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The construction of employee manuals is an oft-underappreciated art, but it is this document that provides all the necessary information to the employees.
“If you think about it, employee manuals are the rule book for a company” says Gabrielle Berron-Styan, Ashton’s Program Administrator. “They’re a resource that everyone can turn to for clarification on just about anything.” For instance, at Ashton College everyone has their own unique position and upon being hired, and it’s up to HR department to provide them with the necessary training manuals. “Everyone gets one, from new faculty hires to office staff to administration” says Tamara Reid, Ashton’s Human Resources coordinator.
Berron-Styan and Jacquie Smith from Ashton Online have been hard at work for some time now, making some big changes to how it trains its faculty and employees, and re-doing the graphics and copy on Ashton’s instructor manuals, including creating new ones. Tamara Reid has been hard at work as well, revamping Ashton’s employee manuals from the ground up. It takes a great deal of time to compile the necessary information and combine this information with inforgraphics, but the end product is definitely worth it, as employees and faculty members will have access to all the resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
What makes Ashton’s new manuals so unique is that this is the first time since Ashton was founded in 1998 that specific manuals are being created for departments staff and faculty that operate online, as well as offline. Previously, the college had only one type of manual for both instructional formats, but with Ashton’s online operations growing all the time it was felt that the digital side of things needed something specific. “We’ve always had an online focus,” says Berron-Styan. “But in the last few years we’ve put a lot of focus into webinars and more online learning, because this is the direction the education landscape is heading. So it just made sense to design custom manuals for faculty and staff that specifically work online.”
Another reason behind the rollout of new employee manuals is a renewed focus on continued employee development and training at Ashton.
“Education is changing all the time, you can’t allow yourself to be complacent” says Berron-Styan matter of factly. “We have a large number of long serving instructors, and we need to ensure that they’re kept up to date with new teaching aids and strategies.”
This zenith for improvement is what keeps Ashton at the cutting edge of education in Vancouver. And with a new campus opening soon in Abbotsford, Ashton students can be rest assured that the education they receive comes from qualified, informed instructors with access to the best materials available.
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