Replace The Training Manual

While searching for social learning related articles I came across this blog titled “Replace The Training Manual:10 Ways to Improve The Experience With Social Learning”. I feel many employees do not read their training manuals upon being hired because they are overwhelmed with the amount of information being given to them at one time.  The article mentions one company has saved $75,000 by replacing their traditional training manual with a social learning approach. Below are 10 reasons to replace training manuals with social learning tools. How do you feel about replacing training manuals with a social learning solution?

Here are 10 reasons to replace your training manuals and tools with a social learning solution:

Update materials in real time. How frustrating is it that training materials are out-of-date almost as soon as they are in your employees’ hands? With an online social learning solution – materials and answers can be updated in real-time. This means that employees will always find the most current and accurate information.

Make information easier to find. By making your training materials available in an online social learning tool instead of a document, employees can easily search for the documents and answers they are looking for.

Allow employees to ask questions. By moving the training process online and making it social, employees can ask questions and the experts within your company can reply. The advantage here is that not only does the original employee who asked the question benefit, so does the rest of your organization.

Share stories. One of the strongest advantages of using a social learning tool to train employees is that training comes to life with shared stories and experiences. People can comment, interact, and connect through the tool in ways that a standalone document simply doesn’t allow.

Ongoing connections. Instead of just filing away a training manual on a bookshelf or a file folder, putting all of this information online means that it is an ongoing resource for employees. And because the information is constantly updated, questions are asked and answered, and stories are shared, there is an incentive for the employee to check back and see what is new.

Interaction with everyday experts. Social learning solutions give new and existing employees the ability to connect with experts throughout your organization – even beyond the initial training period. This is even more important if your experts are spread across multiple geographies.

Different file types all in one place. People learn in different ways. Some like to read text descriptions, others like a diagram or video. With a social learning tool, you can share videos, PowerPoint decks, images, posts, and more to engage your visitors.

Smaller, digestible pieces of information. Rather than an overwhelming document, social learning tools feed information to employees in bite-sized chunks that they can easily consume. You can even take these smaller pieces of information and create a series for people to work their way through.

Single point of data. A big challenge at most companies is knowing where to go for critical information. Knowledge sits spread across the company’s various laptops and servers. An online training hub becomes THE place where employees know they can find the most accurate, up-to-date information.

Access content anytime/anywhere from any device. A social learning solution puts training information in the hands of employees when they need it most. Knowledge becomes accessible 24 hours a day from any device.


2 thoughts on “Replace The Training Manual”

  1. I once had a job where the onboarding training consisted of reading through an incredibly dry and bulky manual and then answering telephone prompted questions on an employer-provided hotline. It was time consuming, boring, inefficient, counterproductive, etc. As soon as I started the training, I began taking hand-written notes, and from those notes, I created a shorter, more straight forward training guide of my own. The newly created manual was so helpful and easy to understand, my boss then utilized this version in the training of all employees thereafter; that is, until it got lost. It is my belief that if the scope of the instruction been condensed and then put online, all the problems experienced with the paper-based training could’ve been mitigated — including it getting lost somewhere!


  2. Yes, please replace that training manual! When I started my current job, the policy and procedures manual was in a huge binder and contained type-written pages. So, not only was the information not accessible anywhere except that beast of a binder, but also any changes or updates meant retyping everything from scratch. This was in 2004, so using social media to update training manuals was not even considered, but I remember thinking how great it would be to go right into the manual online to access the policies as they needed to be changed or updated.

    On the reason: “Smaller, digestible pieces of information. Rather than an overwhelming document, social learning tools feed information to employees in bite-sized chunks that they can easily consume. You can even take these smaller pieces of information and create a series for people to work their way through.” Social media can feed information to employees in more manageable pieces. I get overwhelmed by too much information at once. I was responsible for updating our manual. It was the most dreaded task! My main job duty involved working with patients, so to tackle that manual became the bane of my existence. If the manual resided online where one could access and update sections as needed, I don’t think I would have dreaded the manual as much.


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