The 10 Best Employee Handbook Examples (2024)

The 10 Best Employee Handbook Examples (1)


Last year, AirMason highlighted thebest employee handbook examples in 2022. Due to popular demand, we’re back with a 2023 refresher!

In addition to a few larger household names, this year’s batch included some smaller organizations who’ve created exceptional handbooks. They may not have the largest creative budgets in the world, which goes to show you don’t need endless resources to create exceptional employee handbooks.

Without further ado, let’s explore the Top 10 employee handbooks of 2023.


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What we liked about the content:
Basecamp’s employee handbook focuses on promoting work-life balance and employee well-being. It outlines the company’s dedication to supporting a healthy and productive work environment with policies that encourage flexible work arrangements, stress management, and personal time off.

What stood out about the design:Large typography and organized layouts.


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What we liked about the content:The Food&Co employee handbook has exceptional storytelling flow from page-to-page and section-to-section, creating a premium user experience for readers. The culture section up front is concise and to the point, with almost no wasted words, serving two purposes: It gives new employees all of the information they need to know off the bat, while immersing them in the efficient, calculated, and productive environment that Food&Co is known for.

What stood out about the design:Beautiful, high-quality photography to break up lengthy content.


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What we liked about the content:Trello’s employee handbook is known for its simplicity and user-friendly approach. By providing clear guidelines for project management, goal setting, and team collaboration, it empowers employees to effectively use Trello’s platform with the aims of streamlining workflows and boosting productivity.

What stood out about the design:Cleverly executed on Trello’s own platform.

4.Valve Corporation

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What we liked about the content:Known for its decentralized structure, Valve Corporation’s has created an employee handbook that reflects its unique philosophy. The copy here emphasizes employee autonomy and encourages individuals to take ownership of their work. Plus, it serves as a guide to navigating the company’s unique organizational structure and promotes a culture of self-direction. The handbook also outlines the disciplinary process in a manner that aligns with its decentralized structure, ensuring that the end of the employment relationship and relevant issues are addressed effectively.

What stood out about the design:Graphic elements and illustrations for engagement.


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What we liked about the content:GitLab’s original employee handbook is massive—like 2000 pages massive. But for the sake of their employees, they arranged all of their policies in a friendly, wikipedia style that’s conducive to navigation. Everything can be accessed with the click of a button.

What stood out about the design:User-friendly navigation and content consumption via links.


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What we liked about the content:Airbnb’s employee handbook shines through its commitment to nurturing a remote-first culture. The handbook also offers resources for learning about different cultures, supporting employee resource groups, and organizing events that celebrate diversity.

What stood out about the design:Warm, approachable, and nicely branded.

7.ValiantMedia(built with AirMason)

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What we liked about the content:Great, engaging copy makes all the difference in the world, and this handbook is brimming from start to finish with witty and edgy writing. It only takes a few sentences to realize this was written by a human being—for human beings!!! Contractions. Slang. The odd curse word. Together, it makes the entire handbook come across very genuine and makes you want to keep reading. ValiantMedia’s handbook sets expectations for employee behavior in a witty and engaging manner, defining a framework that emphasizes ethics, trust, and professionalism in all interactions.

What stood out about the design:Bold typography and colours to match the tone and language.

8.Whole Foods Market

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What we liked about the content:Whole Foods’ employee handbook is called the “Declaration of Interdependence,” which we have to admit is pretty clever. The copy within, as you’d expect from a company like Whole Foods, reflects their commitment to sustainability, organic farming, and healthy living. It also discloses the company’s values and culture, as well as its policies on employee wellness and benefits.

What stood out about the design:Short and sweet, straight to the point.


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What we liked about the content:Slack’s employee handbook stands out for its commitment to open communication and collaboration among teammates. The handbook encourages employees to leverage Slack’s platform to build strong relationships and enhance their sense of belonging within the organization.

What stood out about the design:Using colour to colour code different sections.

10.FashionHaus(built with AirMason)

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What we liked about the content:FashionHaus went a different route with their employee handbook, electing to focus primarily on the benefits they offer their teammates. In addition to being brief, the copy is soft and reassuring throughout, which suggests to the reader that whomever wrote this legitimately cares about their wellbeing and happiness. Kudos, FashionHaus team!

What stood out about the design: At first glance, it’s chic and sets the tone with softness and elegance.

What Makes an Ideal Employee Handbook Sample

The best employee handbooks wear many hats!

A great employee handbook doesn’t just communicate your core values, house rules, procedures, and company culture. It does so as directly as possible—in simple and concise, yet engaging language. Including company policy is crucial as it reflects the organization’s norms, legal requirements, and provides real-world examples that inspire. Moreover, an ideal handbook effectively communicates the company’s mission, aligning employees with the organizational goals and clarifying the company’s values and norms. Great handbooks also double up as brilliant onboarding tools for new hires and convenient reference tools for existing teammates who may need a refresher or two on company policies.

That’s why we created theAirMason Handbook Builder. Simplify the process with our beautifully designed and easy-to-use handbook templates.

Looking for last year’s top 10 employee handbooks? Don’t worry, we still have it below!

There are many employee handbook examples circulating online. But obtaining the right employee handbook template is key. In today’s fast-paced business world, keeping employees informed and engaged is crucial to success. One of the best ways to achieve this is through a well-crafted employee handbook. Not only does it serve as a vital tool for onboarding, but it’s also essential for employers to inform employees of their rights and company policies effectively. But how can you create a handbook that captures your company’s culture, policies, and values while standing out from the rest? Find a fantastic employee handbook sample — and model it to your own company needs! This blog post offers insights, tips, and employee handbook examples to guide you in creating the perfect employee handbook for your organization.

An employee handbook is a great way to help with onboarding process in your organization. A well-designed and engaging employee handbook is a brilliant touchstone for new hires and existing employees to draw information from at their own pace.

Here in this article, we re going to look at some of the best employee handbook examples from companies like Netflix, Valve, HubSpot, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Create an engaging and motivating employee handbook to align employees with company mission.
  • Discover inspiring examples of top 10 employee handbooks tailored for different types of businesses.
  • Utilize templates, tools & policies to craft a unique employee handbook that reflects your culture & values.

Elevate Your Handbook Game

Discover top handbook examples and transform yours with Airmason today. Start your free 7 day free trial now.

The Importance of an Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is more than just a document; it’s a powerful communication tool that helps new hires and existing employees understand the company’s:

  • Mission
  • Values
  • Policies
  • Procedures

A well-structured employee handbook communicates critical information in a digestible way, establishing clear expectations and promoting a positive workplace culture.

Having an effective employee handbook can provide several benefits for your business, including:

  • Significantly reducing misunderstandings
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Providing legal protection
  • Ensuring employees have access to the most recent company policies

Regularly updating your handbook is important to keep everyone on the same page.

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Coolest and Creative Employee Handbook Template Designs

Companies small and large have invested lots of resources into designing and developing employee handbooks/culture codes. The employee handbook examples below show that these companies have realized the value of having a well designed and well-articulated company employee handbook template.

1.Sterling (Employee Handbook built with AirMason)

Sterling had a lot of information to get across in their handbook, so they made sure to spread it out and keep their policy manual nice and colorful. The company uses a website to get its message across, beginning with a heartfelt message from the CEO and then getting more technical from there on out.

Though maybe not the most unique employee policy manual in the world, Sterling does a great job of organizing the information logically for easy reference.

2.Netflix (Employee Handbook built with AirMason)

The Netflix HR handbook is basically a case of simple yet effective. Netflix doesn t mince its words when it comes to educating employees – you’ll find a well-designed 129-slide slideshow full of short, simple sentences.

Some companies take the comedy approach to keep their policy manual engaging, but Netflix has gone for the straight to the point approach by eliminating all the fluff. It’s very blunt and easy to grasp, as a handbook should be.

3.Hubspot (Employee Handbook built with AirMason)

Deemed as part-manifesto, part-employee handbook, the Hubspot employee manual manages to turn boring subjects into entertaining slides that keep the reader engaged while getting the core values of the company across.

Similarly to Netflix, they’ve focused on lots of simple slides rather than cramming lots of information into a few slides. It’s certainly easy to grasp, and they even sprinkle in some humor now and then to keep it light.


This Alberta based marketing Agency called ZGM uses less imagery and a lot of bold text to get the message across effectively.


Zaarly is a home service provider aggregator platform based in multiple US cities. The Zaarly employee handbook focuses on getting their employees aligned with their mission on helping people who take pride in their homes hire people who take pride in their work.


Zappos is known for its extreme focus on workplace culture so much so that they offer $3000 to leave after the first week. Zappos has a 296 pages extensive handbook which is an example of its dedication to culture.

7.EF Education First

Education First has created an elementary and adorable employee handbook that everyone would want to read. They have used children s book illustrations to style their short and sweet 7-page employee handbook.


This employee handbook was leaked in 2012 and it became very popular because of it s off-beat take on a handbook. Valve used humorous illustrations throughout the handbook to keep the readers engaged.


This one is balanced between legal policies and company culture. It covers the legal part in the first section and about the work culture at Disqus in the second.


This is one of the better-designed handbooks on the list, created by PeopleHR. It s a 17-page pdf handbook that s used as an onboarding document for new hires describing the first few weeks at the company.

What We Learned From These Employee Handbook Examples

These employee handbook examples are the epitome of simple yet effective. Gone are the days of employee manuals looking like huge boring binders of corporate jargon – it’s all about getting the message across effectively to establish a strong employment relationship.

There s a reason that handbooks aren’t walls of text in grayscale – you would lose everyone’s interest almost immediately.

Ultimately, readers don t want to be bored to tears. All of these employee handbook samples shared above have found ways to make themselves engaging. Whether they use imagery, colors, simplicity, or humor, all of them are designed to hold the reader’s attention.

Here are some of the techniques that these employee handbooks used to great effect:

  • Spreading information out across many pages/slides
  • Keeping concepts simple (no fluff)
  • Minimizing business talk and corporate jargon
  • Injecting humor and playfulness
  • Using engaging imagery and color palettes
  • Communicating core values in direct ways

By applying some of these ideas, you can transform your HR handbook into a real masterpiece.

What Makes an Ideal Employee Handbook Sample

A great employee handbook should communicate your core values, house rules, procedures, and company culture as directly as possible. It should be a brilliant onboarding tool for new hires and a great reference tool for existing employees who need reminders on company policies.

Good HR handbooks wear many hats!

If you want your handbook to be memorable, it should be. Find ways to make it memorable. Whether it s Netflix s bluntness or Valve s use of humor, all of the companies on this list have found ways to communicate their values in an engaging manner without losing sight of what their brand represents on a larger scale.

From the company mission statement and company history to company values, vacation policy, sick leave and employee benefits, a good HR company handbook should have it all.

If you want to be able to answer these questions easily for your new hires, try AirMason Handbook Builder.Get beautifully designed handbook templates, create all the content in a jiffy by answering a few questions and easily share it with your employees using a link or as a PDF.

Crafting Your Unique Employee Handbook

Crafting a bespoke employee handbook that reflects your business is key to defining your company’s ethos, mission, and core values, along with adhering to employment law stipulations. A well-crafted handbook serves as a valuable resource for all employees, helping them understand their roles and responsibilities within the company.

To get started, you can explore various employee handbook examples to ensure nothing is overlooked. You may also consider using online tools like AirMason to generate modern and visually appealing new employees employee handbooks that will motivate your employees.

Never forget, customizing your handbook to your particular business needs is vital to fulfill its unique requirements and foster a positive workplace.

Key Components of an Effective Employee Handbook

An effective employee handbook should include essential elements such as company policies, employee benefits, and a code of conduct to maintain a healthy work environment and prevent conflicts. Employee handbooks play a crucial role in communicating these important aspects to the workforce.

Let’s examine these key elements and their significance in more detail.

Policies and Procedures

Outlining company policies and procedures in the employee handbook helps ensure clarity and consistency, providing a clear reference point for employees to follow. These policies should cover topics such as:

  • Attendance
  • Dress code
  • Vacation and sick leave
  • Safety
  • Harassment

This helps ensure a safe and productive workplace.

Regularly reviewing and updating the employee handbook ensures that it remains aligned with the latest laws and regulations, as well as any changes in the company’s policies and procedures. This makes the handbook an essential part of your organization’s operations and communication strategy.

Employee Benefits

Including employee benefits information in the handbook ensures that all employees are aware of their entitlements and the great advantages they have access to. Employee handbooks can help create a supportive and motivating workplace by:

  • Setting clear expectations
  • Reducing uncertainty
  • Welcoming new employees
  • Affirming company values
  • Ensuring consistent treatment of employees
  • Publicizing employee benefits

From health insurance and retirement plans to flexible work hours and professional development opportunities, outlining the various employee benefits in the handbook helps create a well-informed and motivated workforce that understands their rights and privileges within the company.

Code of Conduct

A well-defined code of conduct in the employee handbook is crucial for maintaining a healthy work environment and preventing conflicts. This code should outline the expected behavior and guidelines that employees are required to follow in the workplace, ensuring consistency in handling situations and providing clarity on policies, rules, and disciplinary actions.

By including guidelines for professionalism, respect, and confidentiality in the code of conduct, your employee handbook can help create a productive and positive work environment where everyone can thrive and contribute to the organization’s success.

Tips for Creating an Engaging Employee Handbook

An engaging employee handbook is not only informative, but also visually appealing and easy to understand. Here are some tips to make your handbook more appealing and easy to understand.

  • Incorporate images, illustrations, and other visuals to break up the text and make the handbook more visually appealing.
  • Use clear language and avoid technical terms to ensure that all employees can easily understand the content.
  • Provide examples to illustrate key points and make the information more relatable and understandable.

By following these tips, you can create an employee handbook that is both informative and visually appealing, ensuring that your employees can easily understand and engage with the content.

Bear in mind that a captivating employee handbook serves as a potent instrument for communication and motivation. By making it visually appealing and easy to understand, you can help your employees get the most out of their experience with your company and create a positive and supportive work environment.

Adapting Your Employee Handbook for Remote Work

With the growing popularity of remote work, it’s important to modify your employee handbook to accommodate remote work policies and practices. This not only helps to maintain a productive and collaborative work atmosphere, but also ensures that remote employees have the necessary guidance and support to work effectively.

In your remote work policy, include guidelines for communication, collaboration, and security to ensure that your remote workforce is as productive and successful as possible. By embracing the advantages of remote work, such as increased flexibility and enhanced work-life balance, your company can stay ahead of the curve and attract top talent from around the world.

Employee Handbook Templates and Tools

Creating an effective employee handbook can be a time-consuming task, but there are various templates and tools available to help you save time and ensure compliance with legal requirements. From free templates to customizable employee handbook builders, there’s a wealth of resources at your disposal to create the perfect handbook for your organization.

By leveraging these resources, you can confidently create an employee handbook that not only informs and motivates your employees, but also aligns with your company’s unique culture and values.

Bottom Line: Sample Employee Handbook You Can Trust

In conclusion, an engaging and effective employee handbook is a crucial resource for any organization. By incorporating your company’s unique culture, values, and policies, you can create a handbook that not only informs and motivates your employees, but also ensures a positive and productive work environment. Use the insights, tips, and examples provided in this blog post as a guide to craft the perfect employee handbook for your organization, and watch as your employees thrive and contribute to your company’s success.

FAQs About Example Employee Handbook Templates

What should be included in an employee handbook?

An employee handbook should include your business’ policies, expectations of employees, legal obligations as an employer and their rights, notice and disclaimer, at-will policy, equal opportunity statement, work authorization, employment classification, overtime, leaves of absence and parental leave.

What are the 7 typical employee handbook categories?

An employee handbook is comprised of 7 typical categories including Employment Basics, Workplace Policies, Code of Conduct, Compensation and Development, Benefits and Perks, Working Hours, PTO and Vacation, and Employee Resignation and Termination.

How do you write an employee handbook template?

Write an engaging introduction to welcome new and existing employees, outline the company’s mission statement and Equal Opportunity Statement, include a disclaimer and an At-Will Statement, outline the purpose of the handbook, and explain background information on the company.

Outline employment basics, workplace policies, code of conduct, compensation and development, benefits and perks, working hours, vacation and PTO, employee termination and resignation, introduction and welcome, workplace commitments, company policies and procedures, employment classification, attendance policies, leave policies, work performance and discipline policy.

Can I write my own employee handbook?

Yes, you can write your own employee handbook! Create Your Own Employee Handbook provides all the information you need to create a reader-friendly guide that spells out your company’s benefits, policies and procedures – both practically and legally.

Take advantage of this opportunity to set expectations and ensure everyone in your business is on the same page!

What is the purpose of an employee handbook?

An employee handbook provides new hires and existing employees with vital information about the company, its policies, procedures, and employment rights to help them make the most of their experience.

It outlines the company’s expectations for employees, as well as the benefits and resources available to them. It also serves as a reference guide for employees to refer to when they have questions or need clarification on any of the company’s policies.


The 10 Best Employee Handbook Examples (2024)


What is a good employee handbook? ›

Handbooks should be easy to access and consistent because it's important for all employees to have the same information about the organization's policies. This can save your HR team from answering the same questions repeatedly. It also empowers employees to handle straightforward issues in the workplace on their own.

How to make an employee handbook more interesting? ›

Add relevant Content
  1. Your company's mission and vision.
  2. Details about your work culture.
  3. Perks and benefits provided to employees.
  4. Roles and responsibilities across hierarchies.
  5. Details about your company's policies, appraisals, and promotions.
  6. Information about learning and development programs and much more.
May 21, 2024

What laws should be included in an employee handbook? ›

Required Federal Policies
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy.
  • Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy.
  • Military Service Leave.
  • Jury Duty Leave.

What is the best welcome statement for an employee handbook? ›

Welcome to BUSINESS NAME! We are delighted to welcome you to our team and look forwards to working with you on a journey of growth, collaboration, and success. This Employee Handbook serves as your comprehensive guide, informing you about our company's rules, processes, and expectations.

What not to put in an employee handbook? ›

Company procedures, work processes, and job descriptions should not be included so that you will not need to update the entire handbook each time one of these changes. It is a best practice to outline these in your separate operations manual.

How do you make a handbook look professional? ›

Professional language: Maintain a professional tone throughout the handbook. Avoid jargon and use crisp sentences for easy understanding. Appropriate visuals: Include simple icons, charts, or infographics to break up text and visually represent key information.

How long should an employee handbook be? ›

Generally, employee handbooks are 10–50 pages, with an average of around 20 pages. It should be long enough to feel informative without going into too much detail. Using clear, concise language helps keep the page count down, while ensuring the handbook is fully read and understood by everyone at your company.

What is a better name for an employee handbook? ›

Some possible alternatives for an employee handbook include Employee Guide, Employee Manual, Employee Handbook Toolkit, Employee Playbook, and Employee Policy Guide.

Which of the following would not be placed in an employee handbook? ›

The handbook typically includes policies such as vacation time, sick leave, dress codes, workplace behavior expectations, and other important rules and regulations that employees are expected to follow. However, it is not customary for a company to include salary information for each employee in the company handbook.

What are the standard sections of an employee handbook? ›

The standard sections of an employee handbook include Preface, Company Profile, Orientation & First Day, Health & Safety, Classifications & Schedules, Compensation & Benefits, Leave, Performance, Appropriate Use, Conduct & Company Policy, Discipline & Termination, Glossary, and Agreement.

How do I end an employee handbook? ›

How to end an employee handbook? Always add an acknowledgment receipt at the end of your document. This is an important part of the employee handbook that should not be overlooked. Employees signing the document means they understand the contents — providing you with invaluable protection if ever needed.

How long is a typical employee handbook? ›

Remember to always make sure your policies are clear and don't assume that everyone will read their handbook cover to cover. Try to keep your handbook to a maximum of 30 to 40 pages, if possible. If it's too long, it may not get the attention it deserves.

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