Shadowing vs. On-The-Job Training…

I would like to relay a common misconception I hear on training and clarify two forms of ‘training’ often used my plastics companies…

We currently train our people using on-the-job training, we have a new employee follow another employee around for a couple days.
My Concern
Most people equate ‘shadowing’ with ‘on-the-job’, or OJT. According to Merriam Webster, shadowing is ‘to accompany and observe especially in a professional setting‘. This type of training acquaints the learner with the workplace but is not a good form of instruction. You would not want your cars engine to be fixed by someone who watched someone fix an engine, yet many companies put the future of their company in the hands of people who essentially watched someone else work.
Shadowing is a helpful tool, but If you want to train on-the-job, you must actually have training available for your employees. This may be  in the form of worksheets, instructions, guides, visuals, etc. 
For more about on-the-job training feel free to read:

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