When lack of skill or knowledge is the cause of inadequate performance, job aids (versus training) may be the answer. This brief article addresses job aids as alternatives to training. Cheaper, faster and often times more feasible, job aids can do the trick!
What are they?
With whom can they be used?
For what type of content can they be used?
What are the components?
Here are some examples of job aids:
1. Emergency Response Directory
Figure 2. Campus Map
Exhibit 1. Decision Table: How to Handle Frozen Foods After a Power Failure
(Adapted from Keeping Food Safe During Emergencies, http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/CFS/CFS-19.html)
Note: We've adapted this decision table without expert verification, so before you even think of using it, go to the Website listed or check with a food expert.
How do you create them?
Here are a few simple rules for constructing job aids:
Job aids abound and
come in a variety of formats such as step-by-step procedure, worksheet,
directory display, decision tree and table, algorithm/flowchart, checklist
and sample/ensampler. None of these are difficult to create, although
doing them well requires both experience and a sense of visual logic.
Appropriately applied to the situation and audience, they can save time
and effort, and produce amazing results.
how time flies! In June 2009, Erica and Harold celebrated their 25th wedding
anniversary and 25 years as partners and principals of HSA. In honor of
both occasions, they cruised Greece, Turkey and Italy on Crystal Cruises.
They found their journey fascinating as they visited ancient civilizations
and historic ruins. As usual, their trip combined business and pleasure.
After delivering the keynote address to open a training and development
conference in Athens, they enjoyed five days on Santorini and then set
Harold Stolovitch recently discussed "Training Ain't Performance" with ISPI Michigan's Jennifer Eichenberg. The first of the podcasts can be accessed at http://www.ispimi.org/podcasts/052109/Podcast_1.htm and the second at http://www.ispimi.org/podcasts/052109/Podcast_2.htm.
Harold will be the featured speaker at ISPI Michigan's Annual Signature Program on November 19, 2009 as well as conduct his Training Ain't Performance workshop on November 20, 2009. For more information and/or to register for either event, visit ISPI Michigan's website at http://ispimi.org/.
Talent Management is a monthly magazine directed to top-level management, senior human resources and workforce and organizational development executives whose task is to optimize the abilities of their human assets to drive and improve the execution of enterprise strategy.
Harold Stolovitch is the regular "Human Performance" columnist for Talent Management magazine. You can read his latest article, "The Value of Deliberate Practice " by visiting page 10 of the July 2009 digtial edition at http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mediatec/tm0709/#/12. For more information on Talent Management, visit their Website at www.talentmgt.com. If there are any topics that you would like Harold to address in his column, please email him at email@example.com.
Have you made your plans to join ASTD for the Telling Ain't Training Conference? Based on the best selling book of the same name, this conference explores the art of engaging employees in training programs using interactive activities to stimulate conversation and interest.
This year there are three chances to attend this popular event, including a one day program with Harold Stolovitch in partnership with the Canadian Society for Training & Development in Toronto, Canada. The dates for this year's conferences are: July 15 & 16 in Chicago, IL, October 14 & 15 in Atlanta, GA and October 23 in Toronto, Canada.
The 2007 and 2008 conferences sold out, so make sure to act fast. Register today and gain valuable tools to improve your training programs and promote long-term retention and behavioral change in your organization. For more information, visit tat.astd.org.
Dr. Harold Stolovitch, Emeritus professor, Human Performance at Work and Principal of HSA Learning & Performance Solutions, has successfully developed workplace learning and performance professionals for over 40 years. He is an experienced keynote speaker, workshop leader, author and consultant who has worked with hundreds of major corporations and professional organizations throughout the world.
Harold is available for presentations, keynote addresses, consulting and workshops at corporations and professional organizations. Click here for more information.
Our Guest Author Series
features articles by various professional colleagues. The latest in our
series is an excerpt from the recently released
Performance Architecture - The Art and Science of Improving Organizations
by Roger Addison, CPT, EdD, Carol Haig, CPT and Lynn Kearny, CPT. Roger
is the founder of Addison Consulting and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or through his blog at http://rachekup.blogspot.com.
Carol is the principal of Carol Haig & Associates (http://home.mindspring.com/~carolhaig)
and can be reached at email@example.com.
Lynn is the founder of Graphic Tools for Thinking and Learning (http://ifvp.org/directory/lkearny/index.htm)
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to buy a copy of Performance Architecture -
The Art and Science of Improving Organizations, click here.
Reprinted with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
This excerpt from Performance Architecture - The Art and Science of Improving Organizations describes an approach to performance consulting that considers problems and opportunities for improvement at multiple organizational levels. This discussion is followed by a brief exploration of the performance consultant's view of each organization as a system and how this holistic focus informs the results we produce in partnership with our clients.
In organizations, work is performed at three, and sometimes four, levels:
Performance consultants determine where issues originate and how they permeate the various levels to make sure that our investigations are complete. A client may, for example, identify an issue as originating with an individual worker or a work group. We may dig deeper to discover that while the issue affects individual workers, its source is a work procedure at the process level. Then we strategize differently based on where the issue "lives". One strategy for a performance issue that originates at the individual or worker level is to raise its level to make it more visible and thus gain additional support for resolution.
At the work or process level, we identify all the functions impacted by the process under investigation, working horizontally to ensure that relevant stakeholders are partnering to make the needed changes.
For a workplace or organizational level issue, we show how it impacts the entire enterprise, including suppliers, customers, and the competition.
Many organizations today acknowledge society as a fourth level where they, as good corporate citizens, can make valuable contributions to the environment, the economy, and to the communities they serve. This service may involve encouraging employees to contribute their efforts to local charities, such as the Volunteer Day program or the 78 Community Involvement Teams at Levy Strauss worldwide (http://www.levistrauss.com/responsibility). Another example is through active support of humanitarian issues as with Hewlett Packard's Design-for-Environment program. http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/environment/productdesign/design.html that provides environmentally sustainable products through recycling services, or the Siemens Arts Program, http://w1.siemens.com/responsibility/en/citizenship/artsprogram/into.htm that supports and advances local arts and culture in company locations around the world.
Performance improvement professionals also work at the societal level, using HPT tools and techniques to address broad areas of need in the developing world (Haig & Addison, 2002, Kaufman, 2006).
Whenever possible, performance improvement practitioners expand their work to higher organizational levels to increase the impact of improved performance and add value for the organization. Many practitioners are accustomed to working with individuals or teams to improve performance. However, organizations realize broader, longer lasting gains in performance improvement when we work across the organization rather than escalating because the customer is ultimately affected.
How We Think - System, Systematic, Systemic
Just as architects view the total project as a system as they plan and design, we in HPT see the organization as a system, thus differentiating ourselves from other disciplines which lack our system viewpoint.
HPT professionals consider that every organization is, by definition, a system, and that all components of that system are related. Therefore, when performance improvement is needed in one component we consider all of them in our investigation. Any place we touch in the organization will affect other areas because the organization is a system. This is often referred to as thinking systemically. The System Model that follows is representative of this basic HPT principle. Many performance improvement professionals have their own version of this model.
We make the greatest impact on performance when we address the whole system. As the System Model illustrates, performance begins with Inputs into a system, which are processed until the Results reach the Receiver; hence, performance occurs from left to right. Performance improvement specialists, however, work from right to left, beginning by clearly identifying the desired Results of an initiative and then working backward through the model to Inputs. (Addison & Haig, p. 40)
By thinking systemically we are able to view the enterprise as a complete system made up of these components (adapted with permission from ISPI, 2004):
The people who receive or are directly affected by the result - the stakeholders.
The Organizational or Workplace Level focuses on those processes concerned with the governance of the organization.
The Operational or Work Level includes all the processes in the value chain as well as those that maintain them. The variables here take into account the specific activities and tasks and their sequence and flow. At this level we often look for broken connections and misalignments such as bottlenecks and disconnects.
The Performer or Worker Level is focused on the actions of the individual. It therefore seems best to put the performer in the Process box. The variables to be considered are those internal to the performer that are relevant to the execution of the task. These include:
It may be useful to think of two types of processes. Some, such as sales or service, touch the customer. Others, like employee payroll or recruitment, enable the organization to function. Ultimately, organizations require both types of processes to be effective.
Inputs: Everything that initiates or is used during a process including customer requests, stakeholder demands, information, the strategic plan, tools and equipment, work schedules, assignments, and support.
Conditions: The surroundings or environment within which performance occurs such as economic and market trends, industry norms, the physical, business, and social environment. This includes the physical workspace.
Performance Feedback: Information about the quantity or quality of outputs that is fed back to a performer, operational unit, or organization from within the system. It can be used to make adjustments that will improve the results.
Value Feedback: The same type of information as provided by Performance Feedback, but originating from outside the system. Sources may include end users, stockholders, the surrounding community, the media, and so forth.
Remember that performance feedback comes from within the system and value feedback from outside. One of us explains the difference this way: when the chef tastes the soup it is performance feedback; when the customer tastes the soup it is value feedback.
System thinking is scalable and can be applied at any of the three organizational levels: worker, work, or workplace.
Performance improvement professionals use a systematic approach to organize projects. They follow sequential steps and create a replicable process to identify needs and recommend solutions, shown in Table 1.1.
Finally, performance improvement specialists take care to nurture and enhance the business partnerships we have established with our clients. (Addison & Haig, p. 42)
We're looking for articles to include in our Guest Author Series. If you have one that you would like us to consider, whether it be new or previously published elsewhere, please contact Erica Keeps at email@example.com.
Harold Stolovitch will present at the following organizations in the near future:
Click here to view HSA's Events Calendar to learn where and when Harold will be speaking as well as to read session descriptions.
you have any burning Human Performance Technology questions? Visit the
Ask Harold section of HSA's Website
and ask your questions for Harold Stolovitch to answer. Here is a recent
submission that might intrigue you:
the response, visit Ask
Harold. To ask your own question, just click on the crystal
ball at left, fill out the form and click submit.
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