Spending exorbitantly on conducting offline employee training across various office locations, but is that investment driving satisfaction?
Like it or not, but the learning scenario has transformed completely. The approach of offline training that worked some years back is losing relevance today. The reason behind this is the rise of digital learners who are empowered and seek instant gratification.
In fact, research suggests that digital learners seek effortless, on-the-go, perpetual learning that can be applied immediately, more than anything else.
Given the mounting preference for online training, nothing can help you fulfill employees’ needs than a compelling online training document.
Before we dive into the details of online training documentation, let’s start with the basics first.
What Is Training Documentation?
It’s a cloud-based platform that comprises critical information about your company’s:
- Workplace policies
- HR and leave policies
- Products and services
- Roles and responsibilities at different levels
- Client details
- How different divisions work
- Company’s mission, vision, and much more
Since it is a self-help document, employees can access it anytime they want, using a device of their choice. It helps you provide location-independent training to your employees, meaning they get the freedom and flexibility to learn from wherever they are.
Why Do You Need a Training Document?
A whopping 93% of employees will stay for a longer time in a company, provided the due focus is given towards their career progression and skill enhancement, states a report by LinkedIn.
That means higher employee retention.
Development and training is no longer a privilege reserved for a few employees. It is sought by all employees these days, regardless of which echelon they belong to in an organization.
Having a comprehensive training document is an excellent way to meet the perpetual learning and development needs of your workforce, especially those employees who are driven, and constantly looking for ways to strengthen their skills.
This online learning system saves you from the frivolous expenses of conducting offline training at different office locations. It’s easy, convenient, and promotes an anytime, anywhere learning culture.
Let’s now quickly look at the training documentation best practices you can follow to reap unmatched benefits:
Explore: The Ultimate Guide to Create a Training Manual
Training Documentation Best Practices
#1 Make a Smart Choice When It Comes to Training Documentation Templates
Picking the right template sets a strong foundation for your training document. A template has the power to make or break the look and feel of the document. Therefore, don’t rush.
Take your time. Look at the options you have. Analyze, compare, and then zero in on a training documentation template that you think will work right for you.
An ideal training document template should:
- Provide you a jumpstart while creating a compelling document
- Allow you to add your brand name and logo to the document
- Provide a structure with placeholders, which you can easily replace with training-related content
Templates provide a framework that you can use to build your documentation. Make the right pick if you want the end result to be nothing short of perfect.
Watch this video to know more about how to create a stunning training document for your employees-
#2 Keep It Simple and Straightforward
Embellish your document with simplicity, and you won’t get disappointed with the results.
The sole purpose of a training document is to enable employees to self-train on how your organization functions, how a particular division works, how to carry out a process, and much more.
Since this document is there to assist employees on the day to day work-related issues, it can’t be a complicated and time-consuming read. The training document should exude simplicity, meaning –
- Its language should be crystal clear
- Paragraphs should be short and to the point
- Complex concepts or processes should be clearly explained
- It should be free of verbiage
- Titles must be short and direct
The more transparent and straightforward the training document is, the easier it will be for employees to understand its content and put it to action.
#3 Breathe Life Into Your Document
A training document doesn’t have to be all black and white. The chief objective of this document is to make employees familiar with your organization, enhance their skills, and give them a full understanding of the role they will be playing. For this to happen successfully, your document must be appealing to the eye, besides being information-rich.
The best way to achieve this is by adding some spark to your document. Use the right colors, fonts, themes, styles, and different content formats that match your brand and are relevant to the content of the documentation.
Dressing up written content using various formatting styles and other branding elements can turn your document attractive, leaving a lasting impact on readers.
Watch: How to Design a Beautiful Knowledge Base?
#4 Seek Help From Department Experts
Let the process of creating the training documentation be a collaborative effort. Allow experts from different divisions such as product, marketing, sales, and technology, to contribute their inputs, review content, find flaws, and correct them.
The training document is a culmination of relevant information pertaining to different departments of your organization. When different experts come together to contribute and review information, the end result is bound to be error-free and high in value.
For collaborative document creation, you can allot specific roles to different users. For instance, some people can be editors; others can be contributors, while a few can be given the task of administration.
This will prevent confusion and ensure that document creation is a combined effort of the best minds of different departments.
Watch: How to Improve Team Collaboration With Knowledge Base Software
#5 Multimedia Can Be Magical
Believe it or not, adding the right amount of visuals to any document can significantly increase its worth.
Supplementing the text with videos, images, and screenshots help in explaining concepts better and keeping readers hooked to the document. That’s what’s really important while you are training your employees, right? If they lose interest in the training, right after the third or fourth page, it means your training document is weak and lacks the power to keep readers interested.
Videos, images, and screenshots – each one of these have its own relevance. Take screenshots, for instance. They work wonders when it comes to demonstrating how to use a product or how to carry out a process, providing readers real-time guidance every step of the way.
Videos are more engaging than screenshots. In fact, you can combine various screenshots to form a short video – another interesting way of illustrating concepts and processes using visuals.
Research suggests that the human brain processes visuals a whopping 60,000 times faster than plain text. This proves how pivotal it is to add visuals to your training document.
Image Source: HelpQ Help Center
As you scroll down this documentation, you will find that it has a rich mix of screenshots, images, videos, and text.
#6 Cater to a Global Workforce
If your workforce is dispersed across geographies, will you create training documents in different languages? Imagine the amount of time and resources it would take if you do so.
A better way would be to create one document and allow readers to translate it in their native language. That would be much more convenient for you as well as your employees.
For this to happen, ensure that your training documentation software integrates with Google Translate. It will enable you to make your content available in over 90 languages. Regardless of which city your employees belong to, they can convert the document in a language of their choice, and train themselves.
Providing training to a global workforce couldn’t get more effortless.
Now that you have an end-to-end understanding of training documentation best practices let’s explore its benefits.
Benefits of Training Documentation
#1. Provides a Smooth Onboarding Experience to Employees
The way you induct new employees to your organization speaks volumes about the values you hold. Onboarding plays a significant role in how new hires perceive your brand, as the experience stays with them right from the day they join till they leave your company.
Various companies put so much effort into coming up with a process for their remote employees onboarding – which definitely helps them get amazing results, meanwhile, onboarding isn’t an important task to some firms because they hire contractors or freelancers for short-term projects.
Even if it is so, a messed up contractor onboarding can create various hurdles, from misunderstandings, to creating obstacles, slowing down the workflow and affecting employee – employer relationships.
This is why, onboarding is an opportunity for you to win the hearts of new hires and keep them in your organization for a longer time. In fact, Glassdoor has confirmed that a robust onboarding process can improve new hire retention by 82%. From this, it is evident that onboarding cannot be sidelined.
Just having the process in place isn’t enough. The process must be seamless and fuss-free, especially when work has gone remote.
An online training document can be of immense help here. It is the buddy your new hires will need every time they have a question about your company, policies, roles, etc. They can refer to it to get instant information anytime they want.
It’s time-saving, prompt, and relieves employees from going from pillar to post for trivial issues.
Explore: Employee Onboarding: How to Use Your Knowledge Base Effectively
#2. Helps in Upskilling Your Workforce
Training documentation can also have various courses on industry-specific or role-specific subjects. Employees can opt for these courses to hone their skills, acquire more knowledge, and keep themselves updated on the latest trends.
For instance, for the HR division, the document can have courses related to:
- modern human resource management
- how to be a pro at recruitment
- People management skills, and the like.
Likewise, online documentation can have relevant courses related to other departments as well – technology, marketing, sales, etc.
Employees looking to improve their existing skills or expand their knowledge on a particular subject can go for these courses anytime and from any device since it’s completely online.
This way, training documentation ensures that your workforce keeps learning and is well prepared for the future.
#3. Improves Employee Productivity
According to a report by McKinsey, employees spend 19% of their work time searching for information. If tasks like gathering information and collaborating with colleagues consume most of an employee’s day, it’s likely to dwindle his or her productivity.
This problem can easily be solved with the help of online training documentation. When critical information related to work processes, policies, clients, products, etc., is documented on a centralized platform, it gets easy for employees to get what they need in a jiffy.
They don’t have to approach multiple people to receive information or send emails and wait for a response. Employees can refer to the documentation to access data instantly while they are working on a project, making a presentation, creating a pitch, or doing anything specific to their roles.
Read more: Does Your Workforce Spend Too Much Time Searching for Information?
#4. Easy Access to Expertise
Regardless of which division employees belong to, they can develop a deeper understanding of any business function, with the help of training documentation.
Since the document comprises crucial information and courses on various subjects, employees can instantly gain expertise in an area of their choice. It’s that simple.
Without a training document, imparting this knowledge to employees would have required organizing offline training sessions across various office locations. This would have been heavy on the pocket, and extremely time-consuming.
Training documentation is an easy and cost-effective way to pass crucial information related to various subjects to your employees. It facilitates easy access to knowledge, making your employees feel empowered as they can learn anything they want in a hassle-free way.
Make Your Employees Future-Ready With Training Documentation
If you want your employees to be “purpose workers” – people who are highly engaged, enthusiastic, and bursting with creativity, training them is essential.
Employees today prefer to work in companies that invest in enhancing their skills and training them to be better professionals. They want to work in places that offer long-term growth and prepare them for the future.
Training documentation is the best way to make this happen. This centralized information center has everything your employees need to hone their skills, acquire more knowledge, and keep themselves updated on the latest industry trends.
Follow the above-mentioned training documentation best practices to ensure that employees receive the best-in-class training that turns them into superstars of their respective fields.
If you think we have missed something, feel free to mention it in the comments below.
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