This post explains what just-in-time training and learning is, how it can benefit your organization and employees, and the tools and software that make it possible.
Just-in-time training is exactly as it sounds: a process of providing training and learning materials exactly when you need them.
In this fast-paced digital age we’re living in right now, it’s no surprise this type of learning is becoming increasingly popular.
We’ve become accustomed to – and even expect in some industries – to have information at our fingertips.
What Is Just-in-Time Training and Learning?
Just-in-time learning is an approach to learning that makes information and learning resources available to employees 24/7 or exactly when they need it.
You can do this in several ways. For example, you can create a knowledge base that employees can browse at their leisure, provide training materials promptly, react in real-time with feedback, and so on.
The one constant when it comes to just-in-time training is that effective knowledge base software is essential in order to facilitate successfully.
Spekit is the #1 just-in-time training and knowledge base software on the market. If you want to adopt this training method, Spekit has all the tools and features to make it possible.
It integrates with other tools you’re already using and makes creating learning materials quick and easy. Spekit also enables you to consolidate knowledge across your organization, share and monitor employee engagement in real-time, and much more.
Benefits of Using Just-in-Time Learning
Some of the key benefits of adopting just-in-time learning within an organization include:
Increased Access To Learning Materials
Just-in-time learning means making learning materials available as and when they’re required. Adopting this ethos means increasing access to training resources organization-wide.
This means employees can find the information they need on time. Improving their professional development and helping them better perform in their roles.
Speeds up Learning Curve
People learn faster when all the information they need is readily available. This is why people learn faster “on the job” or while being mentored.
Time is money. It’s no secret there is a correlation between the speed in which an employee can perform their role and a company’s bottom line. Providing training materials just-in-time increases an employee’s learning curve and professional development.
Promotes More Cohesive Team Work
Cohesive and strong teamwork is the backbone of any successful organization. Just-in-time learning empowers teams with all the information they need, wherever they’re based.
The knock-on effect is better communication, improved morale, and the knowledge to better support one another.
With all of these benefits, if you want to adopt just-in-time training within your organization, here are 11+ of the best practices:
11+ Best Practices for Just-in-Time Training and Learning
1. Use a System/Software That Supports Just-in-Time Learning
The effectiveness and the scale in which you can roll out just-in-time learning will be limited to how effective your software and technology is.
Several types of platforms may be suitable, depending on your individual needs. Typically, organizations use microlearning, knowledge base, and digital adoption platforms.
These platforms enable users to create a wide range of training materials and resources and quickly share or roll them out.
Spekit is the market leader in this field. It’s a microlearning platform that can facilitate just-in-time learning and more.
This software integrates seamlessly with other tools. It makes creating and sharing content quick and easy, works contextually so users do not need to leave their workflow, and tracks how people engage with the content they’re consuming.
2. Identify and Categorize What Is Needed “Just-in-Time”
When making learning materials available to others in your organization, the challenge is identifying which materials are needed just-in-time.
Training materials should always be highly relevant, easy to follow, tailored to the people consuming it, and as detailed as possible. Namely, you must determine which learning materials are readily available when needed for just-in-time materials.
If you are unsure, you can send out a poll or ask for your employees’ feedback. For instance, ask them what their pain points are, what if anything is holding them back daily, and their professional development needs.
3. Cultivate a Learning Culture
Providing any form of training is only half of the solution. Equally important, the other half is cultivating a culture where training is welcomed and used correctly.
The fundamentals behind creating a learning culture include:
Support – Even experienced employees may need help with their training. Thus, make sure everyone understands the training platform you’re using, what’s expected of them, and that there is support in place to answer any questions.
Communication – Good communication is core to the success of any organization. Also, the better the communication, the more cohesive and effective people can do their jobs and work as a team. This also applies to how effectively employees can complete their training.
Quality of training – Everyone has their own unique training needs. Accordingly, this may be in the form of content, such as video or written content. Otherwise, it may come down to how detailed and informative the training is.
Accountability – Employees need to be held accountable for their own actions and behaviors. HR personnel or whoever is delivering the training also need to track the engagement from employees.
Good just-in-time software makes hitting all of these metrics easy. The software will track engagement for you, giving you the ability to run reports and look at the analytics.
It will also provide the platform for employees to communicate with each other, use the central knowledgebase, and much more.
4. Elearning Should Be Easy To Digest
The way e-learning materials are created and shared is always changing. In fact, the most noticeable changes over the years have been the format and length of e-learning training materials.
We know now that shorter, more direct content is most effective. People’s attention spans are the shortest they’ve ever been. If you don’t deliver learning materials in small bite-sized chunks, people will lose interest.
This is why corporations of all sizes use Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Microlearning Platforms to deliver their training. Not only do these platforms give you all the tools to create and share training, but they also promote short, actionable content.
The need for quick, actionable content is even more relevant when talking about just-in-time learning. Indeed, the context behind just-in-time is that the information is available when it’s needed.
5. Utilize Multimedia
Multimedia is the term used to describe using more than one medium of media when delivering training.
Some of the most common types of learning and training media formats include:
- Multiple choice
- Real-world examples
- Questions and answers
The types and formats you use will largely depend on how your employees receive the learning materials and the nature of the content.
The important thing is that you utilize different media forms to make your learning materials as timely and as easy to consume for your employees as possible.
For example, if your team is remote and primarily using mobile devices, large amounts of text may be hard for them to work through. Video works well on mobile, as does images and multiple-choice questions.
Likewise, some industries rely heavily on video content to show the user visuals of what they need to know. Without visuals, some learning materials are difficult and certainly more time-consuming and confusing.
6. Build/Organize A Central Knowledge Base
An effective training strategy should always involve creating a central knowledge base. Truly, this is easily facilitated using Knowledge Base Software like Spekit.
A central knowledge base is a repository where information is stored. When talking about training and learning, it’s the place where all your training materials will be stored.
They can be crucial for just-in-time learning as you can make all of your training resources available 24/7. Enabling employees to find and use the resources they need as and when they need it.
For this reason, you must build a knowledge base that is easy for employees to find what they’re looking for.
This means organizing the data in a way that’s intuitive for the user to navigate. Or, with some self-explanatory instructions on how they can quickly find what they need.
7. Collect Feedback from Employees
Collecting feedback is often an overlooked element of delivering training and improving how an organization approaches ongoing development.
Employees will rarely reach out if their training needs are not being met. Consequently, it’s up to the HR department, training administrators, or whoever is providing the training to proactively reach out to find out if their training needs are being met.
The easiest way to do this is by giving them an avenue to provide feedback. This can be a short questionnaire at the end of a training module or sent out at a separate time.
However you approach it, it’s essential that you proactively ask for feedback. The information you get back will help you better tailor your training in the future to meet employee’s needs.
8. Measure the Results
This ties in with some of the other points already raised. Measuring results and engagement with your learning materials will give you valuable insights into how effective it is.
Again, good microlearning or LMS software makes this possible. You will be able to track how many employees are viewing your training materials, their progress, gather real-time feedback, and more.
Gathering feedback is great for improving future training and making adjustments. But measuring the results in real-time can provide you with some areas for improvement that aren’t visible from the user’s perspective.
9. Integrate Social Interactions
Most online training activities are asynchronous and typically completed by individuals on their own.
A good practice to improve the effectiveness of training, and this doesn’t only apply to just-in-time training, is to integrate social interactions and teamwork.
This means creating training materials that employees can (or have to) complete with team members. This promotes teamwork and encourages employees to undertake training quicker.
10. Focus on Work-Related Skills and Tasks
One of the main benefits of just-in-time training over regular training is that you can target “pain points” that have an immediate impact.
For this reason, it’s good practice to focus on work-related tasks and highly relevant topics when creating resources intended for just-in-time training.
An example of this would be onboarding materials or identifying skill gaps employees must fill as they progress in their roles.
If you’re unsure what skills and tasks these are within certain departments, start by asking for feedback.
11. Provide Real-World Examples, Not Just Information
Another best practice when creating training and learning materials is to include real-world examples where possible.
Most people learn and retain information better when they can tie it in with a real-world example. Essentially this enables them to add context or put a relatable situation in their mind when they’re learning.
In addition, employees can take what they’ve learned and actually put it into practice too. It’s a great way to help learners identify their strengths and weaknesses.
After reading through this post, it should be easy to see why just-in-time training and learning are becoming increasingly popular.
With the aid of sophisticated software like Spekit to speed up the process and automate most of the processes, it’s really a no-brainer.