The Importance of an Employee Training Manual

by Ruth Mayhew; Updated September 26, 2017

An employee training manual serves many more purposes than accompanying new employee training. Well-constructed training manuals provide written training content, enable departmental functions in the absence of key employees, provide new employees with valuable information and codify workplace rules and guidelines. Human resources departments that develop employee training manuals also find it easier to provide workplace orientation and employee training with written materials.

Training Content

Companies that provide employee orientation often provide new hires with an employee handbook as a form of a training manual. Employee handbooks contain workplace rules and guidelines with which employees should be familiar before they assume their job duties and responsibilities. Employee handbooks usually have acknowledgment forms that employees must sign to indicate receipt and understanding of company policies. Signed forms are put into each employee's personnel file and remain part of the complete employment record. Employee training manuals or employee handbooks give employees much-needed support for learning workplace rules and serve as reference material should there arise questions about company policies.

Quality Management

Organizations with multiple work sites use employee training manuals to standardize workplace processes. An employee training manual that contains best practices or past practices proven to be successful is valuable to employers who have work sites spread over a wide geographic region. Standardizing company processes is essential for consistent performance and quality management.

Transition to Paperless

When a company transitions from being a company that relies on written documentation to one that is technology-driven, an employee training manual can be valuable to information technology experts. For example, a human resources information systems specialist responsible for codifying the company's recruiting processes can refer to the employee training manual to develop a computer-based recruitment and selection process. Companies making the transition from paper to computer-based functions could find that employee training manuals provide a substantial portion of information that can be converted to Web format for use on the company's intranet.

Historical Reference

Company processes change over time; however, a historical record of past practices can be a good foundation for constructing new and updated processes. Organizations that keep written records such as employee training manuals have an easier time formulating new processes and creating documentation of new processes. Employee training manuals are documents important for historical reference.

Process Manuals

Many companies develop employee training manuals that contain specific job processes. Process manuals make it easier to train new employees and to replace employee job functions. Some departments have employee manuals for every position within the department or section, and other manuals contain descriptions of all departmental processes in one volume. Employees are a tremendous help in developing these manuals. They appreciate the importance of an employee training manual and have firsthand knowledge of the processes necessary for describing the steps for performing specific job tasks. Employee training manuals come in handy when an employee is absent, on leave or otherwise unable to perform the job task or train another employee how to do the job.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.