If you’re getting ready to write your business’s procedures manual but aren’t sure where to start, Apple’s manual is a great source of inspiration. With $57.2 billion in profits, Apple was in the top 10 highest performing companies in 2020, which is impressive considering their narrow product line.

Obviously part of Apple’s success is due to the almost cult-like following around their products, but another part is the company culture and customer experience. Much of this success can be attributed to Apple’s detailed manual and their commitment to training their employees.

When Gizmodo got their hands on the secret Apple employee manual, much of the company’s training secrets were leaked. Fortunately for us, we can learn a lot from one of the companies that has reinvented how to do business.

Even if your business is vastly different from Apple, you can still learn from them about how to train your employees so that they under company procedures and how to interact with customers and their coworkers.

There's an Emphasis on Learning the Manual

One of the biggest issues that businesses face when it comes to their policies manuals is that employees look over the manual during their orientation (if even then) and never reference it again. As you’re creating your manual, you don’t want your employees to have this experience. You want it to be something they use throughout their time at your company.

Apple sets a great example here. They don’t simply hand employees the manual and turn them loose. Instead, the manual is an integral part of their training. New employees spend up to two weeks in training before ever working in a store. They learn the manual and even test on it.

You too can emphasize the importance of your manual in a number of ways. First, you can make sure your new employees understand how important it is to you and to the functioning of your company. Make it feel like an integral component that your company can’t function without.

Another way to ensure that your employees use the employee manual is to make it useful. Apple has put a wealth of information into their manual so that their employees actually find it valuable.

The Manual Is Exhaustive

While some company’s manuals look more like a list of bullet points for a few basic procedures, the Apple manual is exhaustive. It’s an in-depth document with information on just about every topic imaginable.

Every Possible Interaction

Apple doesn’t have a few guidelines on what’s expected of their employees. Instead, they’ve accounted for every possible interaction and situation their employees may encounter. If it’s possible for something to happen in an Apple store, they’ve addressed it.

While this level of detail may seem confining, it’s one of the reasons the brand has done so well. Employees have few questions about how to handle interactions. Additionally, since there are Apple stores all over the world, the brand is consistent no matter where customers go.

While your manual may not need to be as exhaustive as Apple’s, you can take a cue from them in trying to cover as much as possible. You can also use your manual to create consistency within your company, particularly if you have more than one branch.

The Apple Manual is a Course in Psychology

You’d expect the Apple manual to be full of technical instructions for learning how products work and how to fix them, but there’s actually very little about the technical side of things. Instead, Apple puts its focus on creating the right mindset in its employees. They feel that once someone has adopted the company culture, they can learn much of the technical stuff on the job.

Creating an Experience

Apple teaches its employees to create an experience for the customer. The customer should feel welcome from the moment they walk into the store. The manual focuses on every touch-point someone has when coming into a store and helps employees make the entire visit a meaningful experience.

Apple understands that for most people, a great product isn’t enough to inspire brand loyalty. By giving the customer a specific, positive experience, they’ll become lifelong Apple customers. You can also inspire this type of loyalty in your customers by using your manual to teach your employees how to create an experience for your customers.

Selling Without Selling

Apple teaches its employees strategies for selling without being pushy. They recognize that not everyone is a born salesperson, but that the skill can be taught. Employees learn how to empathize with the customer and make them feel empowered in making their decisions.

If your employees will be required to sell, you should take a cue from Apple and be explicit in teaching your employees how to convince customers to make a purchase.


Apple’s manual also teaches its employees how to interact with one another. They understand that positive vibes between employees are just as important as positive vibes between employees and customers. Apple goes so far as to give employees directions for giving one another constructive criticism.

Your employees are the heart of your company. If you can help them to get along with one another and work towards a common goal, then you’ll be able to accomplish a lot within your company.

Parting Thoughts

Creating a manual can feel like an impossible challenge, especially when you consider a phenomenal manual like Apple’s. However, instead of feeling discouraged, you can find inspiration in Apple’s manual to see how you can make your own manual better.

Creating a manual is an iterative process. You’ll learn what works as you go and need to make changes. Procedures Manual can help you create a fantastic manual and host it online so that you can update your procedures whenever inspiration strikes.