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Executive Summary: On-the-job training is a crucial aspect of skill development in the workplace. This blog explores the significance and benefits of on-the-job training, as well as different types of training methods that can be employed. Additionally, it delves into the concept of microlearning and how it can enhance traditional on-the-job training.

On-the-job training: The age-old tradition of learning a skill by getting your hands dirty (quite literally, sometimes). Forget about cramping employees into a stuffy classroom where a monotone lecturer drones on and on. With on-the-job training, employees dive into action and learn through real-world experience.

On-the-job training is like having a personal instructor guide employees through the ins and outs of a role. It’s an opportunity for L&D leaders and HR managers to foster talent development in organizations. You can provide practical experiences that go beyond theoretical knowledge. Employees work side-by-side with seasoned professionals who pass on their wisdom (and maybe some questionable jokes) while showing them the ropes.

So, if you’re tired of traditional training and want to give your employees an exciting learning adventure filled with real-world challenges, on-the-job training is just the answer. Get your employees to roll up their sleeves, don their superhero capes (or safety gear), and embark on an unforgettable journey to become a skilled professional.

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People forget nearly 90% of what they have learnt within just 7 days, unless the concepts are reinforced. That’s why employees swamped with documents, presentations, and classroom sessions are not likely to learn much.

However, time constraints make it difficult to reinforce vast concepts.

What can you do instead? Arm your employees with one concept at a time. Studies show the human attention span is only 8.25 seconds, so keep your training concise.

RapL is your software for that.

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What is on-the-job training?

On-the-job training is a practical approach to provide employees with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to perform specific tasks at work. It involves a series of processes that occur within an organization. It results in the absorption and integration of values, skills, knowledge, and emotions (Bouchrika, 2023).

Instead of using presentations or worksheets, employees learn about their job by actively doing it. This training occurs at the actual workplace, where a supervisor, manager, or experienced colleague provides guidance. The duration of on-the-job training varies. It can go from a few days to several weeks or more, depending on the complexity of the job. Typically, new employees begin by observing experienced colleagues. They gradually take on tasks under their supervision.

New employees who undergo on-the-job training directly experience the various tasks and processes they will encounter. They become familiar with workplace norms, how to operate equipment, and any other skills necessary for their job (Valamis, 2023). By giving employees the chance to learn by doing, organizations can ensure they are equipped with practical skills that can be applied directly to their roles. Plus, it adds excitement to the learning process—because who doesn’t love a little adrenaline rush while acquiring new skills?

Types of on-the-job training

  1. Structured on-the-job training: Think of structured on-the-job training as a step-by-step way to learn at work. It involves planned activities, mentorship, resources, and job rotation, along with a specific curriculum. Structured on-the-job training optimizes employee development by tailoring learning experiences to specific job roles. It also enables targeted skill acquisition. Through planned activities and mentorship, structured on-the-job training ensures efficient knowledge transfer. This leads to improved job performance through hands-on learning and practical application.

  2. Informal on-the-job training: This is a spontaneous and unstructured learning approach within the workplace. It involves experiential learning through observation, trial and error, and peer interactions. While less systematic than formal training, it offers flexibility and adaptability. It enables employees to learn in real-life scenarios. Informal on-the-job training promotes quick skill acquisition, knowledge sharing, and a collaborative atmosphere. It complements formal training methods for a well-rounded learning experience. Not to mention, employees sharing embarrassing mistakes also strengthens social connections in the workplace!

  3. Technology-enhanced on-the-job training: This on-the-job training integrates digital tools and platforms to enhance learning experiences. It leverages virtual simulations, e-learning modules, and augmented reality to provide immersive, interactive training. This allows employees to practice skills in a controlled environment, receive instant feedback, and access resources conveniently. It accelerates skill development by catering to diverse learning styles.

Benefits of on-the-job training

  • Enhanced skill acquisition: Ever heard that swimming is best learnt by jumping into the pool, rather than reading about it? Well, the same logic applies for on-the-job training: it enables enhanced skill acquisition through active learning by doing. This approach immerses (pun intended) employees in real tasks. It builds practical expertise and confidence. Microlearning complements on-the-job training by using scenario-based learning. This reinforces understanding through active application. It results in a well-rounded skill set and improved job performance. It also fosters a deeper grasp of tasks and their real-world implications.

  • Faster transition to the workforce: On-the-job training facilitates a quicker transition to the workforce by reducing learning time. It imparts industry-specific knowledge directly applicable to tasks, ensuring employees are job-ready sooner. Microlearning supplements this with bite-sized training modules. This enhances the learning process by delivering targeted information efficiently. As a result, on-the-job training expedites employees’ integration into their roles. It equips them with practical skills and insights needed to excel in their respective fields.

  • Personalized learning experiences: On-the-job training tailors instruction to individual strengths and weaknesses. This maximizes skill development by addressing specific needs. Direct mentorship and guidance further enhance this personalized journey. Microlearning, through adaptive modules, complements on-the-job training. It adjusts training content based on learners’ progress. This synergy ensures a customized learning path, fostering competence and confidence while aligning with each individual’s unique learning curve.

  • Improved knowledge retention: On-the-job training offers a dual advantage of enhanced knowledge retention and performance. This is attributed to muscle memory, where practical tasks become ingrained through repetitive actions. Combining on-the-job training with microlearning techniques, such as spaced repetition, strengthens knowledge absorption. The “Forgetting Curve” described by Ebbinghaus states that people forget 80% of what they learn in just 3 days, unless it’s reinforced. Microlearning wisely uses spaced repetition, where you repeatedly review information at specific times. This counteracts the curve’s effect, helping employees remember better. With spaced repetition, employees remember what they learnt, helping them perform their jobs better.

In conclusion, on-the-job training is a valuable method for learning and developing new skills in the workplace. However, supplementing traditional on-the-job training with microlearning can take your training to the next level.

Microlearning offers bite-sized, easily digestible content that allows employees to learn on their own terms and at their own pace. It provides a flexible and efficient way to reinforce knowledge and bridge any gaps in understanding.

RapL is a leading provider of microlearning solutions. With RapL’s innovative platform, companies can deliver engaging and interactive training modules that keep employees motivated and excited to learn. So, say goodbye to boring manuals and hello to interactive quizzes, videos, and simulations!

By combining on-the-job training with microlearning, organizations can ensure their employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. To know more about how RapL can assist you, contact us at

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Thanks for being with us all the way here

Dear reader, thanks for being with us all the way till the end. We suggest 2 things from here

1. Speak to us if you want a microlearning strategy deep-dive: Microlearning is extremely effective, if approached sensibly. Microlearning is the answer to today’s shortening attention spans and we know how to make learning successful via microlearning. Drop your context here and we shall partner with you for the rest.

2. Lap up more content: We have written some intense literature on how microlearning is the superglue between people and successful business operations. Access all of it here.

More To Explore
Mobile Microlearning - CV
Mobile microlearning – productivity powerhouse in your pocket

Executive Summary: In an era of constant change and disruption, continuous learning has become a strategic imperative for companies looking to thrive in the digital age. By prioritizing continuous learning and investing in innovative training methods like mobile microlearning, companies can position themselves for success in an increasingly dynamic and competitive business environment. In a world where information flows faster than ever, the art of learning has evolved. Gone are the days of lugging around heavy files or sitting through lengthy lectures. Say hello to Mobile Microlearning – the pocket-sized powerhouse of information that’s changing the way we learn, one byte at a time! So, what exactly is Mobile Microlearning? Think of it as the bite-sized snack of upskilling, served conveniently on your employees’ smartphones or tablets. It’s like giving them a personal tutor in their pocket, ready to dish out nuggets of wisdom whenever and wherever they are.Picture this: you’re waiting for your morning coffee, idly scrolling through your phone. Instead of mindlessly browsing memes (Yes! we all do it), why not spend a few minutes diving into a quick lesson on sales skills or product knowledge? With Mobile Microlearning, the possibilities are endless. Now, you might be wondering, why all the fuss about “micro” learning? Well, the beauty lies in its simplicity. Rather than overwhelming your brain with a tsunami of information, Mobile Microlearning breaks it down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to digest. It’s like eating a pizza one slice at a time – much more manageable, wouldn’t you agree? Mobile Microlearning breaks it down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to digest. It’s like eating a pizza one slice at a time – much more manageable! But wait, there’s more! Mobile Microlearning isn’t just about convenience, it’s also incredibly effective. Studies have shown that short, frequent bursts of learning can lead to better retention and understanding. When employees retain and understand information, they can actually apply it in their day-to-day tasks to keep improving their quality of work. Enhancing productivity through bite-sized learning How traditional training lowers productivity Traditional training methods often involve lengthy seminars, workshops, and reading through extensive manuals. While these approaches may have worked in the era of dial-up internet and VHS tapes, they’re about as outdated as a fax machine in a world of smartphones. They can be quite time-consuming and disruptive in today’s fast-paced work environment! Employees are often juggling multiple tasks and responsibilities, making it challenging to dedicate large blocks of time to training sessions. As a result, traditional training methods may not only disrupt employees’ work but also fail to deliver the desired outcomes due to information overload and lack of engagement. Information overload can best be understood as that situation which arises when there is so much relevant and potentially useful information available that it becomes a hindrance rather than a help (Bawden & Robinson, 2020). When employees are bombarded with too much information at one time, they end up feeling like they’ve been hit by a knowledge tsunami – they struggle to keep their heads above water, let alone remember what they’ve learned. They may not learn and retain key concepts. This means they don’t absorb anything well enough to apply it and enhance their quality of work. When employees aren’t engaged, they tend to lose interest during seminars and training sessions. They might find the sessions boring or not relevant to their job, so they don’t pay attention. As a result, they don’t actually learn or retain the information. Eventually, it’s all forgotten, and there is no improvement in the quality of work or productivity. In essence, traditional training may feel like investing in a gym membership and only using the sauna – it’s a lot of effort with little to show for it. It becomes a waste of valuable resources, failing to equip employees with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in their roles and contribute to organizational success. Traditional training methods often involve lengthy seminars, workshops, and reading through extensive manuals. They can be time-consuming and disruptive in today’s fast-paced work environment. How mobile microlearning solves the problem Microlearning offers a refreshing escape from this training treadmill by breaking down complex topics into small, digestible modules. This approach recognizes that most employees have limited attention spans (unless it’s cat videos), and learn best when information is presented in short, focused bursts. By delivering content in bite-sized chunks, microlearning makes it easier for employees to absorb and retain information. Studies have shown that microlearning can lead to higher knowledge retention rates compared to traditional methods, making it the MVP of corporate training programs. Mobile microlearning takes the concept of microlearning a step further by leveraging the convenience of mobile devices. Employees can access microlearning modules directly from their smartphones or tablets, allowing them to learn on-the-go. For example, during short breaks, commutes, or downtime between meetings, employees can easily access bite-sized training materials without disrupting their work. This flexibility empowers employees to take control of their upskilling journey and make the most of their available time. Ultimately, this enhances their productivity and efficiency. With mobile microlearning, employees can access modules directly from their smartphones or tablets, allowing them to learn on-the-go. Examples Picture this: a sales rep waiting for their next client meeting in a coffee shop. Instead of twiddling their thumbs or staring into space, they whip out their smartphone and dive into a quick module on people skills. It’s like a power-up in a video game – a small investment of time that yields big rewards in knowledge and skills. For a project manager stuck on a crowded train, mobile microlearning is their secret weapon against boredom and wasted time. With just a few taps, they can brush up on project management principles or learn a new productivity hack, turning their commute into a mini-training session. Maintaining competitive advantage Like Formula 1 races, industries today are fast-paced, full of twists and turns, requiring lightning-fast adaptation to stay ahead of the

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