Are you unsure whether or not you need to hassle with creating a strong employee handbook? Think again. 

An employee handbook helps build a positive workplace culture and employee loyalty. As your company grows, an employee handbook is a manual for what your employees can expect from your company and vise versa. So, unless you’re your business’s sole employee, you need an employee handbook.


Not having clear employee policies set-in-stone can lead to big problems. Employees often look for loopholes when they try to justify behavior outside of your expectations, and they look to your employee handbook to find them. Your employee handbook should provide guidance to reinforce your policies. 


As you start writing or updating your employee handbook it’s important to keep it simple, straightforward and relevant to your business. Outline the policies that affect your employees, but before you get started, it’s helpful to get tips from other businesses by looking at employee handbook samples. 


What is an employee handbook?


An employee handbook is a document that contains a company’s operating procedures. It’s necessary to deliver a copy to each employee upon their first day of employment. Passing out employee handbooks can not only make a new hire feel equipped to do their day-to-day work, but it can increase new hire efficiency right off the bat.


What do employee handbooks include? 


As you’re aware, most companies ' requirements, values, and goals are different. Each company should have a handbook in place that is unique to their own business. Most should include information on: 

  • Company culture, mission, and values. 
  • HR and legal information including rights and obligations related to employment.
  • Expectations- both what the company expects from its employees and vise versa. 
  • Company policies in regards to PTO, non-discrimination, etc. 


When should I create an employee handbook? 


Though there are many laws that require employers to notify employees of certain workplace rights, there are no federal or state laws specifically requiring employers to have an employee handbook, according to BLR


With that being said, most companies choose to create one because they are useful it mitigating conflict among employees within the company. If you think your small company is reaching a size where conflict may start to rise, it’s probably best to whip up a handbook.


Beyond solving employee or culture issues, the handbook also helps new employees feel at home in their new company. You’re providing them with a great tool to learn about their new company’s stories, missions, and values. In turn, you’re increasing employee engagement and loyalty to your company. 


What are some good handbook examples? 


Even if you know all the details about your company that you want to add to an employee handbook, it can still be difficult to envision what it should look like. It may be helpful to work from some examples. Here are four great employee handbooks worth reviewing before you begin: 

  1. HubSpot - by sharing their handbook via PowerPoint format, they’re practicing the transparency they preach throughout the SlideShare. 
  2. Netflix - Their handbook delineates the company culture and values, and makes them actionable. 
  3. Facebook - A design that compels you to read it over and over. 
  4. Valve - They focus on catching attention through funny illustrations. It’s easy-going, humorous, and an enjoyable read. 


These examples show there are plenty of approaches you can take when creating and designing your employee handbook. Focus first on the foundation and remember to make your policies clear and concise. It's important to take action in preventing HR headaches down the road. 




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