Businesses of all sizes use corporate manuals to support or enhance training for their employees. And while huge corporations may have a standard business manual that is updated regularly by HR or other departments within their company, many midsize and smaller organizations may need to develop corporate manuals for the first time.
But creating corporate manuals doesn’t have to be difficult when you know what you need to include and what types of information or content won’t be helpful. Aside from the job-specific training details that effective corporate manuals should have, we have highlighted the key elements you should consider to help you print corporate manuals for your business.
Corporate Manuals: A Critical Element for Any Business
Just about every industry benefits from having job requirements, safety information, and industry-specific customer or client details spelled out for employees. When you create comprehensive corporate manuals your employees will be able to understand not only the company’s expectations for them and their work, but they can feel more secure in meeting safety standards and having fewer on-the-job accidents with their concrete knowledge base provided to them in corporate manuals.
But businesses can also reap the rewards of manual printing by having a solid, practical training manual as well since research shows that companies that invest in corporate training, like developing a manual for employees, report an average of 21% higher profits than those that don’t. And when businesses hear potential growth statistics like that, manual printing is usually a straightforward, obvious way to formalize employee training to help businesses work toward increased profitability.
Keys to Printing Valuable Corporate Manuals
When you plan to develop and print corporate manuals for your business, the first important task is to create a list of what you do and don’t need to include in it. And while the purpose of corporate manuals may be to provide job training for current and future employees, there are a few more key elements that you will want to consider before sending the manual off to the printer.
1. Develop or Upgrade Corporate Manuals When Needed
Having an up-to-date training manual is always a good idea for a company of any size. But there are some reasons why a business may need to quickly produce corporate manuals or even provide updated sections to an existing one. A few reasons why your company may need to work on a manual are:
- Changes in machinery or equipment have occurred
- Critical safety updates need to be disseminated
- Laws or regulations have changed
- New leadership is in charge
- Protocols or safety information have changed
Additionally, when creating a training manual, consider choosing a binding option that allows for adding or swapping out pages.
2. Leave Room for Notes
All businesses want to save money on projects that may not directly impact revenue, and those developing materials for corporate manuals may be tempted to try to cram as much information as possible into the fewest number of pages in an effort to save money.
But a manual should be printed with generous margins without stuffing too much information on a page. These oversized margins will not only allow and encourage employees to make notes near vital information, but they will also allow employers to focus attention on the most critical parts of the training manual’s content.
Information overload can also be overwhelming for employees, so providing white space visually breaks up large amounts of information and makes it easier to digest.
Plastic Coil bindings provide the flexibility to remove pages of a manual so that you can keep your training materials up to date at any time while still giving your manual a professional, finished look.
3. Include Legally Required Language
Make sure that your corporate manuals reflect all of the legal terminology and wording that is necessary for the safety of your employees and customers or clients. Fields like hospitality and healthcare both are governed by many laws, so making sure that your manual reflects those will help your employees follow their legal requirements as well as ensure that the business follows all requirements to inform employees about their legal obligations.
4. Keep Language Simple
In order for all employees to be able to read and comprehend corporate manuals, use simple language without complicated vocabulary or sentence construction. This will ensure that all employees can read and understand the key information included in the manual.
Writing in a simplified way also increases the odds that vital information is not misinterpreted or understood incorrectly and will act as an added protection for the business and employees against a misunderstanding of key safety concerns or legal requirements.
5. Make Content Evergreen
Before deciding to print a manual, remember that corporate manuals that are developed with evergreen content will last the longest. While including this year’s calendar might be helpful for the next 12 months, a training manual that is expected to last for years to come will be outdated and unhelpful with content that “expires” quickly.
Some information necessarily will have to change from year to year or over longer periods of time but including as much content as possible that will remain unchanged will help to extend the life of your manual and spread out the financial impact of printing them over a longer period of time as well.
6. Organize Content Logically
A manual should be easy to use, so plan to organize it in a way that makes the most sense for your industry and the employees who will be using it. Put key information at the beginning of the manual and include a Table of Contents or a reference page at the end to make finding important information easy.
Give users an explanation of what the manual is for in a brief introductory note as well as a description of how the manual’s contents will help them on the job now or in the future to increase the usability of the manual.
7. Partner with a Professional Printer
Making sure that your corporate manuals look great once you have it all put together means working with a printer who can get the job done in a professional, timely manner with quality materials. Dazzle Printing has been working with businesses for years to develop and print specialty books like training manuals.
8. Provide Contact Information
No training manual would be complete without company contact information. Your manual should clearly list out key leadership roles for employees to learn as well as provide important management names and roles and responsibilities of each. Using consistent company branding, graphics and color palettes in this area as well as the rest of the manual will tie it all together and encourage a positive company culture.
9. Use Engaging Design
Corporate manuals don’t have to be boring. In fact, if you want your employees to read them and use them after the active training portion of their job is over, an engaging design is the way to go. Include fun details to keep the manual interesting like providing a section for self-assessment.
Including a quick quiz over the information presented in the previous section will break up large amounts of information and change the pace of the content so employees can be sure to ask questions or learn more about a topic if they haven’t grasped it fully simply by reading the manual. Another way to make the manual more engaging is to include hints or reminders on each page that summarize the most critical information.
This helps to point out the most important information for employees that may be overwhelmed with a wealth of information that they need to learn quickly.
10. Utilize an FAQ Section
With a manual that necessarily will include a lot of information, consider concluding with a Frequently Asked Questions section. This strategy will provide a place to answer questions that may only be indirectly answered within the content of the manual and FAQs can be considered an additional element to teach and remind users of the most important information from the manual.
Getting Started with Corporate Manuals
If you are preparing materials for a training manual, keeping our tips in mind can help you develop a manual that can assist you for years to come. Once your content is ready to be printed, partner with Dazzle Printing so you can be sure that your business’s key information will look just as good in your planning as it does once it is printed and bound, ready to teach and train your employees right away.