8 Employee Handbook Examples You Should Steal From
Many businesses struggle to create an employee handbook that correctly reflects who they are and what they stand for. Creating an employee handbook can be quite beneficial in fostering a positive workplace culture and employee loyalty, but it is no simple task.
Most organizations do not think about establishing an employee handbook until they have a compelling need. Creating an employee handbook, whether to solve an issue with workplace culture or with the hope of establishing one as a foundational feature, takes planning and consideration. And as organizational culture becomes more important, having an inadequate employee handbook can harm the entire work environment.
With that, we figured it'd be worthwhile to dive into what an employee handbook is, what it should entail, as well as provide a few examples of companies who have created handbooks that are highly regarded amongst the community. Enjoy!
What is an Employee Handbook?
Employee handbooks can also be called employee field guides or staff manuals. Regardless of what you call them in your organization, employee handbooks are essentially documents that all employees at a company should obtain, usually on their first day.
Handbooks should provide everything a new employee needs to know to begin working. One may even obtain them ahead of time and have a copy provided to them in a new hire welcome email. Moreover, handbooks can also take long documents that serve as guides and references during an employee's tenure at a company.
Ultimately, employee handbooks can not only make a new hire feel better prepared to perform day-to-day tasks, but they can also boost that new hire's efficiency straight away.
When Should a Company Make an Employee Handbook?
First and foremost, there is no regulation mandating companies to maintain a handbook. Even though numerous laws require employers to inform employees of their rights at work, there have been no federal or state regulations (in the United States at least) that specifically require an employer to have an employee handbook in place.
Many businesses decide to establish a handbook because it can help to reduce internal conflict. Of course, each company's reason varies, but if a small business reaches a size where conflicts are likely to arise, it is a good idea to put together a handbook.
Employee handbooks can help new employees feel at ease in their new workplaces, in addition to resolving employee or cultural issues. Rationally, employee engagement and loyalty can increase by learning about a company's history, missions, and basic values.
Companies can also use employee handbooks to check clothing codes, PTO policy, and parking guidelines, among other things, to help people feel more at ease with the corporate culture right away. Thus, it is good to compose one as soon as a company has a goal statement, core values, and other information they would like to offer.
What Makes a Great Employee Handbook?
A detailed understanding of the organization and its culture is required when writing an excellent employee handbook. But, regardless of the company, all great employee handbooks have a few characteristics in common:
- A mission statement, company culture, and values.
- Information on human resources and the law, as well as job rights and responsibilities.
- Realistic expectations, including what firms expect from their employees and what employees might anticipate from the organization.
- Vacation time, sick days, and non-discrimination regulations, among other things.
What Employee Handbook Examples Should You Take Inspiration From?
Even when companies have a good idea of what should go into an employee handbook, it can be difficult to visualize what it should look like once it is all put together. This point in handbook creation is where references and examples come in handy.Doubtlessly, it is much easier to imagine what a company's handbook will look like if they can use some sample employee handbooks as a starting point. So, following that, here are 8 excellent employee handbook samples to draw inspiration from:
The GitLab team handbook serves as a central resource for information on how GitLab operates as a business. It has over 13,804 pages of text when printed. Moreover, the manual is open to the public as part of their commitment to transparency, and they welcome criticism. Indeed, GitLab has a "merge request" option for suggesting improvements or adding clarifications, as well as an "issues" option for reports.
Although Nordstorm does not address all of the points that many businesses may wish to address, their one simple rule approach captures the concept of brevity and simplicity. Following that, companies can start with just one simple rule and branch out and add more later.
Valve's handbook is a likely example of a resource for organizations who have been inquiring about handbooks because of the handbook’s brilliant phrasing. Valve went viral a long back, covering every important detail from business philosophy to guiding new hires through their first day of employment.
The Hubspot manual made it on this list because it does so much using a standard PowerPoint style. Hubspot also puts its handbook on SlideShare, demonstrating its commitment to transparency.
Netflix's employee handbook is particularly worth mentioning because it clearly defines company culture and principles while also making them actionable. After all, what good is unactionable data?
In the realm of employee handbooks, Facebook's employee handbook is so well-designed that it nearly begs anyone to read it again and over again.
Trello, another technology powerhouse, is well-known for hosting their handbook, which they refer to as an employee manual, on their platform. Therefore, it is easily accessible as a resource for both employees and researchers.
Pronto Marketing's employee handbook webpage is an example of a near-perfect employee handbook. The firm produced an easy-to-read and appealing guide while ensuring that no crucial information gets omitted. Moreover, their contemporary-looking table of contents informs what readers are getting into, which is straight-up excellent.
As these examples demonstrate, there are numerous approaches to an employee handbook. The best place to begin is to write out the company's core and principles. After finding their essence, companies can then use any of the handbooks mentioned above as a source of inspiration.