an individual acquire the necessary knowledge, skill,
and habits to perform a specific job. This definition
implies that job training applies not only to the
Construction man or to new personnel in an
organization but also to any other person assigned to
a new job. Furthermore, OJT is a continual process
among Seabees. No one is completely trained; we are
constantly learning new techniques (tricks of the
trade) every time we work on a project.
However, remember that OJT is an active process,
and it requires supervisors to be aware of the needs of
the trainees and to motivate them to learn.
Use methods that add meaningful experiences to
the trainees storehouse of knowledge, listen to
suggestions, and give precise direction. Then you, as
a crew leader and project supervisor, will gain
A supervisor who does a good job of training
personnel benefits in many ways. For one thing,
well-trained crew members brag about their
supervisor, especially to their buddies in other crews.
When you have a valuable skill, knowledge, or attitude
and impart either of the same to ten others, you have
multiplied your effectiveness considerably.
When conducting OJT, you must tailor the training
methods around the nature of the subject, the time
available, and the capabilities of the trainee.
No other method of training is as effective, as
intelligent, or as interesting as coach-pupil instruction.
In addition to being a quick way of fitting anew worker
into the operation of a unit, it serves as one of the best
methods of training, because without specific
directions and guidance, a worker is likely to waste
time and material and form bad work habits.
Many industries have apprenticeship programs
designed to train workers in a trade or skill. Most
apprentice training consists of both coach-pupil
instruction with skilled worker supervision and
periodic group instruction.
Self-study is important for the OJT trainee and you
are to encourage the practice of it. Skilled and
semiskilled jobs require a considerable amount of job
knowledge and judgment ability. Even in simple jobs,
there is much basic information a worker must learn.
However, the more complicated technical jobs involve
highly specialized technical knowledge and related
skills that must be taught.
Group instruction is a practical adjunct to direct
supervision and self-study. It is a time-saver when
several workers need the same job-related knowledge
or procedures. The supervisor or trainer can check
training progress and clarify matters the trainees find
difficult to understand. Group instruction, when
intelligently used, speeds up production. For example,
suppose you have six trainees learning the same job.
Four of the trainees are having trouble with a certain
job element, while the other two have learned it. The
four people having trouble can be brought over to the
other two, and in a short time, the difficulty will most
likely be solved. In OJT, this is called group
instruction. As you can see, group instruction is not the
same as classroom or academic instruction.
Another type of OJT is piecemeal instruction. For
instance, a crew member asks you for information and
you supply it. That is piecemeal instruction. A
supervisors orders are, in a sense, a piecemeal method
of instruction because they should let others know
what, when, where, how, and why. Other examples of
piecemeal instruction are explaining regulations,
procedures, and orders; holding special meetings;
indoctrinating a new person; and conducting
In any type of effective training in which one
individual is working directly under the supervision of
another, the trainers and trainees must understand the
objectives of the training. Factors, deserving your
careful consideration as a supervisor, include
determining the trainees training needs, defining the
purpose of training, and explaining or discussing job
training concerns with the trainees.
In determining training needs, it is often a good
idea for you to interview the trainees. Through proper
questioning you can get a summary of their previously
acquired skills and knowledge related to the job. You
should compare jobs the trainees know how to do with
those they will be doing. Then determine the training
needs (required knowledge and skills minus the
knowledge and skills the trainees already possess).
Training needs should be determined for each job
pertaining to the trainees position assignment. Next,
analyze the job to be done and have all the necessary
equipment and materials available before each job
When you define the purpose of training, clearly
explain the purpose of the job, the duty, or the task to