In the early days, when Youtube wasn’t around to help you install software or assemble something at home, user manuals came to the rescue. While user manuals emerged as the best option to assist customers with product-related queries, the concept of training manuals gained popularity amongst businesses.
Training manuals help employees learn more about their job roles and prepare them for all the responsibilities they’d be tasked to carry out. For the longest time, they were considered as the most effective and convenient way to train employees. However, the training manuals have now become outdated and ineffective. A study suggests that around 50% of employees didn’t read most of their training manuals and 36% of them don’t know where it is anymore. Before we look at the reasons why training manuals fail, let’s understand what training manuals are.
What is a Training Manual?
A training manual is a collection of workplace rules, tasks, roles, and responsibilities compiled in a book. Often, employees are given a training manual as soon as they join the company so that they can learn about their organization and job roles.
The training manuals were designed to improve the quality of tasks performed by the employees, enhance their capabilities, boost productivity, and eliminate the overhead costs of training employees in person.
For example, if a new hire joins the Customer Service department, the training manual will carry topics like – how to have a telephonic conversation with a customer, and how to deal with a customer with product complaints, amongst others.
The purpose of the training manual made it an important one in the companies, but there are many reasons why they fail today. Below mentioned are some of those reasons, let’s take a look.
Why Training Manuals Fail?
1) Time Consuming
According to a recent study, employees are only productive for three hours in a workday. Moreover, 11% of their time goes into carrying out administrative tasks like reading a training manual. Not to mention, most training manuals are lengthy, comprehensive, and tedious in nature. So, there’s no guarantee that your employees will retain all the information they read.
Moreover, when employees urgently need to look up something specific in the future, they will flip through pages and pages of useless information first.
As an employer, creating training manuals can be a challenge. You have to dedicate a considerable amount of time to writing content while juggling other commitments. Printing costs are another cause for concern.
On the other hand, developing an online training program is much more feasible. Online training helps you present content in digestible bytes of information with mixed multi-media elements for better understanding. So, a new joinee doesn’t have to read 20 pages about customer service to do their job well.
2) Information Overload
When the new hires join any company, the first few days are generally overwhelming for them. The training manual is an explosion of information related to their tasks, office protocols, and future projects, which might cause cognitive overload.
The new hires are bombarded with information in their very first few weeks of training because their training manuals consist of endless information related to their tasks, office protocols, future projects, etc. At the same time, they have to deal with the pressure of not just completing the training but also remembering what they read.
According to a survey, only 12% of employees apply the skills from the training they receive at work. In fact, most learners take training only because they are mandates required by the employer.
This is mainly because the training only involves big walls of texts and no hands-on experience for the employees to test their progress or understanding of topics. There are no visual aids to complement the text that can simplify the learning process for the employees. In fact, one out of every three employees agrees that uninspiring content is the primary barrier to their learning.
With Siminars, you can create several modules within a training program, making the consumption of information less tedious. Employees can also find relevant information faster.
3) Low Engagement
As we discussed above, training manuals are usually text-heavy with no provision for employees to practice what they learn or track their progress. Overall, they offer a very isolating learning experience.
Online training, on the other hand, allows you to add videos, images, audio files, and other multimedia files to help enhance the quality of your content.
With Siminars, you can also create quizzes for every module. Every time an employee finishes a module, they can take a quick test to check their knowledge retention. This helps them become more confident about the topics they’re studying. It also gives you an opportunity to analyze if there is room for improvement in the training program.
4) Outdated Information
Did you recently update the task-list for a Project Manager? Too bad, your training manual is a year old and will continue to show outdated information that cannot be changed right away. So, when an employee joins as your new Project Manager, they won’t be able to deliver on the required tasks.
Ultimately, the time spent on creating and consuming the training manual goes to waste. The new hire will have to rely on their colleagues for help, which defeats the whole purpose of a training manual. Moreover, for an employer, the overhead cost only goes up with every new edit in the training manual.
Unlike training manuals, online training is comparatively cheaper and easier to create. You can easily edit the modules whenever you want to reflect any new changes. As a result, employees will always have access to the latest, most accurate information.
5) One Size-Fits all
Some people learn by reading notes, some by listening to podcasts, and some with stronger visual memory prefer watching videos. We all have different ways of consuming and retaining information. So, why should the training manual be designed as one-size-fits-all? A training manual should complement everyone’s learning style.
With an online training program, you can choose between a variety of content templates and multimedia elements to enhance the learning process. For instance, Siminars allows plenty of multimedia formats to add to your online training program. These include:
There’s also room for self-paced learning, so every employee can choose their own speed as per their convenience.
Over to You
Employee training is one of the most important aspects of the employee onboarding process. Great employee onboarding can improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%. It is almost time for employers to move beyond the traditional methods of training. You need to transform the employee’s training process by digitizing their learning experience.
In return for effective training that you provide to your workforce, you enjoy the speedy progress of your employees. They give their best performance at work which adds to the profit and growth of your company.
We hope this article helped you understand why you should replace your training manuals with online training. Don’t forget to try Siminars to offer the best training experience to your new hires today.