Will your new training manual be eagerly read? Or will it be denegrated to propping up a wobbly desk, soaking up coffee spills or collecting dust for all eternity in the junk-from-management drawer.
According to John Tschohl, author of the book "e-Service: Speed, Technology and Price Built Around Speed" (Best Sellers Publishing, 2001), packaging can make a great deal of difference in employees? attitude toward training. And most companies don't have a clue how important it is, he says. Tschohl, a 30-year veteran of the customer service training field, says, "I can count on one hand the number of times over the years that I've seen a company package a training program attractively."
The importance of product packaging has long been valued by business, especially for highly competitive consumer products. In business communications, investor packets, annual reports and marketing brochures grab your attention with full-color, graphic-laden glossy pages. Employee manuals, on the other hand, are typically dashed off on a copy machine with splotchy black print on dull white paper.
One of the biggest mistakes a company makes, Tschohl says, is not treating its employees like investors. "People don't realize they're communicating," he says. "You're selling a concept. You're asking your employees to buy into that concept."
Tschohl is not, however, advocating vivid color layouts in all training manuals. But anything associated with the company, he says, should be visually pleasing, and that includes internal packets and manuals. If a training manual looks like a pile of rejects from the recycling bin, says Tschohl, people will be far less likely to buy into the training with their time, continued presence and their own endorsement of the company.
COPYRIGHT Bill Communications Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.