Just in time learning: what it is and why it matters
Continuous learning in the workplace has become more important than ever. Just in time learning, a training approach that delivers learning content right at the moment they need it has emerged as a valuable tool for organizations to train their workforce quickly and effectively.
In this post, we'll explore the concept of just in time learning, its benefits for the frontline workforce, and ways to implement it effectively.
What is Just in Time Learning?
Just in time learning means preparing your team with the right amount of knowledge or skills when needed. It can be an alternative to day-long training sessions or lengthy procedural updates via email or meetings.
Unlike traditional training, just-in-time learning prioritizes the most important information a team member needs. It identifies the content team members search for most often, and offers a condensed lesson behind best practices or steps.
Just in time learning is emerging as an effective training tool because it recognizes the fast-paced nature of today’s workforce and the limited time that teams have to gather together, especially in the case of the frontline workforce.
4 Ways Just in Time Learning Works for Your Team
Provides flexibility in learning
Whether your team works across different locations or shifts, just in time learning can provide them with the information they need, but with flexibility traditional training doesn’t.
For example, if a healthcare team is rolling out a new protocol for treatment, just in time learning may be the best solution to share the information quickly; instead of trying to find the time to gather the team across different locations or holding multiple meetings across shifts.
Helps solve immediate problems
Is your team facing an unexpected hiccup in the workplace? Perhaps the software update on the point-of-sales system has the sales team scrambling.
With just-in-time learning, managers can push information out quickly, offering an on-demand solution instead of hosting a long meeting for a single issue.
Just in time learning can’t replace comprehensive training sessions, but when a team needs information fast, consider just in time learning.
Since just in time learning is typically asynchronous, employees will learn what they need, on their time. Instead of sifting through irrelevant information, they can access exactly the information they need at a moment’s notice.
For example, if a member of a real estate team is going to their first closing in some time, they could access a just in time learning module with information to prepare them for close. They get the training they need, without anything extra, when they need it the most.
Just in time learning solutions aren’t time-consuming to engage, and the production of it shouldn’t be an ordeal, either.
Examples of Just-in-Time Learning for Frontline Workers
Providing online access to training materials
Consider breaking down your larger training guides to create supplemental learning. Whether it’s how to format a document for a particular project or a safety guide for a machine, having quick guides available as alternatives to a larger run-through can be valuable for team members looking for specific information.
Using microlearning modules for quick learning
Microlearning delivers content in short, bite-sized chunks, making it easy to digest and retain. By breaking down complex topics into smaller, more manageable pieces, microlearning can help frontline workers learn quickly and efficiently, without disrupting their daily workflow.
Microlearning modules can be delivered in various formats, such as videos, infographics, quizzes, or simulations. They can cover a wide range of topics, from safety procedures to customer service skills to product knowledge.
Microlearning modules should be no longer than 5-10 minutes and preferably shorter. They should be designed to be consumed quickly, without overwhelming the learners with too much information. In addition, they should be accessible and formatted for multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Providing access to subject matter experts
Another way to implement just in time learning for the frontline workforce is by providing access to subject matter experts (SMEs). By tapping into their knowledge, frontline workers can quickly get the information they need to solve a problem or complete a task.
Leveraging SMEs in just in time learning could be as simple as peer to peer connections. In a mentoring or buddy system, peers can share knowledge, experience, and lessons, creating space for connecting and just in time learning. By sharing their experiences and knowledge, they can develop a deeper understanding of the job and build a sense of community.
Providing access to SMEs can help organizations create a culture of continuous learning, where frontline workers are encouraged to seek out new knowledge and skills. By having access to experts who can provide timely and relevant information, frontline workers can improve their performance, solve problems more effectively, and deliver better results for the organization.
Mobile apps for on-the-job training
Whether it’s the first time they’re learning something or just a refresher, consider taking advantage of technology to deliver simple to access on the job training.
While written guides or video modules can be helpful just in time learning tools, don’t forget the ease and importance of audio learning. Private podcasting can be a simple solution to just in time learning for your organization. Storyboard makes it simple to record content and share it with its relevant recipients.
In the case of frontline workers, audio can be the optimal tool for engagement. They can listen when they have a moment, whether that’s on the road, or en route to the office from their car. In a couple of minutes, employees can get briefed on the latest protocol, or learn a new thing or two.
Audio gives you the opportunity to share information authentically and gives listeners the chance to engage passively in their own time.
When it comes to on-the-job education, just in time learning provides the Goldilocks solution to your team’s needs. It doesn’t take employees unnecessarily away from their work and gives teams the perfection portion of information to carry on with the work effectively.
Considering internal podcasting as just in time learning solution? Check out Storyboard today.