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Learning is pivotal for employees and businesses alike. Both need it to scale and grow from one milestone to another. But the trick question is how to retain, recall and use the avalanche of information that one takes in, at the opportune time? Answering this very question is the concept of “just in-time” learning. Historically, learning has been built on the principle of ‘you may need it at some point in time’. However, this approach fails to excite or engage learners much. Instead, an approach that seems to appease learners across all generations alike is “just-in-time” learning or JIT learning.
This popular approach was conceptualised in the manufacturing industry in Japan. It came in to being from buying stocks ‘just-in-time’ or as per requirement, resulting in huge savings by a simple yet strategic move of not stocking up. The inventory costs reduced, and the business scaled with consuming just what was required.
Although it has manufacturing roots, ‘just-in-time’ as a strategy bears significantly high perks in the learning sphere, bringing forth some amazing consequences for both the learners and businesses. JIT learning is one of the best practices for increasing efficiency, productivity and ensuring an effective use of time. Discussed here are some perks of investing in ‘Just-in-time’ learning, where the learning is need-based and implemented immediately or soon.
- Fits in the work schedules
The implementation of ‘just-in-time’ learning comes as a part of the everyday schedule, where a gap has been identified and is addressed immediately. An example would be introduction of a post card that gives precise instructions to the employee about how to execute a new process etc. This enables him/her to follow the new process while he/she’s working and learn it on the job.
- Engaged learner/employee
JIT learning takes place when an individual urgently requires knowledge or skill pertinent to fulfilling his or her task or work. The urgent need makes him/her engaged and keener on learning. For instance, an app developer realises the need to learn a new coding language to complete his work, the desire to see the result of his product propels him to learn and execute. The excitement and enthusiasm to see the finished product becomes a motive for JIT learning.
- Learning by Doing
The immediate application of a skill while learning helps in higher retention in the memory, moving it from short term to long term memory. Cases of training in advance lead to decay of both knowledge as well as skill. In fact, studies indicate a poor ROI on learning in advance than any other format of learning. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist in his Forgetting Curve theory, demonstrated that 70% of any new information is lost if not practiced and retained within the first 24 hours.
- Bite-sized is in vogue
Micro-learning or bite-sized learning usually goes hand in hand with JIT learning. The practice of pushing out small chunks of information which is the need of the hour works well with learners who are pushed for time. Research also shows that learners typically only remember the first and last thing that they have learnt, due to the memory principles of primacy and recency. Chunking of information allows pertinent pieces of information to be the first, latest and last things an individual learns at any given time, thereby increasing their chances of remember the information. Thus, micro-learning is an inevitable advantage of JIT learning.
- Real-time performance support
Just-In-Time Learning opportunities present as a hands-on initiative by managers to improve team performance on an immediate basis.
- Catalyst for Change
The fact that JIT learning comes into play to eliminate major hiccups in the process or work scene, makes it a catalyst for change. The drive to constantly learn, develop oneself and constantly evolve is the core of just-in-time learning. Therefore, Just-in-time learners are less likely to resist change, which is usually a roadblock for success.
Just-in-time learning has many advantages and is seen as an intersection between workplace training and performance. The knowledge sought in JIT learning is accessible when one needs it and is instructive. Businesses that opt for JIT learning have seen a visible growth in the business, employee retention and productivity.
So, are you ready for JIT learning?
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