Failure to Provide Practice Time--Being proficient at anything requires practice. There is no
such thing as a natural born athlete or skilled mechanic. All tasks which require mental and
physical skills require some practice. The point to recognize is that there is a difference
between knowing how to perform a task and being proficient at performing it. The instructor
should give the trainee time to practice to develop proficiency before evaluating the trainee's
Failure to Show the Trainee the Overall Objective--The trainee should understand how the job
fits into the operation or mission. The instructor should tell the trainee the importance of and
how his/her products or services and how they will be used.
Failure to Give Reinforcement--Providing positive reinforcement of a trainee's efforts is an
effective motivational practice. It is usually not enough simply to be motivated to try a job.
Without some kind of reinforcement, people find it difficult to sustain a high level of motivation.
The reinforcement or encouragement given to the trainee need not be in a tangible form
(promotion, pay raise, bonus). Intangible rewards are also meaningful. Vocal encouragement
and praise in front of others have positive benefits in encouraging a person. If a trainee can
develop a feeling of personal progress and accomplishment on the job or the mastering of a
skill, he/she will usually be highly motivated.
Intimidation of Trainees--Some instructors may be ineffective as trainers because they
intimidate trainees. They can do this in a variety of ways. Some use their position over the
trainee in an effort to enhance their own ego. Others, by their behavior and attitude, do it
unwittingly and unknowingly. Yet others feel that being very demanding is a good training
practice. They may have good intentions but end up intimidating trainees.
Recognizing that an instructor is intimidating trainees is often difficult. Evaluation (reaction)
forms should be provided to trainees in an OJT program. The OJT program coordinator or a
line/training supervisor should review these forms and conduct periodic evaluations of OJT
instructors. They should be able to determine if intimidation is taking place, and if necessary,
counsel the instructor in ways to eliminate it.