Learn how to create the best training manual and help your employees become more productive using Bit.ai. Read on…
If your company is like a car, your employees are the engine that keeps it running. However, every now and then the engine requires some fine-tuning and oiling to continue running smoothly. This fine-tuning is what training is all about.
Employees, whether new or old, need continuous training to be in-tune with the latest skill sets. It’s important for them to keep evolving and understanding the latest practices, technology, and cutting-edge tools to perfect their craft.
You don’t have to take our word for it though, take a look at the results of a study conducted by “The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD),” which collected training information from over 2500 firms and found that companies that offer comprehensive training:
- Have a 218% higher income per employee than those with less comprehensive training
- Have a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training
- Generate a 6% higher shareholder return
So, how do you make sure that your employees stay on top of all the training, learning and development? The answer is, by using a training manual. In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about training manuals and how to create them. Let’s get started!
What is a Training Manual? (Definition)
A training manual is a guide that teaches new employees about a company and its processes. It plays a critical role in employee training. Whereas, existing employees can grow and learn about new systems, tools, or software using the training manuals.
These manuals help employees continuously grow and get better at their jobs, but they also directly affect the company’s bottom line. They can help increase employee efficiency, proficiency, productivity, and overall profits.
But what role does a company training manual play in the overall training of employees? Let’s dive in and find out.
Why Training Manuals are Important?
Employees who are not constantly learning or new hires who are not familiar with the tools, apps, software, or machinery used by their company can become disengaged in their work.
This disengagement often leads to poor job satisfaction and higher employee turnover. In the end, both the employee and the employer gets hurt.
The stats are there to prove it:
- 40% of employees with poor training leave their jobs within the first year.
- 74% of employees feel that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities.
- 72% of employees even think of financially contributing to their own training.
- 68% of workers claim that training and development is the most important company policy.
- Only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged.
- Over $500 billion is lost every year due to employee disengagement.
The stats are never-ending. The problem is real. Employees want to grow and hone their skill sets through regular training and developmental opportunities. A good way for companies to start this much-needed process is by crafting an awesome company training manual or training guide.
Let’s get straight to the point and see what are the most important elements of a perfect training manual!
Read more: How to Write A Stellar Instruction Manual
Create the Perfect Training Manual by Following these Steps:
In order to create a training manual that is not only informative but interesting to read, you need to have a plan in place. We have put together some key points you need to keep in mind to create the best training manual.
1. What’s the objective?
The first step in creating an effective training guide is to have a clear objective in mind.
- What’s is the purpose of creating the training manual?
- What business goal is supported by the training manual?
- What activities should be included in the training manual?
Answers to questions like these will help you figure out the main objective of creating the training guide. After the training is complete, the employees must be able to carry out the tasks for which the training manual is being created.
2. Get yourself some help!
Writing a training manual is not an easy task. You can’t be casual about it. Your employees are counting on you for help as their entire work might depend upon the information present in the training manual.
A good way of making sure you don’t miss out or miswrite some critical information is to get some help. Gather your peers around and start working on a training manual collaboratively.
One person could be in charge of writing it, while others search for information, organize information, or create visual assets for the manual.
3. Think about what you want to include…
In order to create an effective training guide, you need to have a good idea of what type of content you want to include in it.
Compile all the information, knowledge, process, checklists, etc. that need to be included in the training manual. Make sure you are thorough with every point and have everything you need to write a training manual. Never, ever, rely on your memory!
Even skipping a small step may lead to confusion amongst your readers. For example, forgetting to tell the reader about an important switch in a piece of new machinery, can not only be misleading but can also be dangerous.
4. Keep your audience in mind.
A common mistake company’s make while crafting their training manuals is ignoring their intended audience. The content of the training manual directly depends upon the type of audience reading it.
If your training your employees on new software that no one has used before (or training new hires), then going in deep with explanations and describing the steps precisely and clearly can help them grasp the knowledge quickly.
However, if you are teaching them some additional features of software they already use, no need to go all-in from scratch. Keeping your audience in mind will give you an idea of how broad or specific you need to be throughout the manual.
5. Get organized!
Once you have an idea of what information you want to include in the training manual, it’s time to organize that information. Outline the flow of the training guide into chapters, sections, or parts.
Make sure that the training manual is in a smooth flow and covers all the steps in-depth from start to finish. Organizing the information is important to avoid confusion and make it an easy read for your audience.
6. Add a table of contents.
Adding a table of contents to your training manual is a must. If your training manual is heavy on pages, the importance of having a table of contents increases exponentially. The table of contents provides navigation to the reader and helps them go to a particular topic quickly.
This is especially useful when employees need to go back to the training manual to refresh their memory on a particular topic, helping them save time and effort. Using a document editor that automatically creates a table of contents along with subheadings is a good way to achieve this.
7. Summarize each section.
Ending each section of the training manual with a summary can do wonders for your employees.
They can quickly get a recap of whatever they have learned so far, which helps save them a lot of time and effort. Try to highlight only the most important information from the chapter/section that people should take away.
Read more: How To Create An Interactive PDF In Minutes
How to Make Your Training Manuals Interactive?
Let’s face it. Training manuals are well, boring. They are filled with text and are not very engaging. Studies have shown that we can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second!
On top of that, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. It’s clear- images and videos convey a richer communication experience than text-heavy content alone.
Making your training guides interactive with training videos and audio lessons can be a great way to enhance engagement and generate interest amongst employees.
However, most document editors don’t allow you to add video or audio to your documents. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a neat trick to add audio, video, and various types of interactive content to your training manuals at the end of this blog. Keep on reading!
1. Add quizzes at the end!
At the end of each major section of the manual, add a short quiz or learning activity to measure employee learning and retention.
You can add quick-fire multiple choice questions or fill in the blanks to make learning engaging and fun. Include answers to these quizzes in a separate section so that the employees can gauge their learning and see if they need a refresher on a particular topic.
2. Ask for feedback.
Since training plays a crucial role in the work-life of every employee of the organization, it’s important to always keep on improving the training process and material to make it even more perfect. Therefore, always ask employees to give their honest feedback and suggestions on how to make training more effective.
You can conduct a feedback session after distributing the training guides or include a section at the end of the manual for employees to write in their suggestions. This is an important step as it helps you craft the perfect training manual and ensure that manuals are beneficial and productive for everyone in the future.
Create Training Manuals the Right Way with Bit
After learning about all the key points to include in your training manuals, we know you are itching to get on with the work of creating one.
However, what good is knowledge if you don’t have the means to deploy it? This is why we would like to introduce you to Bit, the smartest document collaboration tool to create training manuals and other digital workplace documents for free!
Bit is a new age cloud-based document collaboration tool that helps teams create, manage and track workplace documents including training manuals, fact sheets, sales decks, project proposals, ebooks, case studies, employee onboarding docs, media kits, and many more.
Bit helps you make sure your training manuals are more than just plain boring text and images. Apart from allowing multiple users to collaborate on a training manual, Bit also allows users to add any sort of rich media like YouTube videos, Google Docs, One Drive Excel Spreadsheets, GIFs, Tweets, interactive charts, etc. by adding a shareable link on a blank line. Bit will automatically turn that weblink into live visual content that lives on your Bit documents!
Imagine how rich and interactive your training guides can become! Here’s a fun visual diagram of how Bit’s powerful documents work:
Why Create Training Manuals on Bit.ai?
Not sure how Bit can help you write the perfect training manual? Let’s see some of Bit’s awesome capabilities!
1. A minimal yet powerful editor.
Bit has a minimal document editor which allows you to write your training manual without the distraction of unnecessary buttons and tabs. At the same time, it’s powerful enough to format your training manual document in any way you like.
2. Bring your writers, editors, and peers under one roof!
Creating a training manual from scratch takes a lot of time and effort. You have to research content, come up with an outline, add awesome visuals, and create an overall interactive experience for your employees. Doing this amount of work alone can be pretty daunting and time-consuming.
Thus, Bit allows you to work with your peers to get the training manual ready as quickly as you can. Working in teams also allows you to brainstorm ideas together and get your content and design people together in a single workplace.
Bit allows teams to collaborate together, give real-time feedback, suggest changes, and get work done quicker. Most importantly, say goodbye to back and forth emails.
3. Create an interactive and never-before-seen training manual!
In this digital age, you need more than just text to engage your readers. All the other document editors limit your creativity by only allowing you to incorporate text and static images in your documents.
Since training manuals are long-form professional documents, having to read so much text can be dull and ineffective.
This is why we empower you to add any type of rich media content, like YouTube videos, Google Docs Spreadsheets, PDFs, presentations, Spotify playlists, SlideShares, GIFs, Polls, and Quizzes, etc. With Bit, you can create smart training manuals by incorporating hundreds of file types and making them dynamic and interactive. Users can also make use of Bit’s wiki features to interlink important documents, making it easier to share knowledge.
5. Perfect brand consistency.
Focus on the content and let Bit help you with the design and formatting. Bit documents are completely responsive and look great on all devices, irrespective of the screen size they are viewed on. With amazing templates and themes, the training manuals created with Bit provide you with the type of brand and design consistency that is unheard of in the documentation industry. With a click of a button, your entire document can reflect a theme or brand color, etc.
5. Track those training manuals.
How do you even know whether your employees or customers have fully gone through the training manuals you distributed? Imagine if you were able to track the time spent by employees and customers on these training guides, how frequently they were viewed, and whether they were viewed at all.
That way you know whether new employees or customers have actually read the training material given to them. Bit allows you to track your documents and gain amazing insights, helping you create an even better version of your documents.
6. Embed those training manuals.
A great feature of Bit is the ability to embed documents on any website or blog. You can embed your training manual on your company website, blog, or forum in one click. The training manuals fully render and are responsive. Moreover, any changes made to the training manual will reflect live on the site.
Here’s a Bit training manual template:
Bit allows various types of teams in marketing, sales, HR, technology, customer service, designers, etc. to work together, collaborate, brainstorm ideas, and create the best looking internal as well as external documents quickly and easily.
Since creating a training manual is no easy task- you have to research, write, and design it effectively to get the most out of it- Bit.ai empowers teams to get the work done in half the time and with more conviction. Have a great time crafting that training manual with Bit! If you need any help, let us know in the comments below.
Further reads :
- How To Write An Impressive Business One Pager (Template Included)
- How to Write an Operations Manual?
- Your Ultimate Guide to Writing Policy & Procedure Manual!
- How To Create A Smarter Employee Handbook
Bit.ai is the essential next-gen workplace and document collaboration platform. that helps teams share knowledge by connecting any type of digital content. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can work visually and collaborate in real-time while creating internal notes, team projects, knowledge bases, client-facing content, and more.
The smartest online Google Docs and Word alternative, Bit.ai is used in over 100 countries by professionals everywhere, from IT teams creating internal documentation and knowledge bases, to sales and marketing teams sharing client materials and client portals.