Trainer’s Guides for Zoom and GoToTraining

In the spring, the whole world seemed to need to move to online meetings and virtual training, almost overnight. On April 1, we asked Train Like A Champion readers how comfortable they were delivering virtual training, and the results came back, split down the middle. Half of the respondents to the poll chose “I’m super comfortable” and the other half chose “I’m pretty shaky”.

My guess is that with practice and having virtual sessions become more of the norm, people are much more comfortable now than they were six months ago.

Just like with other tools (PowerPoint comes to mind), feeling comfortable using them, and feeling comfortable leveraging all of the features they have to use the tools for maximum impact are two different things. For that reason, my colleague Lauren Wescott, has spent time studying the most commonly used virtual platforms and has begun to generate a series of quick reference guides on how to maximize the use of the platform you may be using. The first two guides focus on Zoom and GoToTraining.

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Flash Cards as a Job Aid

I was working with a team last week to push forward a sales training program that I was helping them develop. At one point, a sales team member asked: Have you ever used Quizlet?

No, I hadn’t.

She pulled out her phone and showed me how she quickly created a series of flashcards to help her study terminology she’d need in order to sound intelligent and informed during her sales calls.

flash cards as a job aid

The flashcards were basic – nothing flashy – but they could be used by someone sitting in front of a computer (via the desktop version) or someone who was on the road (via the free app). I was intrigued.   Continue reading

Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Training teams will often choose training as the first and best solution to a problem. In reality, the solution may be a hybrid of interventions and job aids that reach your front-line employees with an easy to use solution. This doesn’t negate the need for training, but defaulting to training causes training teams to miss opportunities to solve problems in other ways.

Examples of Job Aid Templates

You’ve used job aids in your job and personal life. 

  • The instructions for assembling a bookshelf are a job aid. 
  • The document posted on a conference room wall showing you how to operate the projector and conference system is a job aid.
  • A list of FAQs (frequently asked questions) for your product is a job aid.
  • Technical guides are job aids. You may not be expected to know every technical detail of your product, but you should know how to find the information for a customer or prospect.

Customer Service Job Aid Scenario

You hear that a manager is struggling because their staff is overwhelmed by information and can’t find the right process or answer to a customer’s questions. Some members of the leadership team say it is a training issue. Others say that the answers are in the memo or PowerPoint deck the company distributed. Some argue that the elearning on the LMS should solve the problem. When you see that teams need to be able to quickly access bits and pieces of information from an enormous catalog of information, you may need a job aid.

You might be tempted to seek out templates or powerful tools that create systems for customer service agents. There is nothing wrong with these systems, but if you need an answer today to make a difference in job performance, you should consider a tool that you likely use every day, Microsoft Word. (Important Note: You can apply these same practices and get some additional benefits by using Google Docs.)

With Microsoft Word, you can quickly and easily build a job aid that is easy to create, easy to use, and maybe most importantly, easy to update.

Steps to Create Your Own Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

If you’re curious about how to turn a Word document into a dynamic job aid with hyperlinks to the information you’re needing, it’s a fairly easy process. You don’t need a Microsoft Word job aid template. You just need to follow these steps:

1. Open a Word document

Ok. This is a simple step. The important thing is that you can do this with a new or existing document. For example, if you have an existing Word document that lists 40 FAQs, you can build it into a more usable and useful resource for customer service or sales teams. If you are using an existing doc, you will want to pay close attention to how the formatting was done. You’ll see more about this in step

2. Create Headers or Check Header

If you are creating a new resource, begin by organizing your content using Headers. If you haven’t done this before, you’re missing a powerful tool. Many people will organize a document in an outline or will simple bold a phrase to make it the header. This may work fine for looking at a document that is printed, but it doesn’t tell Word what you mean by that header. This will become absolutely critical in step 3.

Check headers in the microsoft word job aid template

If you are modifying an existing document to create your job aid, you’ll find that many people don’t use header styles. You can quickly tell by finding text that looks like a header. Click on it once and look at the top banner in Word. If the style says Normal or anything other than Header 1, Header 2, etc. you will need to apply those styles. This part is easy but can be time-consuming. Highlight that line that you want to be the header and click the header style.

How many header layers should I use?

Microsoft will automatically give you styles for multiple levels of headers. The question of whether to use these levels has less to do with what is possible and more to do with what is usable. If you want the document to be usable, we generally find that using 1 or 2 levels is going to give you the best structure for most documents. It will be up to you to determine what works best for your content, but just remember that you are trying to make life easier on your front-line staff. You don’t want to spend too much time explaining how to use a complicated job aid.

3. Create a Clickable Table of Contents

This is the step that is the most magical in Word. If you’ve done the previous steps, it is both easy and effective. You may think of a table of contents as something that points you to the correct page number, but the best part of the table of contents in Word is that it is clickable! If you have a 70-page document and 140 questions answered, a clickable table of contents is the only way that sales reps or customer service reps can realistically navigate that information and provide quick answers.

Insert the TOC in a Microsoft Word job aid template

From the References menu, click Table of Contents and insert an Automatic Table. The Automatic Table of Contents will use the headers that you created in step 2.

Refresh Your Clickable Table of Contents

One reason that you may choose to create a Microsoft Word job aid is that you expect the information to need updates. When you make an update there is one little step that you can’t forget. If you add a new topic (a header) or change an existing header, you must refresh the table of contents. This is also true if you set up your table of content while in the process of creating your document.

4. Create a PDF

Most likely, you are not creating a document that you want others to edit. If this is the case, you should use Microsoft Word’s built-in ability to convert a document into a PDF. 

Save the Microsoft Word job aid template as a PDF

Most likely, you are not creating a document that you want others to edit. If this is the case, you should use Microsoft Word’s built-in ability to convert a document into a PDF. 

But wait! What about the clickable table of contents? 

That’s a great question. Another wonderful part of this process is that the clickable table of content will still work in the PDF. 

Download a Working Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

When we were creating this we couldn’t think of a better job aid to include than this article! Now, you can download a job aid that is built out of this post!

Microsoft Word Job Aid Template

Adobe PDF Job Aid

Can I Create a Job Aid in Google Docs?

Yes! The instructions above focus on a job aid that you share in PDF because you don’t want anyone else editing. If you want to create what we would call a “living” job aid for a team, Google Docs may be your answer. The steps are identical, except that you don’t’ need to convert it to a PDF. 

If you are worried about users changing the document when they shouldn’t, you can always use the Google Doc history to see when changes are made.

You can also limit who on the team can edit. When you share, set members to either View or Edit.

Allow users to edit or view the job aid

Job Aid Examples from the World Around Us

I was asked to deliver the keynote speech for the Desert Produce Safety Collaboration Conference. This was a group of people who are responsible for keeping the food that goes onto your dinner table safe and healthy. Making sure they and the people they work with are well-trained and well-equipped to do their jobs is kind of important.

I certainly talked about standard elements to more effective training programs – incorporating principles of adult learning, identifying clear objectives and the like. But in speaking with the conference organizer about some of the challenges this audience faces – only having 15 minutes at the beginning of the day, needing to train people in English and Spanish, having a new group of workers in the fields every day that may or may not have received earlier training – I realized I was going to need to go beyond traditional instructional design basics.  Continue reading

Which Would You Prefer: Noise Pollution or Performance Support?

As I was waiting for my luggage to appear at the baggage claim in Delhi last week, a colleague pointed this sign out to me:

performance support at an airport

In a place where honking drivers navigate their way through the crowded streets seemingly by echolocation and sensory overload insights, sounds, tastes, and smells are everywhere, the airport did indeed seem oddly quiet.

If you can’t make out the fine print at the bottom of the screen, it says: “To know the status of your flight, please check the flight information display at various locations.”

It was brilliant. Someone at the airport must have decided that the “training” they were offering – a constant stream of announcements over the PA system – was ineffective. They also must have determined that passengers were probably smart enough that, if pointed in the right direction with good signage, they’d be able to find what they needed.

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Training without a Trainer – Designing Fool-proof Job Aids

When someone can learn how to do something without having to complete a training course, it saves them time. It saves you time. Everyone is happy. Unless it’s done poorly. Then it’s just frustrating. Unless, of course, you design fool-proof job aids.

Last week I wrote about how our IT guy devised a way to reduce the amount of “help” calls and emails he received simply by putting two photos on the LCD projector in our conference room. It turns out, this idea was actually the brainchild of our office manager, not our IT guy – this goes to show that learning can come from anyone and happen anywhere. It goes back to the idea that 70% of learning doesn’t happen through a training course or an elearning course or even through conversations with a manager or mentor… it happens on the job.

What Doesn’t a Fool-Proof Job Aid Look Like?

And this sort of “on the job training” can be all around us – at work and in life in general. This past weekend I went Christmas shopping with my 3-year-old son and when I went to pay for parking, I used this machine:

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Job Aids: Training without a Trainer

I love to be seen as a resource to my colleagues. But every once in a while I get tired of saying the same thing over and over. I’m thinking our IT guy (as well as IT guys all around the world) feel similarly. And he came up with a slick solution: training without a trainer.

I was sitting in a team meeting the other day and I looked at the projector we were using and I saw these images taped to the projector:

Training without a Trainer

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