A robust and up-to-date employee training manual is a must-have in this digitally disruptive and transformative world of technology.
Finding skilled employees is becoming difficult in this digital age. The most viable option for organizations is to train their employees to match their business needs.
Even if you find an ideal employee you have to still spend resources to train and onboard them efficiently. Poor onboarding and training will lead to decreased employee retention rates.
Employees are the backbone of your organization and investing in their skills is not only beneficial for them but also for the organization’s growth.
According to the Huffington Post, a study conducted by ASTD ( American Society for Training and Development found companies that invested in training enjoyed a 24% higher profit margin than the companies which did not.
Having an employee training manual helps you to convey the process of training efficiently and it saves your time. Your training program will evolve with time so having proper documentation by your side will only add value.
In this blog, we will discuss how to create a new employee training manual that can guide you and your employees through the training process.
How to Create an Employee Training Manual
Creating an employee training manual could be challenging and you need to know how to create a process in the form of a manual that could act as a reference point for both employees and the company.
You have to create it by setting the right expectations, communication protocols, objectives, right tools, and training methods.
A creative employee training manual empowers employees with the necessary skills and ensures that the organization realizes its goals.
Manuals help convey the vast information related to training to all your employees. Errors are bound to happen and to avoid that you need an employee training manual that not only guides the employees but also keeps the organization on track.
8 Steps to Create Employee Training Manual
Step 1: Identify the Objective for the new Employee Training Manual
As technology changes, you should keep an eye on your training objectives. What might have worked a year back may not work now.
Work with employees and managers to set new goals for training. Based on the discussion, you can change the objectives and overall goals of your employee training efforts.
The goal of new employee onboarding should be to impart them with all the essential training to adapt to the company’s culture and complete their work.
Relevant Read:- Learn about the new employee training checklist
An employee must be provided with the training roadmap and the benefits that they will reap. It helps them to get an idea about the importance of training and encourages involvement.
The manager’s goal should be to assess the effectiveness of the training and its impact on the employee’s performance.
The assessment process should not take place immediately after training but it should be conducted periodically in a targeted manner to learn employee’s efficiency in each category such as technical skills, soft skills, critical thinking, and analytical abilities.
The objective should be to make your employees build upon their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.
You should also include advanced skills for the promotion of the employee as an important objective in your training manual.
If you prepare your workforce with advanced skills it becomes easy to internally promote an employee rather than spending huge sums of money on hiring new candidates and it boosts the career of your employees who understands the culture of the company.
The objective must be designed in line with the company’s overall aspirations and ambitions of your employees to create a workforce that can help the organization and employees to achieve their respective targets.
Step 2: Collaborate to Create Employee Training Manual ideas
Whenever you execute a project, transformation effort, change initiative, or even creating a training manual, communication and collaboration are the key elements that will help you to achieve success.
Creating an employee training manual is not an easy task. Understanding the requirement of each job function or role could be difficult while creating the manual.
To draft a training manual properly, create a team that comprises of manual designer, writer, editor, and planning master.
Further, be open to collaborating with employees from other departments to get an idea about what is expected from the training manual and training program.
Communicate your employee training manual ideas to the managers and leaders and take their input as well to create an effective one.
Step 3: Understand Your Audience
The last thing you want is the employees not getting benefit out of your employee training manual. The best way is to create customized training manuals for each job function.
You have to build upon step 2 and understand the demographics, mindset, behavior, job role, function, background, and purpose of your audience.
Knowing this will help you to design a proper training manual that gets a higher engagement rate, improves employee performance, and reduces job errors.
Further, you must know where the knowledge of your audience stands and for that, you can conduct a survey. Design your manual by considering the person with minimum knowledge.
Doing so will help you create a manual that can be referred by anyone with even a bare minimum knowledge and everyone gets the benefit of it.
Step 4: Set the Milestones and Deadlines
In Step 1, we defined objectives to serve the overall purpose. Here we are going to discuss the Milestones that an employee needs to achieve which helps to get towards that objective.
Milestones help employees to know where they stand and give a sense of accomplishment. A goal of training could be to impart technical skills to an employee in a matter of 6 months but during that whole period employees might be overwhelmed and could give up.
To avert such a situation, divide the objectives into small yet significant milestones to motivate employees to proceed after each achievement.
Milestones indicate substantial accomplishments that boost morale and helps employees to continue working toward their final objectives.
You should also assign deadlines to these milestones, but don’t be unreasonable. Each one of us is different and we all take a different amount of time to grasp or learn something.
Be flexible with your deadlines. The aim of having a deadline is to create a sense of discipline in the training structure and make your employees value the time they spend on training. The purpose is not to make them panic.
Step 5: Analyze What should be Included
Now that we have covered a lot of ground, it is time to add the content for training. Of course, you need the right tools, training methods, and instructors to impart the right knowledge but for now, just note what content should be taught to the employees.
Be careful while creating the training flow and content. Missing crucial details could create big repercussions.
For instance, if you forget to cover what details are required when entering a new opportunity into your CRM, your sales team might enter flawed data which could make your reports useless.
So, it is important to analyze all the steps and procedures that you add to the employee training plan.
Step 6: Use the Right Tools
Now that you understand your target audience, and objectives. It is time to use the right training tools to deliver on the expected lines.
You must utilize authoring tools like Adobe Captivate to create a course within the organization or could use a subscription-based learning method like Udemy or could use Live online training sessions to impart the necessary skills.
But the real question is these training tools and methods sufficient?
Well, the answer is No.
Most people learn things by taking action and for that either you can go with a simulated training method where employees are trained in a virtual environment using technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) or You can go one step further and make your employee productive from the first day itself by using tools like a Digital Adoption Platform(DAP).
It is a solution that will guide your employee from one step to another seamlessly. It can be designed in a customized manner for each job function. Using methods like these you not only save time but also get better ROI.
A DAP also includes the ability to export on-screen guidance as a PDF or Word document with screengrabs to use in your training manual.
Step 7: Create the Final Draft of Training Manual
Use this checklist to ensure your creative employee training manual follows best practices and has all the necessary elements:
|Set the right expectations||What actions they have to take to achieve the mentioned objective.||Learning Head and Department Head|
|Assessment||Prepare the test which the candidate has to qualify before acquiring any new skill. Failing to clear the test should make them revisit the learning material to enhance their knowledge and skills.||Managers, Subject matter experts, and consultants|
|Employee Engagement||The training manual should be designed in such a way that it must be interactive. Using the right set of training tools and training methods can help you engage the employees.||Instructional Designer, Training Head|
|Proper Guidance||The employee must be guided on every step and they should not be dependent on external help. Every step and action must be clearly defined in the employee training manual. The training imparted should also be in a step by step manner which should be supported by relevant videos and documentation.||Instructional Designer, Content Coordinator, and Content Creator|
|Crisp yet effective content||People have a short span of concentration and feeding them with a lot of information at once could overwhelm them. Enable blended and microlearning using tools like LXP(Learning Experience Platform) and DAP(Digital Adoption Platform)||Content Coordinator, Content Creator, Department Managers, and Instructional Designer|
|Mode of communication||You have to decide what type of medium to use to communicate any updates or changes in existing training content. You can choose medium like email, webinar, and in-app announcements to convey changes in the training content.||Learning Head, and Department Head|
Step 8: Get Feedback and Improve
No process is perfect and the same goes for the employee training manual. You have to strive to improve it and to do that you have to ask for genuine feedback from the participants. You can segregate the feedback process into three phases.
The first feedback can be taken during the employee training and onboarding process, the second feedback can be taken after the assessment test and the final feedback can be taken after few months to check the impact of the training on their jobs.
Keep the feedback process short and crisp because most of the time participants are not interested to share their thoughts. So keep it simple for your employees.
Taking feedback at a different stage will help you to improve the flaws in the existing training system and eventually will help you to make a better training manual.
Summing it Up
Knowledge of creating an employee training manual is crucial to your business. Knowing how to do it will help you make the employees productive and processes better.
It must align with companies overall objective and employee’s personal goals. Splitting the objective into small milestones will always help to keep employees’ spirits high.
Using the right tools and training methods will help you to create the training manual efficiently. While creating the final draft of the manual you have to keep numerous things in mind such as from setting the correct expectations to providing the right guidance at the right time.
One of the best things you can do to build better documentation and training manuals is to invest in a Digital Adoption Platform which trains your employee from the first day with on-screen guidance. It will play a vital role throughout the learning journey of your employees especially when they are using numerous web-based applications in their day-to-day jobs and trying to improve their performance.