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Training Tip

Job Aids by Cathy Bolger

I am finding that companies have less time and money to train employees. Therefore, I have had to search for different ways to make sure that learning actually transfers to the job. One way is through the use of job aids.

An example of a very effective job aid is the familiar "choking victim" job aid on restaurant walls. This allows people to access information they may have learned about months or even years past.

Job aids are especially important if the skill is infrequently used or not used immediately. I personally would like a job aid each time I go to a new company and use a VCR or phone system.

Job aids are also valuable for situations requiring several steps. For instance I give out a job aid on a small card listing the six steps involved in reaching a win/win agreement in conflict management.

Here are some of the recommendations from the book A Handbook of Job Aids by Allison Rossett and Jeannette Gautier Downes:

  • Lead with action verbs, i.e. "restate customer's concern."

  • Use boldface type to draw attention to crucial ideas or action.

  • Use white space to separate information.

  • Consider using color and pictures.
Job aids can help people do their jobs better. They can help ensure more consistent performance, and they can be a cost effective way to improve transfer of training to the jobs and lives of our trainees.

Browse Amazon Books Recommended Reading:
A Handbook of Job Aids by Jeannette Gautier Downes and Allison Rossett. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer & Co., 1991

CCathy Bolger, PhD is a San Diego-based consultant specializing in Training Skills.



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