How to Create a Staff Manual 101

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Dec 16, 2005
Shawn Gossman submitted a new Article:

How to Create a Staff Manual 101

How to Create a Staff Manual 101
By: Shawn Joseph Gossman ( Moderator)

When I visit, I see many posts from members asking other member to show off their Staff Manual so they can get ideas on how to make one. I thought it would not be good for someone to show off their manual because it could leak trade secrets about their community. So I decided that an article needs to be written on how to make a successful and accurate Staff Manual so that you wont have to copy from another forum's manual. I hope you all enjoy this article.

Why should I even have a manual?

There are many different reasons why you should have a staff article. The main reason is so when new staff come join the team, they will not be confused on what duties and jobs they need to perform. Another reason is so you can explain to your staff what exactly you want them to do and not to do as a staff member on your forum. You should post this staff manual in the staff area or section of your forum and make it a sticky/important/announcement topic so they can not miss it.

Having a Separate Manual vs. One Manual

The first thing you should consider is how many manuals you need. I am in the process of creating staff manuals myself, for my Weather forum. I plan to make two of them, one for Admins and one for Global Mods. Admins do different stuff than Global Mods and I figure it would be easier to make two manuals for each position. You should consider how many manuals you need. You can always use the same stuff in each manual and just add any additions you see fit to the manual of the position you are writing for.

The first contents: Policies and welcome statements

Your first contents should be the basic stuff. Include a welcome statement and manual overview explaining why you have written a manual for your staff. Then you should include your forum rules and explain them and how you want them enforced. You should also include any other policies you have so that staff read them and know what to enforce with them. Another thing I add in this section is a link to the forum software support forum I use so that staff can learn more about it and be able to fix things when I am not around or at least ask for support and forward the information to me. I also include a link to in my manuals hoping my staff join to learn more about forum administration. This forum is a great tool to help make your staff into...

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