Training Handbook That People Always Have On Hand

Ten years ago, anointed the employee handbook for Ann Arbor, MI’s Zingerman’s Deli as the World’s Best Employee Manual.

In all likelihood they have anointed other handbooks as the “best” since then, but from the sample pages from the handbook they have on the website, you can see that the fun handbook is something an employee would pay attention to. According to the article, Zingerman employees often carry the handbook around with them.

Since then, Zingerman’s has grown to a whole “community of businesses” run by managing partners whose vision the deli’s founders have supported. One of the businesses is actually a training arm that trains employees and conducts seminars for other businesses looking to learn about their methods.

Even if you aren’t interested in the training, the sample pages provide some good examples to emulate for your own staff and volunteer manuals to help keep the training in their minds and hands.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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