30 March 2023

Why learning on the job is so important?

A young woman smiling while taking notes of a meeting or lecture



Learning on the job has become increasingly popular in today's ever-evolving business world. It's a form of education that takes place outside of a formal teaching environment like a classroom and instead focuses on learning through experience.

This article will explore the benefits of workplace education, as well as how to go about it to make sure it's successful. We'll look at how it can help employees to become more productive and lead to better customer satisfaction, as well as provide tips for learning on the job in any industry.

By understanding the advantages of learning on the job, employers can make sure their workforce is well-trained and knowledgeable in their respective fields, while also preparing them for future career opportunities, both lateral and vertical. Let's dive into learning on the job!


Does it really work?

Learning on the job has been proven to increase effectiveness, productivity, job satisfaction, and retention, and to decrease errors and costs.

It can be an invaluable resource for increasing effectiveness and productivity. The combination of knowledge acquisition while performing offers a unique advantage, as it allows individuals to quickly understand the context in which their work is applied and to develop immediately applicable solutions.

It also encourages problem-solving skills and creative thinking, as well as offers the chance to build relationships with colleagues. Learning on the job gives workers more confidence in tackling difficult tasks and responding effectively to problems, thus making them more productive overall.

Furthermore, finding out about new methods or technologies helps employees stay competitive in their fields by staying up-to-date on trends and developments. All of these advantages add up to make learning on the job a powerful tool for improving effectiveness and productivity, with over 60% of respondents of a Salesforce study reporting that opportunities to learn on the job would make them happier with their work and over 70% reporting that opportunities to learn on the job would make them more productive.

A graph showing the positive influence of learning on the job

Also, when employees are learning new skills or refining their existing ones, they become more engaged in the work they’re doing. They gain a sense of accomplishment from acquiring knowledge and being able to apply what they learn directly to their work. This allows them to stay interested in their jobs, which results in higher employee morale and better team dynamics. Additionally, workplace education can lead to improved performance, greater satisfaction with the job itself, and increased loyalty toward an employer due to feeling valued by them.


On-the-job learning examples.

Transcom prides itself on being open to the needs of our employees. This includes, and especially pertains to, performance and advancement. We realize that every person is unique and that every person learns in different ways, and that’s why we try to offer as many different types of training as possible. When starting work at Transcom you will, of course, go through orientation to get you familiarized with the company and your work environment - after that the type of training you receive will depend on your role and your needs. A customer service representative, for example, might receive additional training by shadowing a colleague or by receiving direct mentorship. If you’re a self sufficient learner, we also have Transcom University which offers even more learning opportunities with the focus on you as an individual, no matter if you just started with us or if you’re looking to advance your career in Transcom. As you can see there are many types of learning on the job, some of them are:


Orientation is often used to help new employees quickly become familiar with their job and the company culture. It is the process of grasping a new job or task in a more informal setting. It's often done on the job, rather than in a traditional learning environment. Orientation can be hands-on, through observation or listening to someone else explain how to do the task. It can also involve learning how to use certain equipment or getting familiar the protocols and procedures of a particular job.


Mentorship is a training opportunity that involves learning on the job in an environment where an experienced mentor guides and assists in the process. The mentor provides feedback and direction to help the trainee, as well as introducing new ideas, concepts, and ways of doing things.

Buddy system.

The buddy system is a learning technique employed in many industries, where new employees are paired with existing experienced staff members to help them learn the ropes. This learning-on-the-job approach is beneficial to both parties, as the new employee can gain valuable knowledge while the experienced employee passes on their expertise and wisdom. This is also a mentorship training for the more experienced employee. The buddy system helps foster strong relationships between colleagues and encourages collaboration in an educational environment.


Apprenticeships are learning opportunities that combine on-the-job training with classroom study. They provide an opportunity to build up skills, knowledge, and qualifications while learning on the job in a real working environment. As well as learning practical skills, apprentices also receive structured teaching that builds up their knowledge and understanding.


Shadowing is a teaching technique where an employee shadows or observes an experienced colleague to gain knowledge and skills. This form of learning on the job involves knowledge acquisition by doing, rather than simply listening to lectures or reading materials. Shadowing helps employees gain practical experience and develop new skills quickly while learning from those who have already mastered them. This method of study is particularly popular in the medical, legal, and IT fields where it can be used to quickly train staff on complex procedures or roles.

Job rotation.

Job rotation is a strategy that involves moving employees from one job to another within a company. This helps employees develop skills and gain experience in different areas of the business. It can also help them grow within their current position and take on new challenges. With job rotation, learning on the job becomes easier since it allows workers to see different aspects of the organization and understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the company. Job rotation also provides employees with opportunities to develop professional relationships, learn new skills, and gain a better understanding of the organization as a whole.


Self-instruction is learning by doing. It involves learning on the job and acquiring new skills through hands-on experience rather than relying solely on formal education and instruction. Self-instruction is often used by professionals who need to quickly acquire new skills and knowledge in order to stay competitive in their field or industry. Here the learner employs trial and error and can learn in a way that is most specific to them. They are allowed a greater sense of autonomy while still retaining the ability to ask questions if needed.


In conclusion.

With everything taken into account, it’s easy to understand the rising importance of learning on the job. It’s important to recognize that it requires active engagement from both the learner and their employer. Employers need to provide adequate training, support, and resources for learning on the job, while learners need to take initiative to seek out learning opportunities. As shown by the multitude of examples, learning on the job is a concept suited for almost everyone due to the vast array of possible forms that it can take. The rewards are well worth it, as this type of learning can help you develop professional skills, increase your promotability and boost your career success.