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

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

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

Passing out a handbook could make new hires really feel extra outfitted to deal with their every day work whereas growing their effectivity throughout onboarding. Along with having crucial 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 corporation.

It’s frequent for human useful resource professionals to show to HR compliance software program as they handle all HR-related assets 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 styles. 

Let’s take a look at a number of the primary explanation why your workforce wants an worker handbook to reference.

  • It introduces new workers to the corporate’s values, mission, tradition, and targets.
  • It particulars employer and worker expectations.
  • It explains key firm insurance policies, guidelines, and rules in a transparent and concise means.
  • It offers info concerning advantages that workers may have.
  • It ensures the group at all times stays compliant with state and federal legal guidelines.
  • It lets workers know the place they will go for assist and who to show to after 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 begin. And for that, it’s all about understanding what sections to incorporate and what info 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 will be a good way to strengthen 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 originally after which introduce info and key particulars.

First, present details about the corporate’s mission assertion and values to make sure alignment proper in the beginning. 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 learn extra about on our G2 Tradition Web page.

This part must also embody an equal alternative employment assertion. This can be a mandatory 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 standard steps of the hiring course of and details about background checks, referral applications, 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 workers.

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

The corporate background info 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 situations workers can count on to work in.

The insurance policies and ideas that ought to be included listed here are:

  • Confidentiality and knowledge safety: Sharing primary guidelines concerning the safety of knowledge, how workers can abide by legal guidelines with reference to 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 varieties 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 straight avoids a hostile work surroundings.
  • Workplace surroundings: Detailing info like work hours, the work-from-home coverage, lunch and break durations, People with Disabilities Act (ADA) lodging, and insurance policies pertaining to firm gear.
  • Office well being and security: Presenting tips for workers to observe to make sure a wholesome and protected office. It will probably 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 may also embody a psychological well being coverage, particulars concerning an worker help program, and the way they goal to mitigate job burnout.
  • Fee schedule: Explaining your organization’s pay durations. It must also define which fee 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 primarily covers any unacceptable habits.

Guidelines and rules inside a code of conduct can embody:

  • Costume code coverage: Describe acceptable and inappropriate office apparel. The costume code coverage ought to be as detailed as doable.
  • Social media and private expertise use: Get particular concerning the parameters of social community use and private expertise, like their smartphones, when working. 
  • Medication 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 implications are for breaking firm guidelines.
  • Guidelines surrounding accepting presents from shoppers or clients: Be particular concerning the foundations for accepting financial or other forms of presents from clients.
  • Worker relationships and fraternization: Lay down guidelines about workers changing into buddies or courting to keep away from gossip or unprofessional conditions.
  • Office guests: Define the method of bringing guests to the workplace as a result of it is a matter of defending workers and firm knowledge and property.
  • Battle decision coverage: Clarify the protocol to observe 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 clients, companions, and distributors. It ought to set expectations for e-mail, instantaneous messaging, and social media.

Compensation and improvement

An worker handbook’s compensation and improvement portion offers info surrounding worker compensation and worker improvement. This part is likely one of the most ceaselessly referenced sections within the handbook.

First, element the payroll schedule, which means how usually full-time and part-time workers obtain their paychecks. Choices listed here are normally a weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or month-to-month fee schedule. This part additionally goes into element about any payroll tax deductions.

There are three primary varieties 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 insurance, or commuter advantages.
  • Native, state, and federal taxes: Cash that’s withheld from an worker’s pay on every paycheck.
  • Submit-tax deductions and contributions: Cash that’s taken out of your workers’ paycheck in any case relevant taxes have been withheld. This features a Roth 401k, wage garnishments, and union dues.

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

Then, have a efficiency administration part of the handbook. Workers use this info to know efficiency analysis. Managers look to this info to make clear which duties are anticipated of them. You possibly can point out the goals of efficiency opinions and the way you count on 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 every thing from coaching alternatives to tuition reimbursement.

Worker advantages and perks

One other ceaselessly bookmarked space of an worker handbook is the part giving details about all of the enjoyable perks and advantages your organization presents. After studying this part, an worker ought to really feel effectively 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 break day (PTO) coverage. That is the coverage your organization presents its workers that enables them to take break day from work as wanted for particular causes or occurrences. How a lot you provide, or whenever you permit workers to make use of their PTO, can differ. 

Potential varieties of PTO:

  • Trip time
  • Sick go away or household medical go away
  • Private time
  • Bereavement
  • Holidays
  • Jury obligation
  • Parental go away
  • Jury obligation and voting
  • Navy go away
  • Sabbaticals

After that, transfer on to different perks your organization has to supply. Clarify your work-from-home (WFH) coverage, a fitness center or healthcare reimbursement coverage, use of company-issued gear (laptops, cellphones, headphones, and even vehicles), 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 means of resignation or the top 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 not have an worker inside the group, whether or not because 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 varied authorized mandates.

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

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

Learn how to write an worker handbook

Now that you simply perceive what must be included in a primary worker handbook, let’s go into find out how to get began writing one.

First, evaluation your present firm insurance policies and make any revisions that appear mandatory. The very last thing you wish to do is spend the time and power placing these insurance policies into the handbook solely to understand just a few months later it must be up to date. If any coverage or rule requires some revising, now could be the time!

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

When you assemble all the mandatory and up-to-date info, ship a finalized model to your organization’s authorized workforce to evaluation. Asking for authorized counsel ensures that it doesn’t include statements which will have false info. As soon as the handbook has authorized approval, think about the place and the way you’d wish to publish the handbook. Keep in mind that it ought to be simply accessible to all workers.

The work isn’t achieved when the handbook has been distributed to all workers. It ought to be up to date when mandatory. Think about reviewing insurance policies at the very least twice a 12 months to make sure the handbook at all times has essentially the most related info. 

Worker handbook examples

When making a handbook for the primary time, it may be arduous to examine the ultimate outcomes, even for those who perceive precisely what must be included. To make this simpler, it’s finest to lean on examples of what some well-known firms have achieved 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 in all probability heard about, or examine, their tradition earlier than, because it seamlessly defines their tradition and values by making them actionable, too.


Venture administration software program Trello makes use of its platform to stipulate and show its worker handbook, which they name an worker guide. 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 info.


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


One other fascinating instance of a well-done worker handbook is the one Basecamp has created. It makes use of a novel tone of voice, ensuring the corporate’s persona 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 function of a human useful resource skilled to make sure the handbook stays updated with the most recent info.

It’s essential to keep in mind that your worker handbook isn’t a legally binding doc and doesn’t guarantee compliance. Nonetheless, it may possibly assist shield your organization from sure liabilities and talk clearly with all your workers by being the one cohesive location for essential 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.