Job shadowing is the process of observing someone work to learn about their job. The following are illustrative examples.
OnboardingJob shadowing can be used to onboard new employees as a type of on the job training. In some cases, this is done because nobody has taken the time to document what new employees need to know. However, job shadowing engages new employees in a highly social way and can be a good way to welcome them. Talented mid-career professionals will tend to find job shadowing tedious and are unlikely to put up with it for more than a day.
EducationJob shadowing is an excellent way to give students a realistic view of working life in a profession. This may also give employees a fresh view of their role as students are likely to ask questions that challenge the status quo thinking that may have crystallized around a job.
Knowledge TransferJob shadowing is a common way to cross-train people to build organization resilience or to handle turnover and leave. Again, this is often done because nobody wants to take the time to document things. This essentially puts the onus of documenting the role on the person who is taking it over.
Career DevelopmentJob shadowing can be used to help people in your organization explore or develop new career paths. For example, an engineer who is interested in sales who shadows a salesperson a few times.
CultureJob shadowing can be used to develop the resilience and culture of an organization. For example, an executive who shadows a frontline worker to understand their daily challenges. This is extremely productive but is seldom done.
Job SharingJob shadowing is a process of communication whereby the learner is more or less passive. This can be taken a step further with job sharing whereby the learner shares responsibility for a job for a period of time.
On The Job Training
This is the complete list of articles we have written about on the job training.
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