One-to-one training should not be seen as just a low-cost method of training. It is not simply placing an individual alongside a competent worker and expecting competence to develop by observing what is being done or by having it described to him.
What is it?
Conducted properly, one-to-one training should be well-planned, structured, and tailored to meet the needs of each individual. The training must be delivered at the right time, in the right place, and by the right person. The right time is when the individual is about to embark on a new job or task. The right place takes into consideration the on-and-off job options of the individual, bearing in mind that knowledge and skills need to be learned in the context of putting them into practice via hands-on, procedural, or social skills. The right person is someone who is not solely a subject expert, but also someone who wants to be a trainer and has the appropriate skills. This means that the one-to-one trainer should be properly trained and have a positive attitude toward this role.
The development of one-to-one training programs is more than just deciding on the training content. It involves the whole process of analysis of needs, delivery of training, transfer, and evaluation.
How it works
Analysis of needs. Analysis is two-fold. It considers the needs of the job or task in terms of knowledge and skills, and identifies the learning needs of the individual. It cannot always be assumed that the individual brings no experience or knowledge to the learning event, and it cannot be taken for granted that current job holders perform tasks or follow procedures in the prescribed way.
Delivery of training. The result of the analysis should be a list of the knowledge and skills needed by the individual. The list can then be converted into behavioral objectives that will decide the most appropriate sequence for learning. Locations can be identified, and equipment can be made available.
Transfer of training. The whole purpose of any training course is that upon completion, the trainee will be able to perform tasks that he couldn't do before or to do them better than he did before.
If the learning is not put into practice upon completion of training, then skills decay is almost sure to follow and the time and cost of training will have been wasted. To help the trainee remember an infrequently performed task, a job aid can be prepared.
Evaluation of training. This final stage of the program examines the effectiveness and value of the training. Trainees, trainers, and line managers should have input into the process using questionnaires, interviews, and appraisal techniques.
One-to-one training is not an ad hoc and inexpensive method of training. To be effective and efficient, it needs to be as systematic and structured as any other form of training.