Employee Handbook Examples

There's no federal law that requires businesses to create and provide employee handbooks.

Each state has its own set of rules for what information must be relayed to employees, however, and an employee handbook is a perfect place to provide them.

Addressing policies such as harassment, anti-discrimination, and confidentiality is a must. The surest way to set you, your business, and your employees up for success is by providing an employee manual that adheres to company standards and best practices.

Keep reading to see some excellent employee handbook examples before you delve in and begin creating yours!

What Should a Company Handbook Include?

Think of your employee handbook as the set of building blocks for your company. What do you want to tell your employees about you and your organization? What practices do you want to ensure they don't forget?

Also, what is required of you by law? Let's take a look at some of the essential components of an employee manual.

The Basics

Every resourceful employee handbook comes with a table of contents and a clear and concise intro. Some other components of your intro and employee basics section should include information such as:

  • Equal opportunity employment
  • Employment contract types
  • Recruitment and selection process
  • Attendance

Attendance requirements, for example, vary from state to state. In this section, you must tell employees what to do if they can't come into work and how they should report their absence.

Code of Conduct

Even the most professional adults need to be reminded of behavioral standards. In your code of conduct, you'll outline company ethics, build trust, and provide a safe space for all your employees.

Here are some sections you might want to include in your code of conduct section:

  • Dress code
  • Digital devices and cybersecurity
  • Employment of relatives
  • Employee relationships
  • Conflict of interest
  • Workplace visitors
  • Solicitation

Compensation and Performance

How do you pay your employees, and how do you help them develop? In this section, you'll likely outline how you value your employees and how you encourage them to keep wanting to work for you.

It might include things like:

  • Performance management
  • Compensation status
  • Payroll
  • Employee training
  • Employee development

Perks and Benefits

More often than not, employees aren't even aware of the many benefits offered to them by their employers. Do you offer a gym stipend or reimbursement for continuing education?

The perks and benefits section is the perfect place to detail all the amazing perks of working for your business. This section should address topics such as:

  • Workers' compensation
  • Employee health
  • Work from home policies
  • Employee expenses
  • Company car
  • Parking
  • Any company-issued equipment or tools

Working Hours, Vacation, and PTO

Employees will refer back to this section more than most, as it helps them to understand how balancing work with life fits in with their new role.

Here are some things you'll want to address in this section:

  • Companywide working hours
  • PTO policy and the process involved
  • Holidays
  • Sick leave
  • Jury duty and voting
  • Bereavement leave
  • Parental leave

Regardless of how much an individual values their job, everyone wants to know when and how they'll have the time to focus on their life outside of work.

Employee Termination or Resignation

Employees should have a clear understanding of what happens when and if they leave their position and your company.

If there's a disciplinary process involved, here is where you'll address it. What's your progressive discipline process, and how do your managers handle it?

What are the conditions of severance pay should you terminate an employee? Lastly, will you provide references?


An employee handbook should not be a forgotten stack of paper that begins collecting dust immediately upon delivery. It should be an ever-changing and utilized valuable packet or PowerPoint of information. Take this opportunity to inform your employees of potential changes and updates in the future.

Make sure to end on a positive note, one that welcomes new employees to the team and demonstrates appreciation and excitement for their contribution!

Employee Handbook Examples

Your employee handbook doesn't have to be a drab stack of paper that no one ever looks through. It's entirely possible to present all of your company information, policies, and guidelines in a fun and accessible manner.

Let's take a look at a few excellent employee handbook examples.

The Netflix Employee Manual

The Netflix employee handbook comes in slide form. It's not daunting to read, and it's upbeat and empowering while still covering all the basics.

You can check it out here.

The Employee Handbook at Nordstrom

Every employee at Nordstrom knows that the company stands by 1 simple rule as the basis for all their company policies and culture. The rule is "Use good judgment," and you can take a look here.

Don't use this as an employee manual template, though. It's likely that you'll want to include much more in your handbook. However, the idea that it all starts with one simple rule or statement is an excellent way to build trust and accountability around your business.

The HubSpot Employee Handbook

This digital handbook is clear, well-designed, and both easy and fun to read. It's clear that they care about company culture and the treatment and appreciation of their employees.

The HubSpot manual is an excellent starting point to use as your employee handbook template.

Create an Employee Handbook That Reflects Your Company Culture

While there are some great employee handbook examples, what's essential is to create one that works best for you and your business.

What is your company proud of? What do you stand by? What do you want to make sure your employees know?

Keep your dialogue fresh and easy-to-read, while including all the necessary information and resources.

Make your daily business activities seamless, too, by signing up for a free trial to use our time tracking software. Do you have questions first? Contact us with any questions or concerns!


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