore the only structure in the traditional approach is the job itself,
meaning if certain tasks do not happen during the training process then those tasks will not be
learned by the trainee. Another characteristic of the traditional approach to OJT is that the
trainer picks the method in which they teach the material, which could be the wrong or otherwise
ineffective method of teaching. For example, one trainer may spend the majority of the training
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time telling the trainee what to do, before leaving them to do it on their own without providing
enough demonstration of the task. Other trainers may spend the majority of the time showing the
trainee what to do, without adequately explaining to the trainee the reasons they are doing what
they are doing. Due to the lack of structure associated with the traditional approach to OJT, it is
often inconsistent, inefficient and ineffective.
B. Job Instruction
Job instruction training, also known as the structured approach to OJT, involves planning the
training process in a systematic fashion and contains four steps: preparation, instruction,
performance and follow-up (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). Preparation consists of communicating the
process to the trainee and breaking the job down into separate tasks. Instruction involves
explaining and demonstrating the separate tasks to the trainee at a manageable pace for the
individual. The performance step is when the trainee performs the tasks under the guidance of
the trainer before they provide their feedback and suggestions for improvement. During the
follow-up phase, the trainee performs the job on their own, while being monitored less and less
frequently by the trainer until they become proficient in the task (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). This
method is vastly different from the traditional method in that it is standardized by means of
planning the process (Rothwell & Kazanas, 2004). It selects qualified trainers, unlike the
traditional approach; has performance checklists to ensure nothing is forgotten in the training;
and provides the trainee with constructive feedback throughout the process to strengthen their
knowledge of the job. Research has shown that productivity can be reached 85 percent faster
using the job instruction method rather than the traditional approach (Doss, 2007).
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IV. Recommended Training Process
It is recommended that Jacob be trained using the job instruction approach. During the first
week after Jacob was transferred, he did nothing but odd jobs, like filling bins. Instead, he could
have been starting his training by reading the manual of the machine he will be using in his new
job. This would at least give him a basic foundation of knowledge on the machine, so that he
would know the parts and safety procedures before he physically started training on it. Next, his
supervisor should have broken down the three steps involved in the process, and go through each
step slowly while asking if Jacob understands each one. The supervisor should have also
allocated more time to staying with Jacob and watching how he performs the job, while
providing him with feedback on ways to improve. He only stayed with Jacob for three rivets,
which is nowhere near enough repetition for someone to sufficiently learn a new piece of
machinery. The supervisor also provided no safety lessons or examples of when something is
wrong with the machinery and what to do to fix the problem. Improper supervision and training
exposes the company to serious liabilities if it leads to an injury. This lack of health and safety
training came to light shortly afterwards when Jacob was injured trying to clear a jam.
V. The Application of Job Instruction Training to the Case
Had the supervisor used the job instruction approach in training Jacob, the outcome would have
likely resulted in Jacob not getting injured and actually learning more about how to properly
perform the job. The process would have been planned out and prepared beforehand, starting
with communicating to Jacob the separate tasks involved in the machining process and allocating
the necessary amount of time to the training. Next, the supervisor would have walked Jacob
through the safety procedures and required personal protective equipment to operate the
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machine. He would then go through each of the three steps slowly enough so that Jacob could
understand them and ask any questions if he was not sure about anything. Next the supervisor
would let Jacob perform each step in the job, while providing input as to what he is doing well
and what he should change to improve his performance. Finally, the supervisor should have
asked Jacob if he was comfortable performing the task on his own before leaving him to do it
without supervision. He should have also told Jacob where to go if he had any questions or
concerns, and check on him every once in a while to ensure he is confident in doing the job and
doing it safely.
VI. Three Recommended Training Methods Leading to Improved
Performance
One method that would have helped Jacob in his training is job instruction training. This would
have provided Jacob with a much more structured and comprehensive process to learn the new
machine. It would have involved a classroom type session to teach him the parts of the machine,
steps involved in the job, and safety procedures to follow to avoid injury. Upon completion of
the classroom session, he would be trained by an experienced individual on the machine under
the trainers close supervision and provided with feedback to ensure he is doing the job correctly.
Another method that could have been used is performance aids. Due to the relative simplicity of
the job, it would be beneficial to provide visual diagrams on the machine itself for each step in
the process of riveting. There are only three steps involved, so having pictures of each step
along with a brief description of what is involved in each step would aid people like Jacob who
have limited experience on the machine. Finally, the coaching method would have been useful
in training Jacob on the machinery. Coaching involves having an experienced person who has
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done the job before walk Jacob through each step and give him insight as to how to improve his
performance (Saks & Haccoun, 2013). The employer must ensure the person selected to provide
Jacob with training goes through everything necessary and not to teach him any shortcuts or bad
habits that could negatively affect the company or Jacob himself.
VII. Conclusion
In conclusion, a company must weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of OJT before going
ahead with it and decide which method best suits what they are trying to accomplish. They must
also look at themselves as a company to decide if they have the expertise in-house to complete
the training, or if they require someone from outside the company to come in to train their staff.
It seems that the job instruction method, or structured OJT, is universally seen as the more
effective approach to training, if done correctly. This can be attributed to its careful planning and
focus on the trainee rather than the work itself. Companies that have not adopted the job
instruction method should seriously consider its benefits rather than using the traditional method,
which has greater potential to result in inconsistent, inefficient, and ineffective training of
employees.




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VIII. References
Doss, R. (2007, September 1). Structured On-the-Job Training and Its Value to High
Performance Manufacturing. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
Jacobs, R. (2003). Structured On-the-Job Training: Unleashing Employee Expertise in the
Workplace. Barrett-Koehler.
Rothwell, W., & Kazanas, H. (2004). Improving On-the-Job Training: How to Establish and
Operate a Comprehensive OJT Program. Pfeiffer.
Saks, A., & Haccoun, R. (2013). Managing Performance through Training and Development
(6th ed.). Nelson Education.
Wood, S. (2004, January 1). Fully on-the-job training Experiences and steps ahead. Retrieved
October 15, 2014.