Recently, I asked the question: what do they talk about after your presentation? Perhaps a more important question is: what will they do differently as a result of your presentation? Below, you’ll find five ideas for job aids that could help increase the possibility that your learners will put your concepts into action once they return to their respective offices.
Job Aid #1: Action Plans
Many training programs end with some sort of call to action, often in the form of an action plan in which you commit to specific ways you will apply what you’ve learned when you return to your office. Trainers can take this idea one step further by printing the action plan on 2-ply carbonless NCR paper. This way the learner can keep one copy of the action plan and a carbon(less) copy can be given to the learner’s supervisor. One additional variation on this idea is to put the second copy in an envelope and mail it to the learners 45-60 days after the training as a reminder of their personal commitments.
Job Aid #2: Checklists
Pilots use them to be extra sure the plane won’t crash because they forgot to do something. Surgeons use them to be extra sure they haven’t left a sponge inside of you. Atul Gawande wrote an entire book about them. A checklist is a simple job aid that can remind your learners of the correct way to do what you’ve taught them, again and again in the days, months and years following your workshop. Here is an example of a training lesson plan design checklist that participants can use following a train the trainer session.
Job Aid #3: Web Site Referrals
One of the best conference workshops I’ve ever attended was at the 2011 ASTD TechKnowledge Conference. The focus was on “engaging webinars” and the presenter spoke of the absolute need to create PowerPoint presentations that are more visually attractive and attention-grabbing than the templates and clipart that come pre-loaded. She provided a handout with websites for free and low-cost PowerPoint templates and sources of clipart. Here is one site for free clipart that she listed in her handout. Tom Kuhlman’s Rapid Elearning Blog is another amazing resource that offers gobs of free templates.
Job Aid #4: Cards
My colleagues provide learners with a small card that can fit on your keychain. The card has specific steps they want their learners to remember. A few months ago I attended a coaching class and the facilitator provided all of the learners with a great job aid, a pocket-sized card of specific coaching steps. It also has key questions to ask during a coaching conversation.
Job Aid #5: 1-page Summary of Key Points
My cubicle wall is adorned with two documents. A 1-page summary of the key points from the book Switch, and a 1-page summary of the key points from the book Made to Stick. I read these books a while ago, but it’s very easy to take a glance at these 1-pagers that I downloaded from the authors’ website and to remind myself of these concepts when I’m trying to troubleshoot issues I’m having with change management (the focus of Switch) or when I’m trying to add some stickiness to a lesson plan (the focus of Made to Stick).
Sending your learners away with a simple yet tangible job aid to remember your session, and more importantly, your concepts, is an essential element to ensuring your content will have legs long after your learners have left the training room.