A training manual is one of the best resources for the instruction and improvement of the human capital faculties of a company.
The manuals or training protocols allow not only the training of new personnel, but the training of senior staff in new programs, systems or functions.
A self – taught and trained staff increasingly in an environment of global knowledge and connection demands that manuals and protocols for training and induction will match as clear resources, teaching, illustrated, procedural and especially current and cutting edge.
The training manuals and procedure manuals are prepared as permanent reference material for the application of its procedures and instructions. A manual that only takes up space on one shelf is a bad investment of time and money.
A training manual is synonymous with discipline, existence, clear standards and procedures, organization, and even quality. Let us summarize in this installment what a good training manual must contain, as well as certain qualities that every manual must meet to cover the objective for which it is formulated.
Training a definition
The Cambridge English dictionary defines the term of training as the process of teaching-learning specific skills that are needed to perform a particular job or activity.
The training is simply a preparation for something.
According to the Business Dictionary, training or coaching is an organization of activities aimed at imparting instructions and information for an individual or group to improve their performance or reach a standard of knowledge.
A poor training or lack of training, bring high turnover of staff, improvisation, lack of productivity, anarchy, conflict and loss of competitiveness.
What is a training manual?
A training manual is a resource that is an integral part of a training program. It is a document that brings together a set of instructions or precise guidelines to carry out a particular process, job or set of activities.
A training manual must include relevant information for the adequate development of each of the tasks in a job, it must help employees to improve their skills, increase productivity, avoid ambiguities and improvisations, which results in benefits for the company.
How to prepare a training manual?
Since adults learn in different ways, manuals should not be limited to plain text only. They should present the material in different formats, such as images, drawings, diagrams, graphs, and questionnaires.
The use of color images, preferably corporate ones, contributes to interest and identification with the organization.
The induction and training manuals can be formulated under two areas or levels, one generic or general and the other specific or specialized.
According to the Management Study Guide portal, the generic manuals are intended to provide general information on the policies and norms of the company and the regulations that all employees, regardless of their designation, must comply with: schedules, codes of ethics and conduct, clothing, labor laws, security measures, interpersonal relationships, among others.
The other level will be the specific manuals for certain tasks or positions. They offer guidelines and step-by-step instructions with a certain degree of specialization for the improvement of the functions of a position.
The specificity is required. A specific topic helps the authors compose a clear manual, in context and that the readers or students focus on the objective of the training.
Gather the reference materials, policies, and other information to develop your content. Adapt the material based on the objectives of the topic, department, or company.
The use of real examples and practical cases is highly recommended. Theoretical material may stimulate creative thinking or objectively expose the writer’s intent, but will not produce training expertise. Therefore, the manual should not remain in the “cognitive” level but transcend the “procedural and attitudinal” level.
The training manual must contain reliable information, insights supported by facts and data, collected from reliable sources and must be presented in a way that provides results in the performance of the work.
The material should be organized in a logical way. If your goal is to train new employees on how to use the “intranet” system, an explanation of what it is and how it is used is a possible first step.
Add some excitement. Throughout the writing invites the reader to reflection and implementation, includes ideas and motivational exercises. Add some interest with color, design, graphics, interactive quizzes, photos, diagrams, drawings, and materials. Leave room for feedback and taking important notes.
Ask someone familiar with graphic design as well as technical writing and ortho-typographic editing to review the materials and provide their suggestions.
Hire a group of subject matter experts and invite non-experts to participate in a pilot training session and brainstorm. Make any necessary adjustments before starting training and releasing the manual for general use.
An eye-catching cover identified with the corporate logo, slogan and colors and a back cover with the statement of values or the corporate mission will imprint the identity and organizational culture.