Five Essential Tips to Creating a Training Manual

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Happy workers in warehouse checking training manual

Your training manual is the first thing employees look to when they have a question about company procedures. Whether it’s how to print shipping labels or your company’s work-from-home policy, your training manual should be the company’s gold standard for policies and procedures. Read on for training examples and tips on how to write an effective job training manual, so you can create one that covers every aspect of your business manual examples and tips on how to write an effective job training manual, so you can create one that covers every aspect of your business.

1. Include a table of contents

 For example, the table of contents for a bakery training manual may read:

  • Chapter 1: Cleaning Standards

A.    Cleaning the floor

     i. Cleaning materials

1.    What mop to use for:

a.    High-risk areas (restrooms)

b.    Low-risk areas (bakery floor)

c.    General maintenance (front of house)

An employee tasked with cleaning the restroom floors can easily look at chapter 1, section A and know which cleaning materials to use, right down to the designated mop.

2. Keep the design clear, consistent and simple

Don’t go overboard with your design. The best font for training manuals is an easy-to-read sans serif like Arial or Helvetica. Ideally, follow your company’s standard font that is used for all internal communications. Pair it with your company’s colors for a simple and easy-to-read document. The consistent use of font and colors makes your communications easily recognizable and serves as a general reminder of the greater purpose and goal of your company.

3. Clearly define all company policies and procedures

Whether you’re the CEO or a summer intern, the company training manual serves as a baseline resource for all employees. When writing a training manual template, all policies and procedures should be clearly defined and easy to understand. An effective manual:

  • Saves employees time when they’re unsure of how to complete a task
  • Avoids confusion by giving employees a go-to resource for answers
  • Ensures your product or service upholds company standards
  • Allows managers to enforce consistent procedures across all aspects of the company

From the safe storage of food supplies to your company’s email policies, any employee should be able to look to the company training manual for instructions on how to treat a specific task. Include examples on dos and don’ts to make things clear for your employees

3. Clearly define all company policies and procedures

Print company training manuals on high-quality paper with a cardstock cover page and spine. This helps convey the information's importance and helps it withstand normal wear and tear.

An online manual should also be available to all employees for quick reference, whether they’re in the office or on the go. For example, you can:

  • Create a searchable PDF, so employees can find the answers they need from their smartphone or laptop
  • Design it as an easily accessible e-book
  • Convert your manual to an app for employees to download to their device
a working reviewing a training manual

4. Create an online and print version for 24/7 access

Print company training manuals on high-quality paper with a cardstock cover page and spine. This helps convey the information's importance and helps it withstand normal wear and tear.

An online manual should also be available to all employees for quick reference, whether they’re in the office or on the go. For example, you can:

  • Create a searchable PDF, so employees can find the answers they need from their smartphone or laptop
  • Design it as an easily accessible e-book
  • Convert your manual to an app for employees to download to their device

5. Hold regular training review sessions

Training manual review sessions don’t sound exciting, but they’re a necessary deep dive into the details of your business. Breaking them down into smaller discussions makes them easier to digest and will have a bigger impact.

Short, 15-minute sessions once a week will help your employees retain the information much more than a lengthy discussion that takes up half a day (or more). Focus each session on one section of the training manual to ensure every employee has a firm grasp. Encourage participation by making it interactive with quizzes and polls and leave time at the end for questions—it may lead to some discoveries that help improve your company.

Your manual sets the standard for your company and serves as a reference for all policies and procedures. The best way to create a training manual is to think like a new employee. Can you look to it for clear and concise answers to any question you have? Even if the answer is yes, remember to regularly review and update your manual with the most up-to-date information, so your company maintains the high quality and customer satisfaction it’s known for.

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