On The Job Training

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

I GET THE impression that OJT (on the job training) is very much out of favor in many companies. Of course the most common arguments against OJT is that training can best be handled by HR professionals, and that OJT simply infuses bad habits of one employee into a newer one.

trainingOJT however has always been a keystone in bringing new employee skill levels up to expectations. It is still a key element in some segments of the work force. Doctors go through extensive intern and residency programs after getting their doctorate and before being allowed to operate on a patient. Lawyers, joining a law firm, spend months in the legal library and assisting a senior attorney before being handed a case to work alone.

Police officers go through a 6 month police academy, even after getting a degree in criminal justice and are then put under a training officer. Only after a couple of months of that OJT are they given a car and then more weeks of working in tandem with a senior officer. Then they are allowed to patrol an assigned segment of the city alone.

In hotels OJT has always been a major component of training, whether for room attendants, desk clerks, food service personnel, or on the kitchen staff.

Personally, I very much favor OJT, even for new hires with experience. HR programs are okay as far as a general orientation program for new hires. However, few HR people have “on the floor” experience in all phases of a company and therefor are only able to teach from a handbook. As far as implanting bad habits of an existing employee to the trainee my question is, “why do you have senior employees with bad habits?”

Do you have OJT programs in place. If not, why?


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Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.
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