How Performance Support Tools Can Enhance Employee Productivity

How Performance Support Tools Can Enhance Employee Productivity
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Summary: Performance support tools are invaluable resources designed to enhance employee efficiency by providing just-in-time assistance. In today's dynamic work environment where constant adaptability is key, these tools bridge the gap between formal training and on-the-job application.

Unleashing The Power Of Performance Support Tools

In a fast-paced and ever-evolving work environment, employees are expected to constantly adapt and learn new skills to stay competitive in the market. Formal lengthy training sessions and extensive materials may not always be the most efficient or effective way to support employee performance. This is where performance support tools (PSTs) come into play. Performance support tools or job aids are invaluable resources designed to provide just-in-time assistance to employees, helping them perform tasks more efficiently and effectively.

To implement performance support tools effectively, organizations should consider the specific needs of their employees, the nature of their work, and the technology available to them. Also, performance support tools should be maintained properly and updated regularly to ensure they remain relevant and useful in improving employee productivity.

In this article, we'll explore what performance support tools are, the benefits they offer to both employees and organizations, and how performance support tools can enhance employee productivity.

What Are Performance Support Tools?

Performance support tools or job aids are accessible resources—digital or otherwise—that offer prompt assistance for specific tasks or skills. These tools are designed to be user-friendly and easily accessible, providing targeted information or guidance in a timely manner. Performance support tools aim to bridge the gap between formal training and real-world application by offering just-in-time support.

Benefits Of Performance Support Tools

Performance support tools offer benefits for both employees and organizations.

  • Performance support tools reduce the time spent searching for information, enabling employees to complete tasks more efficiently.
  • Organizations can save on training costs by focusing on targeted support rather than formal training.
  • Employees can apply their knowledge and skills more effectively, leading to improved job performance and fewer errors.
  • They boost employee confidence, as employees know they can rely on support when needed.
  • They enable organizations to adapt quickly to changing business needs and technology, ensuring employees stay up to date.
  • They reinforce learning by providing reference materials that employees can revisit at any time.

Different Types And Formats Of Performance Support Tools

Performance support tools can be designed in a wide variety of formats to meet the specific needs of employees and the tasks they are performing.

  • Checklists: Step-by-step lists that guide users through a process or task. For example, pre-flight checklists for pilots, new employee onboarding checklists, troubleshooting checklists, and checklists for email campaigns.
  • Flowcharts: Visual representations of decision-making processes. For example, flowcharts for troubleshooting a technical issue, business process flowcharts, and employee management system flowcharts.
  • Cheat sheets: Summarize information on a single page for easy reference. For example, keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for software applications, Excel formula cheat sheets, and quality testing cheat sheets.
  • Pocket guides: Compact booklets with essential information. For example, emergency first aid pocket guides, social media pocket guides for enterprises, and pocket guides to strategic planning.
  • Online help system: In-app or online help that provides information relevant to the current task. For example, Microsoft Office's context-sensitive "Help" feature.
  • Searchable knowledge base: Comprehensive databases of articles, topics, concepts, FAQs, and tutorials. For example, Salesforce Knowledge or the company's repository.
  • How-to videos: Short instructional videos that demonstrate specific tasks. For example, YouTube videos and shorts on cooking recipes and how to edit a video.
  • Explainer videos: Animated or narrated videos that explain complex concepts or demonstrate certain steps. For example, educational videos on science concepts.
  • Software simulations: Interactive simulations of software applications for hands-on practice. For example, simulated flight training.
  • Virtual labs: Online environments for conducting experiments or practicing skills. For example, virtual chemistry labs for pharmacy employees.
  • Field guides: Mobile apps or printed books/sheets that provide information for employees working in the field. For example, field guides for construction workers.
  • AR overlays: Apps or glasses that overlay digital information onto the physical world. For example, a maintenance guide for industrial equipment.
  • VR training modules: Immersive Virtual Reality training simulations. For example, surgical training for medical professionals.
  • Intranet portals: Internal websites or LMSs with resources, guides, and FAQs. For example, the company intranet covers corporate news, links to apps, forms, policies, procedures, etc.
  • Extranet portals: Customer-facing portals with support information. For example, customer support portals for product troubleshooting.
  • AI chatbots: Automated chat systems that provide answers and guidance. For example, chatbots on eCommerce websites for customer support.
  • Microlearning modules: Short two to three-minute online modules that guide users through complex processes or real-life scenarios for decision-making practice. For example, interactive software training modules.

How Performance Support Tools Can Help To Enhance Employee Productivity

Performance support tools can improve the productivity of employees in many ways.

On-The-Job Learning

Performance support tools provide just-in-time information and guidance, reducing the need for extensive training. Employees can access the information they need in their work, which ultimately can reduce the time spent on formal training sessions.

Knowledge Retention

PSTs can serve as reference materials that employees can refer to whenever they need a refresher on a specific topic or process. This helps to reinforce learning and improve knowledge retention.

Faster Problem Resolution

PSTs can contain troubleshooting guides and solutions to common problems. When employees encounter a problem or an issue, they can quickly find solutions, minimizing downtime and disruption in workflow.


PSTs ensure that employees follow standardized processes and procedures consistently, which reduces variability in product delivery and performance. It can further result in higher-quality outcomes.

Skill Enhancement

PSTs can be used to provide additional training or information on specific tasks or skills. Thus, employees continuously improve their knowledge and abilities.


As job roles evolve and new tools or technologies are introduced, PSTs can be updated or created to address these changes. This ensures that employees can adapt to new requirements quickly.


With digital PSTs, employees can access information from various devices and locations. This promotes flexibility and remote work options.

Reduced Cognitive Load

Employees can offload some of their cognitive burden by referring to PSTs for instructions, troubleshooting, or information retrieval. This allows them to focus on the tasks at hand and make fewer errors.

Employee Confidence

PSTs can boost employee confidence, as employees know they can rely on these resources for guidance and support. This results in improved morale and job satisfaction.

Lower Training Costs

PSTs can reduce the need for extensive classroom training, which can be costly in terms of time and resources. This is beneficial for organizations with a limited training budget.

Performance Tracking

Some PSTs can include tracking features, allowing employers to monitor how employees use the tools and identify areas where additional support or training may be needed.

Time Savings

PSTs help employees to complete tasks more efficiently, which can lead to time savings. This can be especially valuable in fast-paced industries where time is of the essence.


Performance support tools are valuable resources to enhance employee performance and adapt to the dynamic demands of the modern workplace. By providing just-in-time assistance, these tools empower employees to excel in their roles, reduce training costs, and foster a culture of continuous learning in the organization. As technology continues to evolve, performance support tools will become more accessible and effective, making them an indispensable component of an organization's Learning and Development strategy.

After a few days, you can witness that the use of performance support tools actually enhances the performance of your employees. At Tesseract Learning, we'll discuss your challenges, if any, and work with your team to understand your business needs, learner expectations, and technology environments. If you wish to know about our services and how the KREDO learning platform and our authoring tool can help your organization in developing various performance support tools and job aids, contact me or leave a comment below for more details.

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