Rebecca Lane

By: Rebecca Lane on August 14th, 2022

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Job Aids vs Training Guides: When to Use Each

Have you ever tried to dump a gallon of water quickly into a funnel? It doesn’t work. It is too much water all at once. You have to take your time. 

It’s the same with training. Your employees can only take on so much learning all at once. Just as you need to slowly fill your funnel with water to fill a narrow canister, you also need to slowly feed your employees new knowledge.

But, you don’t have time for that! I know. Working for ScreenSteps — a knowledge base and training software company — I understand the pressure most industries are under to quickly train new employees. 

Luckily, that’s where training guides and job aids come in. Both job aids and training guides are instructional sheets, but they are used for different purposes and in different situations.

In this article, I compare the differences and when you should use each. That way, you can decide which resources you need to create to support your employees.

What is a job aid?

A job aid is a resource that helps employees do something on the job. It helps your employees complete tasks without needing to ask a co-worker or supervisor for help. 

These job aids are used while employees are on the job. They pull these resources up when they have questions or need a reminder on what to do. Employees use job aids in the moment, not learning and memorizing information prior to performing a task.

Diagnosing Problems in Your New Hire Onboarding Program Webinar

What is a training guide?

A training guide is an instructional sheet or packet. Essentially, it is a training manual. It is a collection of information that is meant to be read one time during training.

Often, trainers look at classroom training and the training guide as teh one opportunity they have to teach the new hires everything they need to know about the company and their jobs. 

These guides are very detailed and comprehensive.

How do they work together?

There are many ways to train and support employees. Training guides and job aids complement each other and provides a complete training experience. 

Training guides are used to preemptively train employees on background information. Then you build on that knowledge by providing job aids. 

Create job aids that provide employees support when they need it

Use job aids to set your employees up for success. While it can be intimidating to start writing job aids, they benefit your employees in the end.

With ScreenSteps, you can create a variety of different job aids. These job aids are interactive, so they can help employees avoid mistakes and learn on the job.

Plus, you can use these job aids in training. By using your ScreenSteps articles in training, you help employees become more knowledgeable, consistent, and efficient in 30 days or less.

Ready to write a job aid for you business? Start by writing a standard operating procedure (SOP). Follow these six steps to create a SOP that will help your employees learn and get things done.

6 Steps to Writing SOPs

About Rebecca Lane

Content Marketing Manager