We can almost guarantee one thing your teams want more of – time. They want time back into their schedules to get ahead, tackle a project they’ve been putting off, or spend more time with customers. Maybe they’re just desperate for some free mental space to brainstorm!
Just in time training – often called JIT training – is one training solution that is all about time. Just in time training represents time saved, time reclaimed, and time spent wisely to help your teams retain their learning and find answers when they need them most.
We’re here to break down 6 reasons why just in time training works so well, and the top methods you can use to mix it into your employee, customer, or partner training strategy.
Key Features of Just in Time Training
On-demand training can serve a unique purpose in your L&D strategy to give your learners a greater sense of ownership and confidence.
How is it distinct from other types of training? JIT training uses microlearning principles to cover a single question or share one piece of information. It’s not always on the schedule; it happens on the fly, on the sales floor, or on-site.
Other key features:
- accessibility – wherever, whenever, on any device
- short and easily digestible content
- relevant and targeted information
- well-organized in a platform or LMS
6 Reasons You Need Just in Time Training
JIT training really packs a punch compared to other L&D methods. Here are the top ways it can help your learners to succeed:
1. Motivate and create self-directed learners
Just in time training is self-directed. It puts the learner and their questions or needs in the driver’s seat. Successfully finding answers and accurate information increases their motivation to problem solve on the job and take ownership when they have questions about their job.
Effective JIT training content lessens the dynamic of ‘training manager as gatekeeper of information’ and encourages employees to seek and find the answers they need.
2. Increase confidence and knowledge
We’re more likely to remember something that we apply straight away and absorb while doing a task. With access to JIT training content, learners hold onto new information for longer, and that knowledge is connected to practical (often kinesthetic) applications to really stick over time.
This builds confidence over time as learners know they can find the help they need and apply it on the spot.
3. Boost productivity
Just in time training gets mixed into the flow of a typical workday. It doesn’t need to be blocked off on the calendar. This helps to keep employees within their workflow.
If the information can be found independently, they won’t need to wait for a colleague to reply to their question or return a call for help. This reduces downtime, leaving more space for productive tasks.
4. Improve accuracy and customer satisfaction
Your employees will feel more supported in their interactions with customers, prospects, vendors, and partners. When they need answers on pricing, policies, or product information, they can quickly find it in your intranet or LMS. JIT training ensures that your employees always have access to correct information to do their jobs well.
Sharing updated, accurate information builds customer trust and satisfaction. Additionally, when you use an LMS to organize your training materials, updates are extremely simple, requiring just a new file upload or edit to ensure that the entire organization is working off the same information – no need to reprint and distribute physical copies of information with your fingers-crossed that team members have the latest version.
5. Reduce training fatigue
JIT training combats learning fatigue and information overload. 80% of global workers say they’re struggling with information overload at work, and L&D teams should pay close attention to whether they are contributing to that problem, or helping to solve it.
Because JIT training is on-demand, bite-sized, and answers specific questions, it is automatically more useful to learners. When a longer e-learning course or in-person seminar is required, you can pare down the content to the essentials (knowing that other pieces can be learned later on the job). This fights training fatigue and boosts engagement.
6. Enhance the onboarding process
It’s tempting to give a new hire every possible detail they might need on the job. You want to cover all the bases as a manager or training department. But you also have to contend with the reality of forgetfulness over time and the negative consequences of information overload.
Offer access to JIT training so your learners know where they can go when they organically encounter a problem or question on the job. You should absolutely share foundational knowledge during the onboarding process – but instill the expectation that employees can easily revisit and find answers to further questions through JIT training content to continue growing their expertise.
The Top Methods and Examples of Just in Time Training
To be successful, you need a laser-focused training needs assessment and a first-hand understanding of the knowledge gaps and pain points for your learners. After you’ve done your research, here are a few methods you can use to deliver JIT training:
- Mobile Learning: Just in time training can be effectively delivered on a mobile device. Your organization could create a mobile app, use a cloud-based LMS, or even try SMS as a way to deliver just in time training information to your teams.
- Performance Support Tools: These are quick guides or resources that help learners to problem solve or complete a task with step-by-step instructions in real-time.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR technologies can simulate real-world scenarios, so your learners can receive JIT training in an almost-real environment. Boeing recently introduced AR headsets to give technicians “hands-free 3-D diagrams as they install electrical wiring in its aircraft.” It doesn’t get more on-demand than that!
- Job Aids: Job aids are quick-reference materials offering step-by-step instructions, diagrams, or flowcharts to help learners perform their tasks. These can be commonly seen in service and retail environments for quick reference on the job.
- Content Library: On-demand, pre-recorded webinars or tutorials so learners can explore a topic whenever they have the need or opportunity – no need to pre-register or show up at a certain time.
- Searchable Knowledge Bases: Make sure your policy and procedure documents are easy to find and search, so employees don’t need to endlessly scroll to find the answers they need.
Quick…How Will Your Organization Use Just in Time Training?
JIT training takes the learner-centered approach that your teams need. With so many teams stretched thin, it’s an ideal way to build a culture of continuous learning. Positive growth in productivity, confidence, and customer satisfaction are some of biggest benefits you can see from offering training according to need and on-demand.
If you’re ready for the next step, learn the key steps to implement a JIT training strategy.