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Introducing Job Instruction Training

One way to remove variability from your process is to ensure the operators are properly trained. Sounds easy enough – but how do you go about doing that?

Fortunately, a proven methodology has already been developed. Job Instruction Training (JI), one of four programs contained in Training Within Industry (see this blog for more information on TWI) covers this important topic. According to JI, training can be broken down into the following steps:

  1. Prepare the Operator.  People tend to be nervous before learning something new and this can impact the learning process.  So, try to relax the operator while learning more about him, including any relevant experience.  You also want to explain why what they are learning is important and how this task relates to the overall manufacturing process.
  2. Present the Operation.  Explain each of the steps in the operation, identifying key points along with the reasons for each step.  Describing each step while the operator watches will help the operator learn much faster. The more senses that are utilized during learning will increase the retention rate and speed.
  3. Perform the Operation. Once the operator has seen the steps performed and had the key points and reasons explained, now is the time to try it himself.  As the operator works through the steps, have him explain the key points and reasons for each step.  Be patient as the operator walks through each of the steps taking the time to check for understanding by asking questions.
  4. Follow-Up.  Once you feel the operator has a good understanding of the process, you can leave him alone.  But, make sure you check back with him periodically (more frequently initially) to ensure the steps are being followed and he doesn’t have any questions.

After reviewing this information, you probably had a similar reaction as me which was “this seems fairly straightforward.”  However, I also wondered how many instructors have been taught how to train an employee to do a new job.  Without a doubt, it is possible to be successful without a fully defined training methodology, but, I wonder, how much more efficient and effective could you be if you took the time to establish a formal training method for your instructors to follow?

For more practical tips for manufacturing professionals to attract, train and retain your hourly workforce, go to