Learn how to Write an Worker Handbook that Workers Will Truly Use


What’s one factor that each the smallest of startups and the biggest of enterprises want?

An worker handbook. Should you suppose having one is pointless to your small firm with only a handful of workers, suppose once more. No matter your group’s measurement, a well-written handbook’s affect shouldn’t be neglected.

Passing out a handbook could make new hires really feel extra outfitted to deal with their each day work whereas rising their effectivity throughout onboarding. Along with having important particulars for brand new workers, a handbook can embody longer paperwork that present a reference for firm insurance policies all through an worker’s tenure with a company.

It’s frequent for human useful resource professionals to show to HR compliance software program as they handle all HR-related sources and particulars in a handbook.

Why your organization wants an worker handbook

Taking the time and placing within the effort to create an worker handbook is a should for organizations of all sizes and shapes. 

Let’s have a look at among the most important the explanation why your crew wants an worker handbook to reference.

  • It introduces new workers to the corporate’s values, mission, tradition, and objectives.
  • It particulars employer and worker expectations.
  • It explains key firm insurance policies, guidelines, and laws in a transparent and concise approach.
  • It gives data relating to advantages that workers may have.
  • It ensures the group all the time stays compliant with state and federal legal guidelines.
  • It lets workers know the place they will go for assist and who to show to once they have a query or concern.

What to incorporate in an worker handbook

Should you’re creating an organization worker handbook for the primary time or for a model new firm, you want a spot to start out. And for that, it’s all about understanding what sections to incorporate and what data goes the place. 

“An worker handbook is a policy-driven doc, making it clear to workers what’s anticipated, together with areas round conduct and efficiency. A well-written handbook may be an effective way to bolster tradition, values, mission, and imaginative and prescient.” 

Kristina Creed
Director of Folks Operations at

Employment fundamentals

Your organization’s handbook ought to begin with the fundamentals. Kick issues off with an worker handbook desk of contents firstly after which introduce data and key particulars.

First, present details about the corporate’s mission assertion and values to make sure alignment proper initially. Share a press release explaining what issues most to the corporate and spotlight the values workers ought to abide by. 

Want some inspiration? The G2 Worker Handbook outlines our PEAK values, which you’ll be able to learn extra about on our G2 Tradition Web page.

This part must also embody an equal alternative employment assertion. This can be a needed a part of the handbook, not just for authorized functions however as a result of it promotes a tradition of meritocracy and respect in your office.

Subsequent, define the recruitment and choice course of. This part ought to share the everyday steps of the hiring course of and details about background checks, referral packages, and different basic tips. Additionally, point out if any of those guidelines differ between full-time and part-time workers, along with short-term, contract, and non-exempt employees.

Lastly, share some background data on the corporate and the way it got here to be. Have some enjoyable with this part! 

The corporate background data can reply questions like:

  • What’s your organization and what do you do?
  • Who’re the founders and when was it based?
  • The place was the unique workplace?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Why ought to others care?

Office insurance policies

As soon as the fundamentals are lined, transfer alongside to specifics surrounding office insurance policies and the circumstances workers can anticipate to work in.

The insurance policies and suggestions that must be included listed below are:

  • Confidentiality and information safety: Sharing primary guidelines relating to the safety of data, how workers can abide by legal guidelines on the subject of the corporate, and what’s anticipated of each worker.
  • Attendance: Outlining attendance guidelines, like what an worker ought to do in the event that they’re unable to make it to work and who they need to contact. This coverage will probably rely in your group’s trade.
  • Harassment and violence: Itemizing the entire present federal, state, and native legal guidelines making use of to your workforce. This lets workers know your organization is dedicated to eliminating all forms of harassment and violence within the office. This part ought to outline what counts as harassment and violence, what disciplinary measures will happen if these guidelines are damaged, and the way your organization immediately avoids a hostile work setting.
  • Workplace setting: Detailing data like work hours, the work-from-home coverage, lunch and break durations, Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA) lodging, and insurance policies pertaining to firm tools.
  • Office well being and security: Presenting tips for workers to comply with to make sure a wholesome and protected office. It might additionally element how your organization complies with occupational well being and security legal guidelines, in addition to details about how workers are protected in hazardous roles or from emergencies. Firms can even embody a psychological well being coverage, particulars relating to an worker help program, and the way they purpose to mitigate job burnout.
  • Fee schedule: Explaining your organization’s pay durations. It must also define which cost strategies can be found.

Code of Conduct

A code of conduct spells out how an employer expects workers to conduct themselves at work. Each group has boundaries, and this code basically covers any unacceptable habits.

Guidelines and laws inside a code of conduct can embody:

  • Gown code coverage: Describe acceptable and inappropriate office apparel. The gown code coverage must be as detailed as attainable.
  • Social media and private expertise use: Get particular relating to the parameters of social community use and private expertise, like their smartphones, when working. 
  • Medicine and alcohol utilization coverage: Most firms use this part to element their substance-free office and clarify whether or not they check workers for medication or alcohol use all through their employment. 
  • Battle of curiosity: Describe what constitutes a battle of curiosity, what workers can do when confronted with one, and what the results are for breaking firm guidelines.
  • Guidelines surrounding accepting items from shoppers or prospects: Be particular relating to the principles for accepting financial or different kinds of items from prospects.
  • Worker relationships and fraternization: Lay down guidelines about workers turning into pals or relationship to keep away from gossip or unprofessional conditions.
  • Office guests: Define the method of bringing guests to the workplace as a result of this can be a matter of defending workers and firm information and property.
  • Battle decision coverage: Clarify the protocol to comply with when conflicts happen between workers and what disciplinary actions occur if points aren’t resolved.
  • Communication coverage: Convey how workers ought to work together with each other, in addition to with prospects, companions, and distributors. It ought to set expectations for electronic mail, instantaneous messaging, and social media.

Compensation and improvement

An worker handbook’s compensation and improvement portion gives data surrounding worker compensation and worker improvement. This part is without doubt one of the most incessantly referenced sections within the handbook.

First, element the payroll schedule, that means how typically full-time and part-time workers obtain their paychecks. Choices listed below are often a weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or month-to-month cost schedule. This part additionally goes into element about any payroll tax deductions.

There are three most important forms of payroll deductions:

  • Pre-tax deductions and contributions: Cash that’s taken out of your workers’ gross pay earlier than any taxes are withheld from their paycheck. These sometimes go to some sort of retirement fund, medical health insurance, or commuter advantages.
  • Native, state, and federal taxes: Cash that’s withheld from an worker’s pay on every paycheck.
  • Publish-tax deductions and contributions: Cash that’s taken out of your workers’ paycheck in spite of everything relevant taxes have been withheld. This features a Roth 401k, wage garnishments, and union dues.

Subsequent, define if additional time pay is obtainable to workers who work over their agreed-upon hourly work week. This part must also present data relating to promotions, lateral profession strikes, and transfers. Moreover, this half must be particular about different types of compensation, like worker bonuses and advantage pay.

Then, have a efficiency administration part of the handbook. Staff use this data to know efficiency analysis. Managers look to this data to make clear which duties are anticipated of them. You may point out the aims of efficiency evaluations and the way you anticipate managers to guide their groups.

Lastly, element your coaching and improvement plan for all workers and the way your organization is dedicated to serving to them enhance professionally and personally. Clarify the whole lot from coaching alternatives to tuition reimbursement.

Worker advantages and perks

One other incessantly bookmarked space of an worker handbook is the part giving details about all of the enjoyable perks and advantages your organization affords. After studying this part, an worker ought to really feel nicely taken care of, appreciated, and fully within the know.

Begin the advantages and perks part by outlining particulars like eligibility, advantages begin date, and your plan’s coverage quantity. Then, get into the necessities.

First issues first: the paid day off (PTO) coverage. That is the coverage your organization affords its workers that enables them to take day off from work as wanted for particular causes or occurrences. How a lot you provide, or once you permit workers to make use of their PTO, can range. 

Potential forms of PTO:

  • Trip time
  • Sick depart or household medical depart
  • Private time
  • Bereavement
  • Holidays
  • Jury obligation
  • Parental depart
  • Jury obligation and voting
  • Army depart
  • Sabbaticals

After that, transfer on to different perks your organization has to supply. Clarify your work-from-home (WFH) coverage, a health club or healthcare reimbursement coverage, use of company-issued tools (laptops, cellphones, headphones, and even automobiles), and the ins and outs of staff’ compensation.

Resignation and termination procedures

It’s not going an worker will keep at your group for his or her total working profession, so the worker handbook ought to embody particulars about offboarding. This could embody:

  • Worker resignation: Whether or not by resignation or the tip of a contract
  • Retirement: When the worker has determined it’s time for them to transition out of the workforce 
  • Layoffs or termination: When the corporate decides they will now not have an worker inside the group, whether or not on account of private efficiency or firm monetary points

This part ought to spotlight when an worker shall be given their remaining paycheck, how the exit interview course of works, and the way Consolidated Omnibus Funds Reconciliation Act (COBRA) advantages work if somebody is laid off or fired.

Varied authorized mandates

Final however not least, an worker handbook wants to the touch on employment legal guidelines and numerous authorized mandates.

Quite a few federal and state legal guidelines have an effect on workers. A few of these are:

The legal guidelines and laws range by state, however your handbook should point out those that apply to your group.

Learn how to write an worker handbook

Now that you just perceive what must be included in a primary worker handbook, let’s go into the best way to get began writing one.

First, evaluate your present firm insurance policies and make any revisions that appear needed. The very last thing you need to do is spend the time and power placing these insurance policies into the handbook solely to understand a number of months later it must be up to date. If any coverage or rule requires some revising, now’s the time!

Then, create an overview for the look of your handbook. This helps decide the way you current the data to workers. As soon as that is full, write primary introductions to every handbook part which might be simple to know and freed from sophisticated jargon.

When you assemble all the required and up-to-date data, ship a finalized model to your organization’s authorized crew to evaluate. Asking for authorized counsel ensures that it doesn’t include statements that will have false data. As soon as the handbook has authorized approval, take into account the place and the way you’d wish to publish the handbook. Do not forget that it must be simply accessible to all workers.

The work isn’t finished when the handbook has been distributed to all workers. It must be up to date when needed. Contemplate reviewing insurance policies not less than twice a yr to make sure the handbook all the time has probably the most related data. 

Worker handbook examples

When making a handbook for the primary time, it may be laborious to check the ultimate outcomes, even should you perceive precisely what must be included. To make this simpler, it’s finest to lean on examples of what some well-known firms have finished with their handbooks to spark some creativity.


Whereas some firms gate-keep their handbook, HubSpot lets everybody learn it by importing their tradition code onto their community. By sharing it, they apply the identical transparency they ask from their workers. 


Like HubSpot, Netflix additionally shares its Freedom and Accountability tradition handbook on-line. You’ve most likely heard about, or examine, their tradition earlier than, because it seamlessly defines their tradition and values by making them actionable, too.


Challenge administration software program Trello makes use of its platform to stipulate and show its worker handbook, which they name an worker handbook. Every column on the board represents a unique handbook part, beginning with On Your First Day and persevering with with advantages, working remotely, journey, trip, and miscellaneous data.


Fb makes its handbook out there to anybody . Titled Hold Constructing Higher: The Fb Code of Conduct, their handbook encompasses a message from founder Mark Zuckerberg, together with sections about mutual assist, defending and empowering folks, competing and collaborating, and interesting with the world.


One other fascinating instance of a well-done worker handbook is the one Basecamp has created. It makes use of a singular tone of voice, ensuring the corporate’s character stands out from different employers. Some notable sections are What We Stand For, The place We Work, Our Rituals, and Vocabulary.

The handbook is aware of all!

Because the office continues to evolve, it’s probably as much as the position of a human useful resource skilled to make sure the handbook stays updated with the most recent data.

It’s vital to keep in mind that your worker handbook isn’t a legally binding doc and doesn’t guarantee compliance. Nevertheless, it could assist shield your organization from sure liabilities and talk clearly with your whole workers by being the one cohesive location for vital firm particulars.

A complete handbook is one factor. Now it’s time to have a look at your firm’s tradition to construct a contemporary office for everybody.

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