Implementing a Just-In-Time (JIT) learning strategy in the modern day workplace sounds like a no-brainer. This flexible approach to learning offers corporate educators and organizations the ability to foster an environment of continuous learning, increase employee ownership, and improve efficiency.
But getting JIT content right takes time, energy, and work. While it’s no doubt worth the effort in the end, it also takes proper planning and a strategic approach. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to leverage this performance-boosting process, and how it can lead to increased efficiency and employee satisfaction in tandem.
The Benefits of Just-In-Time Learning
Implementing a just-in-time learning strategy is a great way to boost employee performance, and this readily available information helps employees do their own jobs better. Some of the benefits of introducing JIL in to the workplace include:
- Increased Access to Learning: Make professional development more accessible by providing bite-sized snippets of learning on-the-go. JIT learning empowers employees to improve their knowledge or skills during downtime or as they need it.
- Better Employee Accuracy: Support employees with lists, tips, and facts that help them complete tasks related to their jobs. JIT learning increases the likelihood that employee solutions align with company standards.
- Improved Employee Confidence: Encourage ownership in the workplace by giving your employees access to performance support materials that with help decision-making. When employees have access to the information they need, they’re more likely to make confident and informed decisions.
- Reduced Development Time: Create content that scales to meet your employees’ needs. JIT learning reduces the amount of time that teams spend reworking content and revising entire courses to keep them up-to-date.
The Safer Way to Fill Knowledge Gaps
Most employees are already in the practice of turning to search engines to address learning gaps on-the-job, and for good reason. With the rapid pace of digital transformation and ever-evolving toolkits in the workplace, it’s no wonder their search-bar activity may spike during work hours. But having employees rely on third-party search introduces new risks to the workplace, in that employers can’t ensure that they are accessing the right information that aligns with company guidelines.
Introducing JIT learning into the workplace helps employers address the need for search-based problem solving and provide employees with the preferred solutions as defined by their organization. This benefit alone has helped JIT learning strategies and tools gain momentum in organizations around the globe in the form of wikis, databases, and search-friendly platforms.
Best Practices for Just-In-Time Learning
JIT learning might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but introducing it into your corporate learning strategy can streamline your L&D efforts and accelerate employee growth. Make sure to include these best practices when building out a strategy of your own:
1. Ask Your Employees What They Need
Not all learning needs to be just-in-time. Start by asking employees what they need when it comes to learning content, or what kinds of issues they face most often in the workplace. By getting a pulse on what the current learning gaps are, you can create content that truly meets your employees’ needs. Asking in a one-on-one setting may work best - not many people feel comfortable stating their areas for improvement in a peer group.
2. Use Real-World Scenarios
According to the 70:20:10 rule, only 10% of employee learning comes from formal training. In fact, the remaining 90% comes from either observing others or learning on-the-job. Use JIL content like case studies or video tutorials that apply solutions to realistic circumstances. For example, record your best sales reps' negotiation tactics or your star talent acquisition manager's candidate scoping calls.
3. Keep Your Content Short
Just-in-time learning is made to be used – you guessed it – just in time. That means that learners don’t necessarily have the time or will to consult long-form content or training materials. Make sure you to create bite-sized content that it’s easy to find, and that is straight to the point.
4. Organize Your Learning Objects
What good is JIT learning if your employees can’t find it when they need it? Make sure that you take the time to structure and organize your content in a way that makes sense for you and your employees. Having a good LMS in place will help you structure your content into learning objects that can be used (and reused) by employees as they go.
5. Structure Your Content for Search
Don’t forget to put some thought into your use of metadata and tag your content to create a searchable learning database for your employees. Having the right metadata strategy will help employees find what they’re looking for at the time they need it most.
Continuous Learning, Just in Time
With so many changes impacting the standards, policies, and practices across every industry, it’s important that the modern day employee has access to the tools they need to support skill development as they go. Introducing a JIT learning strategy can help your employees keep pace in the modern workplace, and help you to create a flexible corporate culture that rises to every challenge.