Creating A Captivating Training Manual For Your Employees
With some smart tips and help from your creative team, you can write an employee training manual that leaves next to zero questions and creates excitement. Here’s how to do it.
6 Ways To Develop An Engaging Employee Training Manual
1. Make It Digital
Let’s all agree on this: the chances to engage employees with a long, printed training manual are very limited. Images and colorful designs can make things more exciting. But, still, this can’t be compared to what you can do with a digital training manual.
There are many practical issues with printed documents as well. A printed training manual takes (unnecessarily) physical space. Most likely, employees will cram it in the back of a drawer and forget about it. Paper waste is also another argument against printed manuals.
On the other hand, a digital training manual can be enriched with many different types of content, like videos and animated infographics. Using these, you can not only create more engagement than with plain text but, in some cases, communicate your message more effectively.
For example, you can’t beat video when it comes to telling your company’s story or prompting employees to join a course. In addition, digital content is much easier to navigate, thanks to a clickable table of contents and the search function. Plus, it goes without saying that it’s eco-friendly, too.
2. Keep It Organized
This is one of these cases where keeping it all neat and tidy is actually more fun than going with a “creative chaos” approach. Your employee training manual needs to be well-organized so that it makes sense and employees can easily find what they’re looking for.
For example, you could list your courses per category. Whether it’ll be by department, skill, or another characteristic depends on how many courses you are offering and how large your company is.
Also, try to ease employees in, just like you would do during a face-to-face presentation. This means you should offer some background information first. For example, you can briefly discuss your company history and goals for the future, or explain why training benefits the company and employees alike.
Then, you can add the list of available courses. And don’t forget that creating a training manual template will help you organize your training manual better and ensure you don’t leave anything out.
3. Be Smart About Your Use Of Text
Inevitably, the biggest part of your training manual will be text. This is not a bad thing at all: text is very easy to skim when you need to find specific information. If you present each course with a video, for example, employees will have to take notes. This doesn’t sound efficient at all.
Long blocks of texts, however, are the equivalent of long speeches—eventually, people will get distracted and stop paying attention. Therefore, it’s best to organize your content into short paragraphs and use special characters to guide the reader through different sections.
For example, you can use different colors and bolds in the headlines as you move from one topic to another. With an exclamation mark, you can put the focus on paragraphs speaking about requirements to attend a course.
Be careful to use fonts and colors in moderation. Lack of uniformity will confuse the readers and make your employee training manual look unprofessional.
4. Use Video
Video is the next best thing to speaking directly to your employees. It’s a great teaser to briefly introduce a course, but it can work well in several other parts of your employee training manual, too.
You can use videos for general information that employees need to know but don’t have to remember in the cognitive sense of the word. For example, you can create a video to talk about your company history and mission statement, future goals, and how training relates to all that.
Videos are also effective in motivating employees to take action. Ask employees to reach out to their managers and HR to find the right course, or to leave feedback for the courses they attend.
5. Quiz Your Teams
Quizzes already? Yes, but the fun kind. Create quizzes and mini-games to help your employees understand which skills they need the most (e.g., negotiation or conflict resolution?). Employees can also take some tests to measure their knowledge and find the appropriate course level for them.
Quizzes are not supposed to replace the advice and guidance of their manager, of course. They’re a tool to draw employees in and spark their interest. It’s also a fun way to present optional courses you offer and match them with employees’ preferences.
6. Add Sneak Peeks
Include a short video lecture or an “invitation” from the instructor, where they explain what the course is about and the type of learning material they’ve prepared for this course. The video in such cases is supposed to be complementary to the written course description, simply to establish a connection with future learners.
If you’ve prepared something unique for a course, make sure to mention it. Have you invited a special guest for a live training session or created an inter-departmental game or competition? Tell employees there’s a surprise in store for them and give them a hint to keep them guessing.
Forget about wordy, printed training manuals. Instead, create a digital employee training manual and add a variety of content to create engagement. The first step to success? Use a training manual template to have everything in place.
Download the eBook Creating An Employee Training Manual: A Complete Guide for insider secrets to keep employees in the know and motivate them to expand their skillsets.