Relying on On-The-Job Training Alone

I heard this comment the other day from a restaurant owner. Although it was not my place to tell him how to run his restaurant, I did think it was a great discussion topic for this blog…

I can’t bother to train my staff… they learn what they need to know on-the-job.
My Thoughts
Expecting on-the-job training to train all your employees is a very questionable option. It requires time off the job for both the trainer and trainee, and in most cases, the information passed on is limited to a need-to-know basis – making it sparse and incomplete.
In the case of the restaurant, it is unnerving to consider, the employees may never have been taught the true importance of separating the meats from the vegetables, proper temperature settings on refrigeration equipment, or heating my chicken breast to 170ºF.
This got me thinking… how does a typical customer feel when their supplier says the same thing… do they have the same level of concern regarding the products they receive. Are they asking: Does Quality understand our critical factors…? Did the Material Handler understand why my nylon must be dried…? Did Shipping understand why our boxes are labelled in a special way…?
On-The-Job training is good, but it must be tempered with actual knowledge and skill development exercises so that the employees understand the concepts and can apply them to their daily job.
Anyways, the food was cooked (maybe a little too much), but I may never go back to that restaurant again.

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