Are you constantly answering repeated questions by employees? Are you facing employee churn and finding it challenging to retain employees for a long term?
Ever wondered as to what can be the reason behind these persistent problems?
Think about it, and you might get a hint. In fact, if you analyze, ineffective or worse, lack of employee training can be one of the causes behind these issues.
Organizations are aware of the importance of employee training, but they still end up keeping it on the backburner by thinking of it as an added cost when, in reality, it is an investment.
How can educating and training employees add to your cost when it pays off way more than you spend. Wondering how?
Well, everything is connected. The right job training increases efficiency and productivity at work. When this happens, employees turn better at what they do - resulting in quality, on-time deliverables that impact your firm’s growth positively.
When your entire workforce starts excelling in their roles, it’s bound to affect your firm’s overall development, growing your sales figures significantly.
So, now that you know how crucial training is for your employees, it’s time to dig into how you can offer the best-in-class training. The most convenient and straightforward way is to take your training online and to equip your employees with the right tools for self-training. This can be achieved by creating a comprehensive training guide.
What Is a Training Manual
A web-based training manual is a centralized knowledge bank that comprises valuable information about your organization, clients, processes, policies, products, services, and much more. There is no hard and fast rule as to what a training guide should comprise of. Based on your objective, and the audience you are targeting, you can add relevant content to it.
It’s best for training employees dispersed across geographies and working in different time zones. Inducting new hires becomes a cakewalk when you have an online information source ready to onboard them with everything they need to blend well in your organization and excel in their respective roles.
A Training Manual Offers Two Major Benefits
- It is extremely cost-saving, as you will not have to conduct offline training sessions separately across your offices.
- Since online training is way more feasible, employees can go through it whenever they have time. It saves you and your employees a lot of time that otherwise goes into organizing offline training sessions.
Why Build a Training Manual?
A training manual’s importance cannot be sidelined, regardless of your size and scale. It’s no more a choice, but a prerequisite that can help you achieve:
- Improved employee engagement
- Increased workforce productivity
- Enhanced efficiency at work
- Reduced training expenses
And, as discussed above, it can also impact your company’s bottom line to a great extent.
Let’s now see what stats have to say on this:
- A whopping 40% of employees leave a firm due to inadequate job training that can cost you around $2500.
- Firms that invest in training their employees clock a 24% higher profit margin as compared to those that don’t make any such investment.
Well, clearly, this is why training manuals are important. Creating one is instrumental in retaining employees, cutting training-related expenses, and at the same time, clocking a higher revenue.
7 Crucial Tips to Create a Training Manual
1. Identify Your Objective
Before you start creating a training manual, have clarity around what you want to achieve with it. Your objective should be crystal clear to you. Raise certain questions in your mind, and make sure that you have specific answers to all of them. Questions can be around -
- What’s my objective behind building the manual?
- What business goal am I targeting?
- What results do I want to see with the training guide, and are they realistic?
For instance, some of your goals and objectives can be:
- Onboarding new employees
- Providing role-specific training to existing employees
- Upskilling employees with advanced skills
- Enhancing employee productivity and efficiency at work
- Identifying weaknesses and addressing them
Find out your objective, and then start building your training manual.
2. Understand Your Audience
Connecting with your target audience is crucial for the success of your training manual. Understand the nuances of your audience, identify details such as demographics, language preference, their roles in your organization, physiological behaviors, etc., to write training content that clicks.
Keeping these things in mind will help you create the best training manual that strikes the right chords by educating your audience, and avoiding trivial job-related errors.Besides, you also need to understand the learning stage of your employees. For instance, if you are creating a manual for new hires, the best approach is to explain everything from scratch and then deep dive into the complex things.
On the contrary, if your training manual is directed towards existing employees who already have some knowledge about their roles or your products, then you don’t require to start from scratch. You can simply train them on the most immediate issues they are facing.
3. Pick the Right Tool
Now that you have zeroed in on your objective and identified your target audience, the next important thing is to opt for the right training manual software. As the online space is bombarded with such tools, selecting one can be a daunting challenge. You need to be clear of your requirements to be able to choose the right tool. Some significant features that you should look out for, while making a choice, are:
- Online Text Editor: to help you author content, upload files, and add multimedia.
- Customization Options: to add your brand name, logo, fonts, and colors to the training manual.
- Roles & Permissions: This feature allows you to allot roles such as administrator, editor, viewer, and contributor to different individuals and teams, and define their permissions so that all of them can collaborate to build and manage your manual.
- Conditional Content: Set conditions to hide or display your content.
- Multiple Language Support: to help you create your manual in over 90 languages
- Multiple Device Compatibility: This feature ensures that your manual works seamlessly across devices - mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.
- Integrations: Integrations with powerful tools are recommended, as they deliver exceptional performance. Look out for the software that integrates beautifully with the G-suite (Google Fonts, Google Analytics, Google Translate), Wufoo, Salesforce Desk, Zendesk, and others.
4. Structure and Organize
Just putting in information in your manual, without giving it a proper structure is futile, as it will only make self-training taxing for your employees. To make your training content readable and easily scannable:
- Add a table of contents at the beginning of your manual
- Divide your content into categories and sub-categories
- Place proper headers and footers on all pages
- Number your pages correctly
Create a comprehensive training manual that is rich in content, but at the same time, looks clean and organized to the eye.
5. Infuse Life in Your Manual
A content-heavy manual loses its charm, no matter how interesting it is to read. The reason is simple - text-only documents don’t look attractive, and they fail to keep readers engaged.
To avoid this, consider developing content in a way that is a perfect blend of text and multimedia. Add images, videos, and infographics to explain concepts and provide readers with an enriching experience. In fact, online pages that have images or videos in them get 94% more views than text-only pages - reason enough to add multimedia to the online training manual.Increase the interactive quotient of your training manual by making it an ideal mix of text and multimedia. It helps to pique the interest of readers and keeps them engaged in the manual.
6. Test Your Readers
Adding quizzes serves as the ideal way to test the effectiveness of your manual and evaluate its impact on employees. What you can do is - include a short quiz after every section to assess employee learning.
Quizzes can be in a multiple-choice format, fill in the blanks, or a one-word answer, anything that you feel will arouse the interest of readers and encourage them to participate. You can create a different section to include answers to those quizzes so that readers can refer to them in case they don’t know the answers or are unsure of them. This is an interesting way to keep employees engaged, enhance their learning, and gauge the performance of employees, and understand how much they were able to grasp from your manual.
7. Capture Feedback
Simply creating a training manual won’t suffice. You need to keep improving and improvising it to craft better experiences for readers. Identifying the pain points of employees, with respect to the manual, and making relevant changes to content, is the best way to do this.
This can be done by asking readers to rate your article on a scale of 1 to 10 or asking them if they liked the article to which they can respond with a simple yes or no. You can also ask them to comment on your articles and give suggestions for improvement.
Besides, if you want to get complete feedback on your training manual’s performance, it’s best to opt for training manual software that offers actionable insights into:
- Total number of reads
- Total number of searches
- Failed searches
- Poorly rated articles
- Failed keywords
- Broken links, and more
These are some of the metrics you can use to measure the performance of your training manual, identify the improvement areas, and accordingly improvise it to meet the requirements of your employees.
Just seven simple steps and your training guide will be ready to rock.
Let’s now jump to how you can create training manuals the right way with ProProfs. Here are seven simple steps to help you get started.
- Choose from our wide range of beautifully-designed templates
- Replace the placeholders and start writing content with MS Word-like editor
- You can even upload existing word or PDF files right into your doc.
- Add images, videos or infographics to make your training manual engaging
- Customize content with your brand name, logo, fonts, and colors so that it resonates with your brand.
- Set workflows to define the status of all articles, and ensure that content gets reviewed before getting published.
- Publish when ready.
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