THE PURPOSE AND LIMITS OF OJT
1 The Purpose of OJT
Why is OJT conducted ? The main purpose is to ensure that staff are able to handle and manage their jobs properly. The real intention of OJT, however, goes beyond this. It plays a key role in preparing staff for future management positions within the organization. Supervisors should coach and motivate any member of staff who shows promise.
In addition to work-related issues, managers are expected to provide useful tips and advise to staff on private matters such as career development, social attitude, etc. Out-of-office-hour interaction such as this is, of course, beyond the scope of a manager's job. Managers by no means fail in their duties even if they don't engage in extra curricula activities such as this. As co-workers in the same office, however, it is natural for managers to be concerned about the development of their staff, and this concern is not limited to office hours. Staff are often only too happy to receive guidance such as this.
2 Main Obstacles to OJT
OJT is an important means of developing the level of capability of staff. Without being conscious of it, managers conduct OJT on a daily basis in coaching and developing their staff, not only when they teach new staff about the job but also when they, for example, review employees' written work, etc. Without guidance and coaching, work could not be carried out smoothly. In practice, however, is this coaching conducted effectively ?
The effectiveness of OJT may be examined from the 3 different perspectives; that of the boss; that of the staff; that of the organization itself.
The organization may obstruct OJT if it is indifferent towards staff development or has no atmosphere for learning and improvement. Staff themselves, on the other hand, who are not motivated towards self-improvement, or are adverse to guidance from their boss may also present a barrier to OJT.
In the majority of cases, however, bosses themselves are the main reason for ineffective OJT. It is the boss who initiates and conducts the OJT. If the boss fails to take the initiative, or is incompetent in this regard, OJT is unlikely to be effective.
The most common reasons that bosses fail to conduct OJT effectively may be summarized as follows.
・They are unaware of effective methods for OJT.
・They do not understand the feelings and mentality of their staff.
・They have no confidence to handle jobs of this nature.
・They feel threatened and insecure by staff development.
・ They think this type of development depends totally on individual effort.