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The right way to Write an Worker Handbook that Workers Will Really Use

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

An worker handbook. For those who suppose having one is pointless in your small firm with only a handful of staff, suppose once more. No matter your group’s dimension, a well-written handbook’s affect shouldn’t be neglected.

Passing out a handbook could make new hires really feel extra geared up to deal with their each day work whereas rising their effectivity throughout onboarding. Along with having vital particulars for brand new staff, 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 widespread 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 have a look at among the predominant the explanation why your group wants an worker handbook to reference.

  • It introduces new staff 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 gives info concerning advantages that staff might have.
  • It ensures the group all the time stays compliant with state and federal legal guidelines.
  • It lets staff 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

For those who’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 staff what’s anticipated, together with areas round conduct and efficiency. A well-written handbook could be an effective 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 in the beginning after which introduce info and key particulars.

First, present details about the corporate’s mission assertion and values to make sure alignment proper at first. Share an announcement explaining what issues most to the corporate and spotlight the values staff 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 also needs to embody an equal alternative employment assertion. This can be a obligatory 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 staff, along with momentary, contract, and non-exempt employees.

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 coated, transfer alongside to specifics surrounding office insurance policies and the circumstances staff can count on to work in.

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

  • Confidentiality and information safety: Sharing primary guidelines concerning the safety of knowledge, how staff 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 doubtless rely in your group’s business.
  • Harassment and violence: Itemizing all the present federal, state, and native legal guidelines making use of to your workforce. This lets staff know your organization is dedicated to eliminating all kinds 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 instantly avoids a hostile work atmosphere.
  • Workplace atmosphere: 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 tools.
  • Office well being and security: Presenting tips for workers to observe to make sure a wholesome and secure office. It may well additionally element how your organization complies with occupational well being and security legal guidelines, in addition to details about how staff are protected in hazardous roles or from emergencies. Firms also can 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 also needs to define which cost strategies can be found.

Code of Conduct

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

Guidelines and rules inside a code of conduct can embody:

  • Gown code coverage: Describe acceptable and inappropriate office apparel. The costume code coverage needs to be as detailed as attainable.
  • Social media and private expertise use: Get particular concerning 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 take a look at staff for medication or alcohol use all through their employment. 
  • Battle of curiosity: Describe what constitutes a battle of curiosity, what staff can do when confronted with one, and what the implications are for breaking firm guidelines.
  • Guidelines surrounding accepting presents from purchasers or clients: Be particular concerning the principles for accepting financial or different kinds of presents from clients.
  • Worker relationships and fraternization: Lay down guidelines about staff turning into pals 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 this can be a matter of defending staff and firm information and property.
  • Battle decision coverage: Clarify the protocol to observe when conflicts happen between staff and what disciplinary actions occur if points aren’t resolved.
  • Communication coverage: Convey how staff ought to work together with each other, in addition to with clients, companions, and distributors. It ought to set expectations for electronic mail, immediate messaging, and social media.

Compensation and improvement

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

First, element the payroll schedule, that means how usually full-time and part-time staff obtain their paychecks. Choices listed here 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 predominant kinds of payroll deductions:

  • Pre-tax deductions and contributions: Cash that’s taken out of your staff’ gross pay earlier than any taxes are withheld from their paycheck. These usually go to some kind 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 staff’ 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 staff who work over their agreed-upon hourly work week. This part also needs to present info concerning promotions, lateral profession strikes, and transfers. Moreover, this half needs to be particular about different types of compensation, like worker bonuses and advantage pay.

Then, have a efficiency administration part of the handbook. Workers use this info to grasp efficiency analysis. Managers look to this info to make clear which duties are anticipated of them. You may point out the goals of efficiency critiques and the way you count on managers to guide their groups.

Lastly, element your coaching and improvement plan for all staff and the way your organization is dedicated to serving to them enhance professionally and personally. Clarify every little thing from coaching alternatives to tuition reimbursement.

Worker advantages and perks

One other continuously bookmarked space of an worker handbook is the part giving details about all of the enjoyable perks and advantages your organization provides. After studying this part, an worker ought to really feel effectively taken care of, appreciated, and completely 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 provides its staff that permits them to take day off from work as wanted for particular causes or occurrences. How a lot you supply, or once you enable staff to make use of their PTO, can range. 

Potential kinds of PTO:

  • Trip time
  • Sick depart or household medical depart
  • Private time
  • Bereavement
  • Holidays
  • Jury obligation
  • Parental depart
  • Jury obligation and voting
  • Navy depart
  • 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 tools (laptops, cellphones, headphones, and even automobiles), and the ins and outs of employees’ 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 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 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 will likely be given their ultimate 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 staff. A few of these are:

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

The right way to write an worker handbook

Now that you simply 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 obligatory. The very last thing you wish to do is spend the time and vitality placing these insurance policies into the handbook solely to appreciate 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 data to staff. As soon as that is full, write primary introductions to every handbook part which might be simple to grasp and freed from difficult jargon.

When you assemble all the required and up-to-date info, ship a finalized model to your organization’s authorized group to evaluate. Asking for authorized counsel ensures that it doesn’t comprise statements which will have false info. As soon as the handbook has authorized approval, think about the place and the way you’d prefer to publish the handbook. Do not forget that it needs to be simply accessible to all staff.

The work isn’t carried out when the handbook has been distributed to all staff. It needs to be up to date when obligatory. Think about reviewing insurance policies no less than twice a 12 months to make sure the handbook all the time has essentially the most related info. 

Worker handbook examples

When making a handbook for the primary time, it may be onerous to examine the ultimate outcomes, even when 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 carried out 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 staff. 


Like HubSpot, Netflix additionally shares its Freedom and Duty 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 special 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 Maintain Constructing Higher: The Fb Code of Conduct, their handbook includes 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 novel 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 doubtless 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 do not forget that your worker handbook shouldn’t be a legally binding doc and doesn’t guarantee compliance. Nonetheless, it might assist shield your organization from sure liabilities and talk clearly with all your staff 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.



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