a group of people at a table, learning about the importance of employee training manuals

You will likely read an employee training manual when you get hired for a job and start the training process. Its quality is up to the company you work for, or if you are an employer, how you write it. 


What Makes a Good Employee Training Manual?

As with any documents within a business, making sure you have a stellar training manual is very important. However, a good employee training manual gives a set of instructions that improve the quality of a job, process, or task. Some keys to follow when writing one and to pay attention to is that it should be easy to follow. If your manual is not easy to follow and read, it will just confuse current and future employees on what their tasks are and how to perform them.


Having a good training manual is not just something that is needed for the everyday common employee, but also for the manager who oversees them, and if you have clients with whom your workers will work directly with, they may want to know your rules and procedures for how work will be completed during their project. 


How Do You Write a Good Employee Training Manual?


Knowing the steps needed to write anything is always the first step. Use these six steps when writing an employee training manual:

  1. Identify the objective: This is not always an easy step. Technology is constantly changing and so might your training manual. However when doing it the first time the objective should be to build upon your employee’s strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.
  2. Collaborate: You shouldn’t write an employee manual on your own. Getting input and help from all different departments, assigning roles such as manual designer, writer, editor, etc., is the best course of action. 
  3. Identify your audience: Understand who you are speaking to with this. The language needed to write an effective training manual will be different based on the type of jobs you do. Writing for construction workers requires a different approach than writing for a local coffee shop. 
  4. Determine what should be included: When writing out the content of the manual, determining what should be included is a critical part of it all. You do not want to miss certain points or big chunks of information when writing the bulk of it. 
  5. Make sure the right tools are used: You wouldn’t show up to a construction site with a knitting needle. It is important to make sure your employees know what the right tools to use are. It sets them up for success and gives them a basic understanding of your business practices as well. 
  6. Create a feedback loop as you develop the final draft: Next is to create the final draft along with editing it and making sure it is right. When it is its time to distribute it whatever way you will need to, whether digitally or physically or both. After that it’s time to gather feedback from the employees and make changes as you see fit off that feedback. The feedback part of it will help eliminate portions that do not make sense, don’t have flow and will let you tinker and improve on it over time. 

two people at a desk, writing employee training manuals

Training Manuals vs Modules


Training manuals are great when you are onboarding new employees. However for existing or even returning employees, training modules might be the way to go. When refreshing on training or just wanting an employee to learn something new, you should go with a training module. Think of a training module as chapters in a book and each chapter is a new module. 


Benefits of a Training Manual


When it comes to running a successful business one of the most important steps is to make sure those who you employ are setup for success. This will just help your bottom line when it comes to running the business. Having efficient employees through training is key as well for your customers to be happy with the service you are providing.


One of the big benefits is to inform current employees about future training programs or changes in the policy. You do not want to catch any employees off guard with random training they will need that will interrupt their normal work flow. This can lead to breakdown in productivity which can and sometimes will affect your customer service

But Wait, There’s More!

Another big benefit of having a training manual and making it a part of what your company is, is to promote your employees to always be learning. While some may think that they know everything there is to be known, that is not true. Everyday and every moment can be a learning and teaching experience even for the most experienced employees.


The biggest benefit may be to optimize the process of onboarding new employees. This can be a very long and stressful process, however it does not have to be. With turnover rates being as high as 50% in 6 months, having a streamlined process when onboarding is key to being able to replace those who choose to leave or just do not work out. 


Having a training manual is an important part of running any and every successful business. In every industry, training manuals are critically important. It is essential to streamline the tough employee hiring process as much as possible. The writers at Essential Data can help when it comes to building the right training manual for your business. We are here to help you make your employees as successful as possible.

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project with confidence, communication, prime industry knowledge, and professionalism from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is always guaranteed. The documentation of your dreams is waiting! Contact us today by phone or email to get started. (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us


Written by Dylan Friebel