Putting together an employee handbook can seem like an intimidating task, considering all the things you should keep in mind.
There are policies, rules, and regulations you need to think of, mission and vision statements you have to write, and the company’s culture that you need to define.
But if you look at how others have handled this rather demanding project, creating an employee handbook may not seem like a huge undertaking anymore.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 10 fantastic employee handbooks that will show you how easily you can create one for your company. Let’s dive right in with our first example.
One of the most exciting employee handbooks we’ve had a chance to come across is undoubtedly the Hubspot Culture Code.
In their own words, part manifesto, part employee handbook, and part diary of dreams, this incredibly engaging manual guides the employees through various aspects of Hubspot’s culture.
Designed as a series of 152 slides, it manages to convey important key facts about the company’s mission, vision, goals, and principles in a fun and interesting way.
Topics covered in the employee handbooks, such as policies, rules, and regulations, are usually considered tedious, but Hubspot managed to turn them into engaging content.
As they chose a slide format with only a small amount of information on each slide, flipping through the handbook is anything but boring, especially since they spiced it all up with quotes from famous people and a touch of humor.
As you can see, employee handbooks like the one that Hubspot created are both a helpful resource for new and existing employees, and a truly interesting read.
If you’re considering creating an employee handbook as a series of slides, Hubspot will give you a handful of ideas.
The Disqus employee handbook is another handbook we can't find fault with.
It is not an employee handbook in the traditional sense, but rather a manual that highlights the most crucial aspects of the company's culture.
To better clarify topics visually, it's divided into two parts.
While the first part is more about the mission, vision, product description, history overview (with a beautifully designed timeline and milestones), the second part focuses on what it actually looks like to work for Disqus.
It demonstrates that Disqus employees are actually geeks at heart and quite proud of it. We also discover that they have massages, yoga, guitars, and ping pong boards at their disposal, and they can also bring pets to work.
Disqus is a modern comment-hosting service, and a company that offers top talents numerous benefits to attract them. Reading this handbook, we’re almost tempted to apply for one of their open positions.
If you are one of the companies that also offers a wide array of perks, here you will find numerous ideas on how to present them in your employee handbook.
This employee handbook can be a great source of inspiration if you strive to create a handbook that is visually appealing, creatively engaging, and culture-oriented above all else.
Zappos is an online shoe and clothing retailer that has built quite the reputation for their rather unique company culture over the years.
The company is well known for its family spirit and fun workplace culture with a touch of eccentricity.
And these traits are reflected in their employee handbook, which is entirely different from anything you would expect from a company manual.
It mainly consists of photographs of employees, who are called Zapponians, through which they want to convey everything they think is essential for the company's culture.
This handbook is full of spontaneous pictures of Zapponians engaged in various activities, sometimes even in unexpected situations, for example, wearing funny costumes.
The sections called Zappos Awkward Family Photos, Finance Haunted House, Rockstar Employees, and Mardi Gras Celebrations, combined with the look and feel of the 80's design, show that Zappos is clearly thinking outside the box and taking employee handbooks to a whole new level.
And that is quite useful. As it’s known that they hire for cultural fit, just by looking at this cultural manual, potential new hires can decide whether they will be a good match for this company or if they want to work elsewhere.
So if you want to find employees that will be a good fit for your company, you can create an employee handbook that will tell a story about your culture and attract only candidates who can contribute to it.
Sterling has a contemporary and cleverly designed employee handbook, placed online so everyone can read it, browse through it and get to know the company.
It starts with a personal letter from the CEO that welcomes new hires on board, which is quite a good idea to steal for your employee handbook because it draws immediate attention and invites employees to continue reading.
The rest of the handbook discusses standard employee handbook topics, such as mission, vision, values, dress code, and the onboarding process.
That way, the new hires get to know what the first few days will be in the company, the dress code, flexible hours, and how many vacation days they are entitled to.
Interestingly, they also started a candidate referral program, offering every employee $5,000 if the company hires someone they recommended, which is a pretty clever way to use the employee handbook to acquire the best candidates for the company.
Employee handbooks such as these are excellent for onboarding. With its straightforward approach and sleek design, this is a perfect example of a manual that will quickly welcome new employees and introduce them to the company's culture and key benefits.
Trello, a project management tool, boasts one of the most famous employee handbooks, and for good reason.
They have created a comprehensive company manual that they housed on their own platform. That way, their new hires not only have the chance to discover the company's policies, regulations, and benefits, but they also get the chance to see the tool in action.
Their employee handbook thus serves a threefold purpose. It facilitates the company's onboarding, allows new employees to learn the ropes quickly, and showcases how versatile the platform can be.
As you can see in the picture above, the employee handbook is contained in the project management board. It has different sections, such as benefits, vacation, conference visits, working remotely, and even how to use the office shower and where to park a bike.
By simplifying the language and placing the content in short paragraphs, they laid out the rules and made sure that they became interesting to read.
To conclude, Trello does a terrific job in creating an employee handbook and presenting their platform in one fell swoop.
Education First (EF)
You can use the design to take an employee handbook to the next level, and this example from Education First demonstrates this very nicely.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful employee handbooks we've ever seen, it speaks of the company's values through beautiful illustrations, captivating typography, and creative copy.
The illustrations that resemble the ones represented in the children's books were created by inspired artist Ping Zhu, who turned this employee handbook into a small work of art.
Just by looking at the company’s values, goals, and expectations presented in such a visually appealing way, the reader almost feels compelled to quickly move through the pages just to see what comes next.
This is truly a very clever way to share your culture with your employees if you want to make sure it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
Also, if you want to create an employee handbook that won’t become outdated, and will instead be equally beautiful and relevant in ten years’ time, an artistic approach is a way to go.
However, this approach cannot be applied to all aspects of employee handbooks, as there are sections that need constant updates, such as those related to different state regulations.
But the company’s values and core principles can be a perfect ground for creating a beautifully designed handbook that will speak volumes about the company’s culture for years to come and which everyone will be looking forward to reading.
Although it’s called a Code of Conduct, the Facebook employee handbook serves a much greater purpose.
It’s not a list of do’s and don’ts or a description of appropriate ethical behavior in the workplace, as you would typically expect from such a handbook.
As it shares information about the company’s culture, it’s actually a comprehensive culture book that sets expectations for the employees.
Like in the previous example from Sterling, it also starts with a personal letter from the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and then defines the mission, core principles, and other requirements and expectations in the order we expect in the employee handbooks.
The following covers other important topics, such as how to maintain security in a working environment, protect confidential information, embrace diversity and inclusion, and basically what kind of attitude and mindset is expected of the employees.
Everything is written in easy-to-understand language and accompanied by captivating illustrations to get the message across. And since it’s placed online, employees can easily find all the relevant information they need with just a few mouse clicks.
Facebook offers us a textbook example of what a culture-first handbook should look like, and therefore it can be a great source of inspiration for your own manual.
The only hardcover employee handbook on our list, yet equally enjoyable as the digital ones, comes from the recruitment company Austin Fraser.
Their employee handbook is an excellent example of how you can reduce the content to convey only the most essential information to the employees.
Their handbook is called Little Book of House Rules and is printed in large type on a format that is much smaller than the standard paper size, ensuring that only the basics will be covered in this manual.
And as the rules are written in straightforward, yet engaging and creative sentences, they feel more like house rules than as a set of legal rules or regulations.
As you can see from the picture above, it is highly probable that this manual will go well with its employees. Most likely, they will read it from cover to cover.
Employee handbooks like this are great for accumulating ideas on shortening your policies and conveying only necessary information to the employees.
Although the hardcover employee handbooks won’t be the first choice for many companies nowadays, Austin Fraser shows us that we can create outstanding printed manuals that can have far more positive effects on the employees than their digital counterparts.
One of the most innovative employee handbooks for onboarding comes from the media company 22squared.
It was written by a new employee who documented his first 22 days at the company, so it actually functions as both a journal and an employee handbook.
That new employee has actually been hired for a writer position, and from the first slide, proves to be a master of the craft.
Witty and hilarious, the 22 slides explain the awkward situations new hires usually go through each day at the new job.
For example, a funny slide where he shares how the most important thing he has learned so far is which way the kitchen door opens illustrates how chaotic those first days can be even on the most basic level.
From stating that he feels like a visitor in a foreign land and that the employees have their own language, with each slide, the writer becomes more familiar with how everything is done in the workplace and begins to appreciate team members for their work ethics and the company for its culture.
Employee handbooks that use humor are great for reducing first-day anxiety. This particular one shows new hires that it takes about 22 days to connect the dots, and thus helps them tremendously to start the new job with ease.
While everyone else wants to travel to Mars, they aim at Pluto. As they put it, Pluto is more distant, has a funnier name, and probably feels down since it’s no longer recognized as a planet.
This introduction alone is enough to see that this is an entirely unusual company that thinks and works differently.
If their new employees wonder what the company is all about, where it is going and why, this culture handbook will solve their doubts.
It will invite them to join them on a voyage full of cosmic adventures, mystery, monsters, robots, and rockets, so new employees can rest assured that their new job will be anything but boring.
While doing so, the company is basically conveying the foundations of its culture to the new employees.
This is also a great example of how you can use a culture handbook to build your brand presence.
Upbeat design and quirky copy make this culture guide a joy to read. And even the people who don't work for the company will browse through its pages with great interest.
Therefore, no matter where your company is located, culture handbooks, if crafted to perfection like this one, can spread the word about your company worldwide, thus helping you build your brand.
Using Archbee for your Employee Handbook
After seeing all these employee handbook ideas, you've likely decided that it's time to create one for your company. Our advice is to opt for a quality digital solution.
This is simply because, when necessary, it is easier to add sections and update them when the changes are required.
And the ideal place to store your employee handbook is a cloud-based knowledge library, and you can easily create such a library with our software, Archbee.
Archbee will help you quickly organize different sections of your employee handbook and allow your employees to browse it as easily as they explore Wikipedia.
You can also add videos, pictures, checkboxes, and other engaging content to make your employee handbook more interesting.
Your employees will know how to appreciate the accessibility and user-friendliness of such documentation software. Because it is easy to navigate, it will serve them as a reference point they can turn to whenever they need the information or key facts about the company.
While it's important to create a good employee handbook, it’s also important where you will store it so it can serve its purpose of being a helping hand to the new and existing employees.
And a good documentation software like Archbee can go a long way in managing all your handbooks and other important documents in one place.
Now that you are armed with the best employee handbooks in the market, we believe that you will have no trouble creating one for your business.
Whether you decide on an online version, opt for a hardcover book, or choose a slide presentation as the best format for your employee handbook, bear in mind that your company is unique and has its particular needs.
As these examples are an excellent source of inspiration and offer a myriad of great practices, you can use them as a how-to guide for creating your own amazing employee handbook.