Organizational Wellness

Enhancing HR Efficiency with Job Aids

Nov 29, 2023
Last Updated Nov 29, 2023

According to a recent study by Degreed, 43% of employees say they simply don’t have the time when asked to state their biggest obstacle to professional development. Given that US companies spent an average of $1,071 per employee on training in 2021, it’s important that employers continue to streamline employee training processes to optimize costs and ensure employees have the right knowledge and resources to succeed and grow in their roles. 

One of the ways employers can streamline employee training processes is through job aids. Job aids are valuable tools designed to support employees in their work by providing quick access to information, procedures, and guidelines. They serve as reference materials or job-specific resources that can boost employee productivity. Here are some of the benefits of job aids and suggestions on how you can implement them in your employee training processes to improve employee productivity and performance. 

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What Are Job Aids?

A job aid is a tool or resource designed to support employees in their day-to-day activities and decision-making processes. It serves as a reference guide or quick-reference tool that provides concise and relevant information or best practices related to specific tasks or responsibilities.

A job aid can take various forms, such as checklists, flowcharts, templates, step-by-step guides, manuals, videos, and more. Ultimately, it aims to give employees a tool that can help them reduce errors and ensure consistency in their everyday work.

Job Aids vs Job Training

You may be asking what the difference is between job aid and employee job training. Many HR teams have robust employee onboarding processes that formalize employee training for things like important company policies, communication styles, employee benefits, and the organizational culture overall. 

Job aid is meant to reinforce the more formal employee training processes by providing quick information employees need to complete a task quickly and effectively. Formal employee training, on the other hand, is generally more structured and often focuses on upskilling or professional development

Examples of Job Aids

Here are some common job aid formats that you can build for your employees. 

Step-by-Step Guides

This type of job aid provides a detailed and sequential set of instructions to help employees perform a specific task. Each step is clearly outlined, making it easy for individuals to follow along and complete each task properly. Step-by-step guides are particularly useful for complex procedures that require a specific order of actions.

Checklist

Checklists are a popular option for job aids due to their simplicity. They consist of systematic lists of tasks or items that need to be completed, although the order is not as important as step-by-step guides. Checklists serve as a quick reference for making sure that all necessary steps have been addressed. They are especially helpful for preventing oversight and ensuring thoroughness in completing each project.

Video Walkthroughs

These job aids are visual guides that demonstrate how to perform certain tasks. They leverage audio-visual elements to provide a more immersive learning experience, allowing your employees to see the actual steps being executed. Video walkthroughs are a good choice for tasks that benefit from visual demonstration, such as software tutorials or assembly instructions.

Reference Guides

Reference guides are another common job aid. These comprehensive documents offer detailed information on a topic or process, which makes them a go-to resource for users who need more in-depth knowledge or clarification. Reference guides are often organized for easy navigation so that employees can quickly find the answers they need. Most include information like definitions and troubleshooting tips, as well as suggestions for additional resources. Reference guides can be useful for both beginners and experienced employees.

Benefits of Job Aids

In the 1880s, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus created the model known as Ebbinghaus’ “Forgetting Curve”, which illustrates the level of retention of information over time. According to the Forgetting Curve, people who learn new information can forget up to 50% of all new information within a day and up to 90% of all new information within a week. Take a look at your workforce. How many of your employees are distracted and inundated with information on a daily basis? Job aids can help employees retain crucial training information and benefit your organization by: 

  1. Providing Quick Access to Information

Job aids provide employees with quick and easy access to relevant information, procedures, and guidelines. Instead of spending time searching for information or seeking assistance from others, they can refer to the job aid to find the necessary details promptly. This saves time and enables employees to make informed decisions more efficiently and autonomously.

  1. Ensuring Consistency in Processes

Job aids also ensure consistency in processes and practices. Employers can ensure their employees complete tasks consistently and accurately across the organization by using the information outlined in the job aid. This consistency reduces errors and confusion and creates a sense of equity among employees.

  1. Reducing Training Time

Job aids can be especially valuable during employee onboarding or training. HR leaders can use job aids to provide new hires with clear instructions and guidelines, reducing the need for extensive one-on-one training sessions. This saves time and allows HR leaders to focus on other critical responsibilities.

  1. Providing Support for Complex Tasks

Employees and managers often encounter complex tasks or processes that require specific knowledge or expertise. Job aids can serve as a comprehensive resource, providing step-by-step instructions or decision trees to navigate through these complexities. This support empowers individuals to handle complex tasks more confidently and accurately.

  1. Fostering Continuous Improvement

Job aids can — and should — be regularly updated and improved based on feedback or evolving organizational developments. Keeping up to date with job aids ensures that employees have access to the most relevant and accurate information, enabling them to perform their roles more effectively.

How to Create Effective Job Aids

Implementing job aids involves several important steps to ensure their successful adoption and effectiveness.

  1. Assess the specific needs and challenges of your employees. Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your organization’s training needs and organizational challenges. This includes understanding current processes and identifying pain points so that you can determine areas where job aids will provide the most value. Engage with employees at different levels within the company to gather insights and feedback regarding the specific procedures that could benefit from job aids.
  2. Identify key processes and tasks that can benefit from job aids. Based on the assessment, identify the key processes and tasks that can be improved through the use of job aids. Be sure to note any alternative methods or common problems that arise during the task process. This ensures that the selected job aids are strategically applied to mitigate common problems encountered during routine tasks.
  3. Design an easy-to-use format. Next, consider the format and structure of the job aid. Which structure best suits the process or task? You can use templates such as checklists or reference guides based on the complexity and nature of the tasks. Ensure that the content is concise and easy to understand. Incorporate relevant policies and best practices into the job aids to ensure accuracy and consistency.
  4. Train employees on effective use of job aids. Provide training to employees that covers the purpose and benefits of the job aids, how to navigate and utilize them, and how they integrate into existing processes. Ensure managers understand the content and application of the job aids so that they can support their teams. Provide hands-on practice sessions to reinforce learning and address any questions or concerns. Ongoing support and access to training materials or resources are also beneficial.
  5. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of job aids. Finally, to evaluate the effectiveness of the job aids, set up benchmarks and tracking metrics that continuously monitor their use. Gather feedback from staff regarding their experience with the job aids and any suggestions for improvement. Track metrics such as time saved, reduction in errors, increased consistency, or improved employee productivity to assess the impact of the job aids. It is important to regularly review and update the job aids based on changing needs to ensure their relevance and effectiveness over time.

How to Best Utilize Job Aids

Job aids offer employees a range of advantages, from streamlining processes and ensuring consistency to boosting productivity and reducing errors. These tools provide quick access to information, which helps employees make informed decisions efficiently. By incorporating job aids into training programs, organizations can enhance employee skills and contribute to overall productivity. Job aids and employee wellness initiatives can work together to promote a thriving workforce. 

Solutions like Gympass play a pivotal role in a holistic approach to employee wellbeing. Gympass provides employees with access to various fitness and wellness options, which support both physical and mental wellbeing. Talk to a wellbeing specialist to explore how incorporating wellness initiatives like Gympass can improve overall employee wellbeing and maximize workforce efficiency.

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Gympass Editorial Team

The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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