Did you know that 93% of employees agree that well-planned employee training programs positively affect their level of engagement at their jobs? Clearly, the importance of a top-notch onboarding process cannot be overstated.
One of your best employee onboarding materials is your training manual. In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on how to create a manual that sets your employees up for success.
What is a Training Manual?
Simply put, your training manual is one of your company’s most important documents. An onboarding manual contains all of the information employees need to be successful at their jobs, starting from day one.
Your training manual is crucial for your business’ operation because it clearly explains each process that employees complete. For example, a restaurant training manual will state how to use the point-of-sale system, and a franchise training manual will clearly explain the franchisor-franchisee relationship and business goals.
Ultimately, an employee training manual promotes proper employee conduct and answers any questions before they arise. Distributing up-to-date training content to all employees is therefore one of the most beneficial actions you can take for your company’s success during the training process.
How To Create a Training Manual
If you’re unsure how to write a training manual, you’re in luck! In this section, we’ll explain the basic elements you need to know for how to create a training manual that covers all the bases.
Define Your Objective
First, make sure you understand the goal your training manual will help you accomplish. Ask yourself: what should the reader know, and know how to do, once they’ve read the manual? The more concrete your answers to this question are, the easier it will be to decide exactly which content to include and exclude.
Defining your objective is a crucial aspect of how to create a training manual because it ensures balance; including heaps of unnecessary information could overwhelm new employees, and not including enough information could leave employees in the dark about crucial operations.
Identify Your Audience
Be sure to target your manual for your designated audience. By determining who will be reading your manual, you can include information that is most useful to that group.
Qualities about your audience that could influence how you construct your manual include:
- Company culture
- Knowledge base
- Educational background
- Company industry
- And any other relevant demographics
All of these qualities have an effect on what information you might want to include in your training manual. For example, if your company mainly hires entry-level workers, be sure to include all information in extreme detail, including how to report hours, how to use operations software, and how to complete all on-the-job tasks.
On the other hand, if your company typically hires experts in your field, employees will likely already know much of this information, so you can therefore provide a less detailed explanation.
Plan Your Training Content
Now that you’ve established your objectives and identified who will be reading your training manual, it’s time to decide which content to include. When done correctly, this can be a collaborative, enjoyable process that lets current employees know you care about their experience at your company.
If you’re wondering how to write a training manual, talk to current employees. Consult them about their jobs and ask them for advice about their positions. After all, they know the nuances of their operations, and they’ll be able to provide step-by-step tips for new employees.
Look at examples for help, too. If you have access to other training manuals, whether they’re examples online or from your competitors, take a look to determine what company policies they choose to include. Then, think critically about their choices. Do you want to include the same ideas? Did they leave out a section that would be important for your employees? Use their base as a starting point for your decisions.
Develop Your Training Content
Employees have many different learning styles, so provide training tools and resources that cater to your employees’ diverse learning methods. For example, once you’ve planned your training content, consider supplementing it with additional resources.
If you’re distributing printed copies of your training manuals, include visual content such as images and diagrams that illustrate key points like how to use important software or where to find the time clock card machine.
Consider pointing employees to online resources such as videos or interactive learning materials that provide practice with company procedures in a risk-free environment. You can also include comprehension quizzes, either in a printed training manual or online training manual that help employees check their knowledge. These quizzes help new employees get an idea of whether they have a good understanding of the tasks they’re being asked to perform.
Finally, once you have a draft of your training manual, be sure to ask multiple pairs of eyes to review it. In a perfect world, it would be ideal to include reviewers both inside and outside of your company.
Ask current employees from all departments to review your manual to ensure that each aspect of the manual is correct. For example, ask someone from HR to look over the section about hiring procedures and someone from Payroll to inspect the section about reporting hours. On the other hand, ask employees to look over sections that are unrelated to their positions, as they might find omissions that an expert in the field might overlook.
As well, contact colleagues at other companies and even friends and family, and ask them to take a look. A colleague will be able to provide expert advice, and friends and family will be able to spot typos and logical gaps and give feedback about readability. There’s no such thing as too many reviewers for an effective training guide!
Of course, some of the most important people who can provide feedback are new employees themselves. Once you’ve printed your training manual and are regularly distributing it to new employees, ask them about their experience with the manual at the end of the onboarding process. This will provide crucial feedback that you can use to revise your manual to be even more helpful in boosting employee performance.
Training Manual Examples
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these training manual examples that The Print Authority has produced.
Server Training Manual
This training manual for servers uses a dynamic cover illustration that inspires new hires, helping them understand the exciting possibilities of their new jobs. The coil binding makes the manual easier to use and helps it lay flat when open.
Employee Handbook Manual
This training manual has been designed for success. The company logo and branding are prominent, and the date assures new employees that they’re receiving the most current company information.
Traditional Training Manual
This training manual is ready to be put to use. The color printing and glossy paper add professionalism, and the stapled binding is an easy and cost-efficient binding technique.
Professional Training Manual
This stylish training manual uses bolded text for the title, in a font that complements the organization’s name. The balance of the text in the top left corner and the number in the bottom right corner provide a sense of balance.
Print Your Training Manuals With The Print Authority
A training manual is only as good as the paper it’s printed on. Once you’ve done the hard work of creating your training manual, you need a reliable printing company that brings that hard work to life.
That’s why The Print Authority is ready to print professional training manuals that set employees up for success. With over three decades of experience printing manuals for companies of all sizes, we have a passion for designing and printing your training materials on demand to save you time and energy.
When you’re ready to print high-quality training manuals, contact The Print Authority today!