What is an employee training manual

An employee training manual is a book created by management that helps train employees for their position using a step by step process for each task they are in charge of. Manuals should include relevant step by step instruction for each task the position must accomplish. Many companies add user manuals and information on how to use machinery and systems. 

Building your manual

Building a quality team should be a primary goal for your business.The first step is to create and implement a comprehensive employee training guide. This will be a key tool in perfecting your onboarding process. 

It’s the first step in introducing a new employee to your company. According to go2HR, “40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year.” When employees aren’t performing at their best their job satisfaction can fall.

Turnover is costly in time and in money. Huffington Post reported that “companies investing $1,500 or more per employee per year on training average 24 percent higher profit margins than companies with lower yearly training investments.”  This means that not only can the development and implementation of effective training programs save money in terms of employee turnover, but they can actually make a company more profitable in the long run. Quality training guides and programs are an investment in your business.

How to Create an employee training manual

Follow these steps to create a great employee training manual:

  1. Create how to’s for each important task you can think of for the job. Make sure to write down every step no matter how easy it seems as steps are often missed when we are used to doing the task. 
  2. Group tasks into sections 
  3. Create a table of contents
  4. Add common questions and answers at the end of your manual
  5. Bind or put together your manual
  6. Do this for each position in your business
  7. Get feedback from trainees to improve your manual

Tips to make your training manual effective

  1. Define Expectations Clearly
    It is important to define clear expectations in your training program and how they align with your company’s primary purpose.
    In addition to the expectations, it is important to define the purpose of training using clear learning objectives. It is also important to have a clearly defined role identification section. This will help new employees understand each department and better demonstrate how each department functions together.
  2. Share Goals
    Employees who feel they are part of a larger mission will thrive better than those who don’t. Make your company’s mission statement known. Share goals with your employees and help them create their own personal and business goals. 
  3. Encourage Collaboration
    A successful training guide will be inclusive and comprehensive. Promot cross training. Promotion opportunities may not be written in an employee guide but make sure employees know that the opportunities are there. After all, growth is a huge driving factor in employee retention!
    Allow training to be fluid and make it a point to seek help from existing employees for mentorship and training opportunities.
  4. Make Training Accessible and Attainable
    This may seem like a no-brainer, but creating a training program that is accessible, attainable and personable to employees is key. This helps employees feel valued in the training process. Ensure that there are process guides for each department and active roles.
    Shadowing can be another helpful component. Pairing new employees with existing employees for shadowing opportunities is most effective if the employees are certified trainers in their areas or have successfully met certain knowledge guidelines. Direct demonstration and hands-on training with supervision are two other ways to incorporate successful training programs. The key is to have a variety of opportunities to invite learning.

Remember that training never officially ends. Starting your training program with a manual helps decrease the time required by others to train new employees and increased consistency in training programs. By providing ongoing professional development and training opportunities, employees will continue to be successful long after their initial training phase. Allow for continuous mention of company goals and collaborate with employees on setting and meeting certain goals. Remind them of the mission statement and encourage your team to professionally develop by creating cross-training and promotion opportunities. Creating a great employee training guide and program takes careful consideration and allows for a wonderful return on investment.