The What and the How of a Job Aid

When deciding between an eLearning course and a job aid, industries need to know that job aids direct performance as the need-to-know arises. On the other hand, eLearning courses build performance capacity prior to the need-to-know.

If your learners use the information infrequently, but find it harder to recall because the information is complex, create a job aid. In this article, we will demonstrate the significance of a job aid in the training industry.

Most leading organizations are moving from the industrial age to the information age. This means that we no longer wish to work hard. We desire to work smarter and faster.

While there are many job automation tools and devices, the procedure or protocol to operate them is critical to the employee’s success. Developing a job aid is the fastest way to achieve performance turnover.

What is a job-aid anyway?

A job aid is a repository of information, processes and perspectives gathered from expert employees or a manufacturer’s notes. It is external to the employee, that is, the employee does not rely on his or her memory to perform the task. They need to refer to the job aid to complete the task accurately.

A job aid supports work activities. It directs, guides and enhances performance. It also boosts employee performance and motivation to carry out the tasks in a timely manner.

Why do organizations need to develop job aids?

Organizations need to understand the difference between information and education. eLearning comes to our rescue when we need to educate. Job aids directly support performance in a real-time manner. It’s a critical reference source for several job activities, especially where consequences for errors are high.

It also serves as a precaution for performances depending on a large body of information. Job aids are created for information that changes frequently and also for a careful execution of delicate procedures.

How can eLearning tools help create job aids?

In the current information age, several organizations are opting for a paperless work environment. Instructional designers need to work closely with front line managers to create a particular job aid. Extra care is needed for tasks that require judgment.

eLearning developers can enact tasks through scenarios in a brief manner to encourage the desirable judgement for a step requiring it. Also, eLearning tools can serve better when creating self-assessment procedures to double check if the performance is at the appropriate level.

eLearning tools can easily be used to create several formats of job aids. These include steps, worksheets, arrays, decision tables, flowcharts, checklists, and combinations of any of the formats. The best part is that eLearning tools make the job aids completely interactive.

They are also mobile friendly and can be viewed using a smartphone or any other portable device. This way, your employees can have a “coach” while on the job!

Here are some questions to ask a team that requires some new job aids:

· Do you have any questions?

· Were you unsure at any time?

· Were some steps harder to follow than others?

· Was it difficult to use at your workstation?

· Were the instructions clear?

· Were the steps in the correct order?

· Were there times you needed more information?

· Were there times when there was too much information?

· Did you see any typos?

· Were there circumstances not covered?

Remember, always involve the SME when creating the job aid.
Good luck with your job aid development using eLearning tools. Do let us know how it goes.

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