Online Training vs. the Traditional Employee Handbook

Posted by Aaron Leggett on May 2, 2016 9:17:18 AM
Aaron Leggett

An employee handbook is a requirement for any business, even small to medium, informal companies. While you're not legally obligated to create one, having all the rules written in one place and going over them with each new employee can help reduce misunderstandings -- and even lawsuits -- if there's a problem in the future.

Handbooks lay out the following information for your employees to understand:

  • History and background of the company.
  • Information about the company culture.
  • Conditions of employment with their rights.
  • Policies and procedures that they are expected to follow.
  • Salary and benefits.

But you might not need a printed document in order to achieve these results. Online training for onboarding a new employee can include a review of the employee's rights and your company's rules as well as provide your workers with an easy-to-access digital copy of your company policies.

How can creating an online or digital version of the employee handbook help your new employees learn the rules be better than handing them a physical document? Here are a few reasons:

  1. It's easy to update. - You don't need to reprint the handbook each time you make a change, or give employees a revised copy every year. While you want to make sure all employees are properly notified of updated rules -- and not just make an unannounced change to your online files -- you can revise sections for clarity, add information that applies only to new employees and make updates when laws change.
  2. You can make it interactive. - How many employees really take the time to read a printed manual? A 2014 study of workers under age 30 -- the Millennial generation -- found that almost 50 percent didn't read their employee handbooks.

    Instead, an interactive digital handbook can include videos, audio clips and reviews of main points. This makes it more interesting for the employee to move through and enhances their learning. Marketers have discovered that 40 percent of people respond better to videos and visual information than just plain text; take advantage of their discovery to help readers learn the information you're presenting.

  3. You can test employees as they go. - Want to be sure that your employee is actually understanding the information in the handbook? Incorporate quizzes or section tests that they must pass with a certain percentage. Even if the questions are very easy, they help people to focus more on the material so they can pass the tests.

    You can also include places for your employees to initial or sign digitally to say they've read the material. This gives you proof that the person actually reviewed the information -- more than just asking them to sign a paper saying they received a handbook.

  4. Make it easy to access. - Put the employee handbook information on your company intranet and make it searchable so it's easy for employees to find anything they are looking for, any time. If you don't have an official company intranet, create a Dropbox folder or folder on your internal server. Upload the documents and they'll be available for employees to review as needed.

This way your employees aren't limited to learning when they have a book in front of them, and they can look up information when they need it. For example, an employee at an out-of-town trade show can check your employee handbook for the details about reimbursable travel expenses without needing to wing it, carry a physical handbook around or call Human Resources with questions.

An interactive, digital version of your employee handbook can benefit you and your employees by being easier to review and consult when needed. Using Intuto - it's not as complicated to create a digital handbook or online training as you might think! Contact us for information on how to make your online learning for employees -- whether during onboarding, like with the handbook, or any other time -- fast and easy for everyone.

Topics: employee, employee handbook, handbook, training, Training Tips & Trends