Job aids are written tools that help employees perform job tasks. They are like “cheat sheets”, “crib notes” or “Spark Notes” in the working world. They come in many forms; including: checklists, reminder cards, forms, templates, procedures, diagrams, charts, etc. Their purpose is to help employees consistently perform their jobs at the highest level possible.
Most employees are trained in a classroom or on-the-job, but the knowledge from that type of training is difficult to retain and transfer to the job. Job skill performance support through job aids provides guidance where and when it is needed by employees. Job aids focus attention on what employees are expected to do and produce.
The benefits of job aids are many, including:
- Providing clear and easy-to-follow instructions for employees to use on-the-job
- Improving training retention and increasing skills transfer from training to the job
- Leading to more accurate and consistent job performance
- Minimizing the need for job experience for new hires
- Significantly reducing training time
- Saving money by reducing training costs, mistakes and customer complaints
- Solving training or job skill retention problems
- Boosting employee job performance confidence
Job aids are best used as a supplement to formal training. They are also beneficial when employees join a company one-at-a-time - making it impossible or economically unfeasible to conduct a training class. With job aids, new employees can get up to speed quickly and feel confident that they are performing tasks correctly. Job aids are also great reference tools for new and existing employees. Job aids help in:
- Supplementing training
- Ensuring commonly performed tasks are performed consistently
- Ensuring infrequently performed tasks are performed accurately
- Ensuring that complex tasks are performed correctly