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How to Produce a Useful Job Aid

🕑 3 minutes read | Jul 08 2022 | By Jody Gayeski, TTA Learning Consultant
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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!

producing a job aid

What is a Job Aid?

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.

When Can a Job Aid be Useful?

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:

  • Step-by-step process
  • Checklist
  • Flowchart
  • Decision making
  • Reference
  • FAQs

job aid examples

How Can Job Aids Improve Performance?

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.

What Software Can Be Used for a Job Aid?

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.

How to Create a Useful Job Aid – 4 Design Principles

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.

  1. Contrast: You want to have a contrast of colors, fonts, and objects so your brain comprehends what it’s reading.
  2. Repetition: Repeat things like colors, fonts, and graphics. It can be tied to your company brand or to the software that the job aid is referencing.
  3. Alignment: Think about how to properly align objects and fonts. Alignment can create appropriate unification and an overall sophisticated look. Be concise about how and where you place items on the page.
  4. Proximity: How close or far away you place objects on the page determines how relationships are perceived. Placing objects closer together implies a relationship while placing objects farther apart implies solidarity.

You’ve Created a Job Aid… Now What?

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

  • Use action words (click, replace, continue, delete).
  • Keep content easy to understand.
  • Stay concise and consistent.
  • Use bullet points and numbered steps.
  • Use a template, if needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Keep the job aid one page or less.
  • Ensure the document will help an employee make a decision, accomplish a task, or complete a process.
  • Use the 4 design principles: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity.
  • Keep in mind who will use the job aid. How and where will it be used? Will it be used outside? If so, you may want to laminate it.

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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