Job Instruction Training
One of the most effective methods for getting new employees up to speed is the job instruction (JI) training method. It’s a systematic approach that deals with all important aspects of introducing a new member to the organization, and it can allow a company’s supervisors to figure out where the weak spots in their training are very easily.
Job Instruction is designed to develop basic stability and consistency of your processes (also known as standard work). This program teaches the method to instruct a worker how to perform a job correctly, safely and conscientiously.
With enough iterations of this model, the organization can develop a set of instructions that prepares their workers quickly and efficiently, and focuses on the exact aspects of the job that will be of interest.
The essential steps
The method is essentially broken down into four steps:
- Follow Up
It’s very important that the supervisor not only outlines the nature of the job, and how to perform it correctly, but also clarifies the general purpose and motivation of the company itself. Employees must know what the organization as a whole is striving for, in order to succeed at their individual tasks.
The instructor gives a presentation of how to actually perform the specific job at hand, and lists all the intricacies that can come up in the line of work. While all parts of the JI method rely on gathering feedback from the new employee, this one in particular makes it very important to listen to what they have to say, and take notes for the future training courses.
The trainee must then be allowed to try performing the task themselves. In this phase, they will do just that, with proper supervision. How your company is going to implement this part is highly individual, but a common approach is to give the employee a more silent treatment during their attempt to perform the task.
In other words, the supervisor should minimize their interaction with the trainee at this point, in order to allow them to think for themselves, and try to reach a solution to each problem as a regular worker. Of course, this doesn’t mean that evaluation should be suspended during this stage quite on the contrary, it’s just as important to observe the situation and take notes about the progress of the worker.
In the last step, the employee and supervisor come together to discuss how the process went, and if there are any weak points observed by either side. This is the stage where the most valuable feedback can typically be gathered, and employers must make sure to present themselves with open arms and willing to help.
Modifying the method for an organization’s specific needs
Sometimes it turns out that the four steps don’t work perfectly well for a specific organization’s needs. It’s perfectly fine to make adjustment to the process as necessary, but the important thing is that those adjustments are evaluated just like every other regular step of the process.
Sometimes a company will determine that a specific step of the training process can be shortened or expanded, to make it more suitable for them. As long as this change produces good results, there’s definitely nothing wrong with attempting it.
Just like other methods in the lean family, JI relies heavily on constant evolution and tweaking of its core structure, in order to be truly efficient. It’s not a one size fits all solution, and every organization must keep analyzing how it works for them, and developing it in the direction that suits them.
The good news is, JI is a very popular concept right now, and there is an abundance of information about it online.
It’s very easy for an organization to get started with implementing JI, and to further push it towards a version that’s ideal for their own needs.
A point that should never be ignored in this evolution is the opinion of employees themselves. Those receiving the training should be given the opportunity to voice their concerns at all steps of the process, and the company should know what to do with this feedback correspondingly.