Typical Technical Writing Assignments: Overview And Tips

Manuals For Organizations

Company manuals are a valuable tool for small, mid-sized, and very large organizations. These documents, distributed to all new employees, are an excellent reference for workers. They also play a role in protecting the company. The company manual outlines important policies and regulations for workers. The document may be used during staff training sessions, or employees may be asked to familiarize themselves with the content of the document on their own time. Aside from a description of the company and its major activities and goals, company manuals usually include the following types of information:

  • Dress code: Professional and appropriate dress in the workplace is essential, particularly when employees will be interacting with clients and the general public. When you're writing this section, explaining what is meant by "professional" or "business casual" attire can help avoid misunderstandings. Outline what employees are expected to wear to work, and identify any types of clothing that are prohibited.
  • Safety regulations: Companies have a responsibility to create a safe working environment for employees. In the company manual, outline any important safety regulations that employees are expected to observe. In an office environment, the regulations may be quite simple. For example, employees may be asked to report spills to maintenance personnel. In a manufacturing environment, however, this section might outline regulations about hard hats, safety boots, and protective eyewear.
  • Sick time/vacation/attendance policies: It's important to outline regulations regarding taking time off. Specify whether employees who are off sick will require a doctor's note, indicate whether a certain amount of advanced notice must be given for vacations, and discuss general attendance expectations.
  • Information about disciplinary action: It's important to outline what employees can expect should they break any of the rules outlined in the manual. Indicate the steps that will be taken by the organization to address specific issues. Some measures that companies might take include conducting a face-to-face meeting with the employee, writing up a report describing the infraction that will be placed in the employee's file, placing the employee on probation, or, if the violation is serious, terminating the employee.
  • Other company and industry-specific policies: Many industries have specific policies and regulations that employees are expected to observe. If a person is hired to work in a bank, for example, there will be rules regarding opening and closing accounts, releasing information to third parties, and authorizing transactions. Employees need to know this information to do their jobs properly, and it's important for companies to outline all pertinent regulations in a manual that can be consulted at any time.

Quick tip #1: Make the manual easy to use by breaking it down into separate sections. Bulleted lists are also a good tool. If you are listing rules regarding dress code, create a straightforward list of dos and don'ts instead of a lengthy paragraph.

Last Updated: 05/05/2014