You may or may not have a training manual for your small business. And if you don’t, it’s time to put on your creative hat and get to work. Why? A training manual is the backbone of your company - without one, it’s hard to function. So, to write a training manual in the most efficient and creative way, here are tips to get you going.
Note: This article is an expert from our eBook The Small Business Guide to Human Resources
You Need a Good Training Manual
Training manuals aren’t always the most exciting thing to read and it’s not uncommon for new employees to skim over them without understanding them. However, they are the first piece of information your employees will read to understand how your company works. So, if you want to save time, make it right the first time. In other words, don’t just make a training manual because you have to. Make training manuals fun, easy to read, and memorable.
For example, rather than simply writing a block of text about your dress code policy, include a fun picture of one of your employees in the correct attire and in incorrect attire. Incorporating examples into your training manuals will make them easy to remember, and employees will have more of a desire to read them. The time you take now means less time you will spend with employees in the future.
Related: HR Rules You Need to Know
Ways to Make Your Training Manual Awesome
You know training manuals are important, but what should you include in yours to make sure it exceeds you and your employees’ expectations? Here are six tips.
1 - Crossword Puzzles
Everyone loves a simple crossword puzzle. Including a crossword puzzle in your training manual will break up the mundane text and allow your employees to learn as they search for each word.
2 - Fun and Memorable Pictures or Graphics
Training manuals with too much text are often glanced over and nothing sticks with your employees. Instead, include pictures and graphics that are perfectly paired with the concept, idea, or rule you’re trying to convey.
3 - Easy-to-Read Text
You don’t need to complicate simple concepts. Use fewer words when possible - unless, of course, the subject needs intricate details to convey the right message. Otherwise, try to explain what you want to say in a very basic way.
4 - Bullet Points
Another way to make your training manuals easy to digest is to incorporate bullet points. It’s best to summarize each page or chapter in bullet points. This way, your employees can revisit what they learned in just a couple sentences.
5 - Tips and Ideas
At the bottom of each page, write a sentence or two giving your employees tips and ideas. Doing this will set their minds in motion and get them thinking of ways to incorporate the principle, rule, or idea you’re explaining.
6 - Notes Section
At the end of each chapter, make a section where your employees can write notes. This way, your employees can write questions, or summarize their takeaways for a better understanding.
Your small business’s training manual will be the first impression of your company for each employee. Not only is it important to ensure they are accurate and easy to read, but your training manual should be memorable and referenced often. If your training manual is memorable, chances are, your employees will know the rules, regulations, and the way your company functions - saving you time and resulting in more efficient employees.