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Just-In-Time Training: How JIT Learning Empowers Workforces

By: Nicole Migacz on December 28, 2018

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Just-in-time training is designed to be a replacement or supplement to traditional training sessions that are often time consuming, boring, and difficult to absorb. 

What does just-in-time mean? JIT describes on-demand training resources that are available at any time. Employees have access to all vital training information, whether they need to brush up on skills, perform a task, or answer a question. It’s fast, flexible, and targeted to meet employees’ specific needs. 

Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of JIT learning and learn how you can implement it yourself. Curious about how PlayerLync can deliver JIT training and resources? Request a demo.

What Is Just-In-Time Training?

Just-in-time training provides employees with the knowledge and information they need at the exact moment they need it. The concept of just-in-time learning developed from a need for organizations to reduce downtime and lower the costs of enrolling employees in long, boring, or difficult courses.

Just-In-Time Training (Definition)

Just-in-time training is a targeted approach to training that provides employees with necessary information when it’s needed on the job instead of bogging them down with unnecessary information before the work has even begun. It’s made up of accessible, short, and focused training on singular concepts or procedures. 

Just-In-Time Workforce (Definition)

The just-in-time workforce is always reliable and informed due to the abundance of information available at their fingertips, even in industries where important information changes frequently, like the restaurant industry. Reliable and knowledgeable employees will be your most prized asset and make your business more competitive. 

4 Best Ways To Use Just-In-Time Training

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Offering your staff just-in-time training means making learning resources accessible for your staff on demand. The key component that separates just-in-time training from other training formats? Flexibility. Just-in-time training abandons the old school classroom model in favor of a customizable approach that leaves your team better informed when they need it most. 

In this section, we'll examine the four best ways to use just-in-time training to help maximize your staff's efficiency and overall job performance.

1. Just-In-Time Onboarding 

Gone are the days of orientation sessions held in front of a blackboard at a set time, accompanied by mind-numbing paperwork. Now you can offer employees the ability to onboard from any device anywhere. Just-in-time resources for training include mobile learning options compatible with smartphones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers. 

Instead of sitting down for a lesson, employees can now learn by doing, which helps focus in on pain points and address them sooner rather than later. Using just-in-time e-learning in conjunction with the microlearning method, employees can watch a short video on food prep or checking inventory levels and immediately put it to practice. 

2. Just-In-Time Compliance Training

New team members aren't the only ones who will benefit from a new, flexible training format. Wrangling your entire staff to take corporate-mandated compliance training at the same time is a logistical nightmare. Trying to schedule multiple sessions is even more complicated.  

With just-in-time training, your staff can keep up with new compliance matters at their convenience. Whether they are on-site or on-the-go, they're able to receive the information they need to stay in compliance with all corporate guidelines and safety regulations. 

3. Just-In-Time On-the-Job Customer Service Questions

Picture a busy Saturday night. Your restaurant is packed. One of your servers receives a question from a customer that requires an answer right away, but neither fellow employees nor a manager are available to help. Wouldn't it be great to have a resource available to all your employees that they can access at any time to answer frequently asked questions? 

Utilizing just-in-time training empowers your employees to seek answers themselves. It improves their decision-making abilities by giving them on-demand access to the information they need to succeed and improve the integrity of your business.

4. Just-In-Time Knowledge Center Creation

Even if you have a thorough orientation and training process, your team may need a refresher course on certain aspects of their job from time to time. Just-in-time training allows your team access to all restaurant standard operating procedures with the push of a button. 

With the JIT learning management system, you can create a "knowledge center" with every piece of information your employees need to perform their roles. Removing the pressure to memorize every single action allows your team to relax and be in the moment. They can focus on providing excellent customer service and know they have the resources to fall back on if they need it. 

Benefits of the Just-In-Time Approach

The just-in-time approach is ideal for the modern workforce where critical information changes are frequent, making it hard for employees to stay on top of what they need to know. 

Fortunately, a networked organization is the ideal environment for this style of education, where computing resources are freely available and workers can access the learning modules when they are ready to learn. In fact, academic studies have documented the benefits of this type of learning.

Here are the main benefits of the just-in-time approach:

Immediate Results

You are sure to get quick results. The courses are designed to be short and succinct. According to the eLearning industry, quick results are one of the main benefits of JIT learning. This style of learning has become the norm for our knowledge-driven, speed-oriented marketplace.

Budget Friendly

Organizations don't have to pay for several days or weeks of coursework, which decreases waste in their budgets. Learning modules are inexpensive to prepare and use.

Easy Tagging and Archiving

Micro-courses are easily categorized, tagged, and stored, increasing their ease of use and availability. This makes the courses perfect for new employees and as refresher material for experienced employees as time goes on. 

Diverse Module Formats

With the plethora of computer design apps available today, micro-courses can be built and delivered in a wide variety of styles and types. You have the option to choose whatever will be most beneficial to your organization.  

Fits into a Fast-Paced Work-Style

The modern workplace can be hectic, with multitasking as the expectation in many settings. Modules can be accessed on-demand, meaning that people can access the course material as their schedules permit. 

Disadvantages of the Just-In-Time Learning

Microlearning has proven effective for many applications in different organizational settings. Are there any disadvantages? Yes; after all, there are two sides to every coin. Sources indicate that the following areas may need to be looked at as follow-ups for micro-learners:

Not Enough Research

Because the learning is delivered in bite-sized nuggets, there is a real possibility that some subject matters may not be covered in enough depth.

Fragmented Learning

Information about complex topics may be presented to the learner in a fragmented fashion due to the small and targeted learning portions. 

Potential for Confusion

In some cases, confusion can arise if there is too much fragmentation or if not enough background information is presented.

Attention Span Deficits

People generally complete modules privately at their workstations, and they may be prone to on-the-job multitasking. Although this may be considered a benefit, it can also be a disadvantage as it may diminish the effectiveness of the learning if learners are engaged in other tasks simultaneously.  

How To Get Started With Just-In-Time Training

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If just-in-time training sounds like the flexible training solution you’ve been looking for, the first step is implementation. Although some companies have struggled with this step, don’t worry; you won’t. 

Playerlync knows where companies fall short in this process, and that’s why we’ve created this list of best practices for you to follow as you integrate JIT learning at your business

  • Create a Training Road Map: Identify what topics to cover, what needs to be addressed, and how you plan to execute. Use this data to create learning objectives that focus on performance and skill gaps. 
  • Pair Objectives With Activities: Remember: this is meant to be quick and easy. Simply pair one learning objective with one JIT online training activity at a time and only include the crucial information. 
  • Create a Resource Library: Employees don’t have time to sift through mountains of raw material when they’re on the job. Provide a neatly organized resource library composed of small bits of easily-absorbed information.
  • Develop Multi-Platform-Friendly Content: Ease of use, particularly on the job, requires content to be viewed as easily on a mobile device as it is on a PC. 
  • Involve Real World Training: Training simulations and real world examples empower employees to actually practice their knowledge, discovering their strengths and weaknesses along the way. 

More About JIT Training and Resources 

Just-in-time training is the best on-demand solution for training in our modern world, where technology has integrated on-demand services into every other part of life. It is an excellent resource for onboarding, compliance training, on-the-job customer service questions, and knowledge center creation. 

After weighing the pros and cons, this much is clear: to remain competitive in the industry, you have to offer just-in-time training. Your organization will become more efficient by offering flexible training and job guidance for your staff. Modernize and simplify training for your business; explore PlayerLync’s JIT training solutions and resources – or request a demo today. 

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