Re: Input on Employee Manual project?

Subject: Re: Input on Employee Manual project?
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 13:29:57 -0500

Geoff Hart wrote:

Ben Bristow wondered: <<I work at a law firm, and have been assigned to write the Employee Manual for the support staff. This would be a proceedural, rather than a human resources guide; they want something that documents the duties and responsibilities of each paralegal, as well as general workflow in the firm. It would be used to provide basic training to new hires.>>

STC has a "policies and procedures" SIG ( that is worth contacting, as I'm sure they can provide specific input. Not sure whether they have a discussion group, but it might be worthwhile checking this out.

<<This is a big task that also happens to be incredibly fortuitous for me, as I will be attending grad school for Technical Writing this year. I've not done documentation like this before though, and so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on style guides for this sort of thing. I can provide more details if needed.>>

There used to be a plethora of self guided build your own employee manual programs along the same line as Business Plan Pro et al. These provide a fairly good basic framework for an employee manual, but, like all such tools, the end product needs to be tweaked to your specific situation. I've worked at companies that spent gobs of time creating their employee manuals from scratch and others that used some type of "Employee Manual Maker" program. There really wasn't that much difference between the two (mainly due to the diligence of the HR staff at both companies).

Best of all, find an employee manual for another law firm and use that for your guide. Don't globally replace the firm's name, but use it to ensure you have all your bases covered.


Al Geist
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Input on Employee Manual project: From: Ben Bristow
Input on Employee Manual project?: From: Geoff Hart

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