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Have you ever sat at your desk trying to remember the next steps in a process that you were trying to perform? You didn’t want to ask a co-worker because you were embarrassed, or maybe you work virtually in a different time zone, and you weren’t able to ask someone. A job aid may have been just what you needed!
A job aid is a summarized “memory jogger” document that helps an employee remember a process, assist in decision-making, or follow a checklist. Inadvertently, it can save time trying to find an answer or reduce the amount of training needed. Job aids are also known as cheat sheets or one-pagers.
A job aid can be used when you need to document information, a task, or a process. Using a job aid can help reduce the number of errors and keep employees up to date on frequently changing information, or document a task that is performed infrequently.
Some examples of when to use a job aid include:
Job aids improve performance by targeting a specific learning need for a specific audience. They can be used on-demand for continuous learning, targeted learning, or reinforced learning. Since the information will be contained on only one page, make sure to remove any unneeded content.
There are many different options of software that can be used to create a job aid. You don’t need to overcomplicate it. Keep it simple. PowerPoint, Word, Canva, Google Docs, Photoshop, or SnagIt would each get the job done.
Not all information has to come from an instructor, eLearning course, or video. When delivering knowledge to employees a job aid may do the trick. The process to create a job aid is to determine the need, gather the information, format the content, design it, develop it, and test it out. Be sure to keep the document to one page or less. When it comes to job aids, less is more.
Make the document easy to follow, visually pleasing, and effective. You should follow the 4 design principles: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
Once a job aid is created, you’ll want to test it out. Send it to a targeted audience. Ask for feedback on it. Things to ask the audience include: “Was it easy to understand?”, “Did it help you perform your job more efficiently”, “Was anything missing or incorrect?”, “Was something unclear?”. Based on these questions, update any relevant changes and re-publish the job aid.
Make sure to publish it to a location where the audience can access it. Make it searchable. Make it shareable. Make it printable. Be sure to consider if it needs to be digital, printed, laminated, or plotted out.
Additional Tips for Creating a Job Aid
Developing and utilizing job aids is just one of the many tools our experts use to improve learning experiences and promote knowledge retention.
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