Employee Handbook Sample (With Steps To Create Your Own)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 20 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When an employee begins working at a company, they might receive a variety of documents, including an employee handbook. These resources contain lots of valuable information about the company's mission, regulations and payment structure. If you are an HR or management professional, you might create an employee handbook or update an existing one to ensure it has the most recent regulations and processes for the company's employees.

In this article, we explain why it is important to review an employee handbook sample, show you how to create one of these resources in six steps and share an employee handbook sample to guide you.

Why Is It Important To Review An Employee Handbook Sample?

Reading an employee handbook sample can help you create one of these resources for the employees of the company you support. HR professionals might find it helpful to learn what policies to include and what tone to use by looking at samples. This process allows them to create their own handbooks that teach employees how to act when representing the company. These documents are valuable training tools that HR teams might use to onboard new employees.

Related: What Is The Onboarding Process In HR? (With Benefits)

How To Create An Employee Handbook

Here are six steps you can take to create an employee handbook for a company:

1. Identify the procedures and regulations to include

The first step in creating this resource is to determine the company's most important rules and processes. Consider meeting with the company's leadership team to get suggestions from each manager about content to include. While individual departments might have their own handbooks with department-specific processes, employee handbooks typically focus on the regulations that affect all employees at the company. If two or more managers suggest a certain topic, then it might be worth including in this resource. You might also talk to the onboarding team in the HR department because they introduce new employees to the company.

While the topics in each company's employee handbook might depend on the industry and the company's size, many of these resources include the following topics:

  • Mission statement

  • Organisational structure

  • Dress code

  • Employee conduct

  • Payment information

  • Benefits details

  • Time off and overtime processes

  • Contact information for HR department

  • Conflict resolution process

Related: What Is Organisational Culture?

2. Summarise the company's values or mission statement

The employee handbook can be an effective place to state the company's overall mission or its key values, because every employee receives a copy of this resource. They can refer to it as they work to ensure that their messages to customers reflect the company's mission statement. You might find a copy of the company's mission statement and a list of key values on the company's website, but you can also ask the HR department or leadership team for this information. Consider including the mission statement at the very beginning of the employee handbook so new employees can learn it.

If the company does not have a mission statement, you might ask the leadership team to draft an introduction to the handbook that summarises the organisation's objectives and values. The CEO or COO might write a letter to employees that you can include at the beginning of the handbook. This content can help new employees learn about the company's culture and any key priorities that the leadership team holds. It can also connect employees to the management team and ensure that everyone in the company understands the purpose of their work, increasing workplace satisfaction.

Related: Values, Mission And Vision Statements: Definition And Aim

3. Add any legal disclaimers or employment terms

Some industries have strict legal regulations that govern employment. For example, employees at hospitals might follow information security laws that prohibit sharing patient details with unauthorised individuals. If the company follows any policies that might cause termination if violated, include them at the beginning of the handbook. For example, a hospital might have an automatic termination policy for certain behaviours. Stating these after the introduction ensures that new employees read them and understand the terms of their employment. You might ask the company's legal team or HR department head to help you draft this section.

This might also be an effective place to describe the company's termination policy. Some rule violations might cause immediate termination, but the company might also have a warning system for other violations. For example, a coffee shop's handbook might state that an employee who misses three shifts without communicating with their supervisor might be subject to termination. Including this information in the handbook ensures employees know the rules and protects the company from legal liability.

Related: What Are Disciplinary Actions? (And Why They Are Necessary)

4. Create a section for each topic

Next, make a separate section for each process or rule that the management team asked you to include in the resource. Consider using headings or putting each section on a new page. That way, employees can use a table of contents to find the information they need. Within each section, explain the topic as succinctly as possible and provide examples. For example, if the company has a dress code, you might list articles of clothing that fit the dress code. You can also list any penalties the employee might face if they violate rules.

You might use paragraphs or bullet points to explain each topic in the manual. For some sections, you might also incorporate visual aids to help your readers understand certain processes or concepts. If you include a section where you describe the company's organisational structure, a diagram might help you show how certain departments relate to each other.

Related: What Is Data Presentation? (Definition, Types And How-To)

5. Create a table of contents

A table of contents tells your readers where they can find each topic. While a new employee might read the handbook from the beginning to the end, more established employees might use it as a reference guide, where they look for answers to specific questions in the relevant sections. If you are creating an online version of the guide, consider using internal links so your readers can click on an entry in the table of contents and go directly to the desired section.

On the table of contents, you can also list the date that you created the guide and the last update you made. Because the handbook reflects the company's policies, it might change as the company grows or changes its focus. For example, while a company might start with a strict dress code for all employees, the dress code might become more casual as the company adopts a hybrid or remote format. As a company grows, the organisational structure of the firm might change to fit the new size.

Related: How To Make A Hyperlink (With Steps, Tips And Benefits)

6. Ask for feedback

Asking the management team to read the handbook and give you feedback can help ensure that the resource contains all the information employees need in their jobs. Managers can also help you improve your language, especially the language concerning penalties and termination, as they may have more experience in these areas. After they provide comments, you can revise the resource and publish it on the company's wiki or intranet.

Related: 20 Examples Of Feedback In The Workplace (With Examples)

Employee Handbook Sample

Here is an employee handbook sample you can use as you draft your own, with numbered sections:

1. Mission statement

Delhi's Best Catering Company is dedicated to providing private and corporate clients with delicious food and excellent service for all special events. We use only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients and prioritise strong communication and customer service.

2. Employment terms

Employees are subject to the terms of their initial employment contract and may face termination if they violate the clauses. Also, employees who miss two or more events without proper authorisation are subject to termination. For other offences, including dress code violations, an employee's supervisor has discretion regarding penalties.

3. Organisational structure

The company has a three-tiered organisational structure. Front-line employees, including servers, cooks and customer service specialists, report to the managers of their departments. These managers report to the senior directors. All employees have access to the human resources department, which operates outside the organisational structure.

4. Dress code

Upon signing their contract, new servers and cooks receive three uniforms, consisting of blue shirt and trousers. Cooks also receive two hats and aprons. These employees are to wear their uniforms whenever they represent the company at an event or in the corporate headquarters. Customer service and management employees follow a business casual dress code. Open-toed shoes, sleeveless shirts and shorts are prohibited.

5. Code of conduct

When representing Delhi's Best Catering Company, employees are subject to a code of conduct. Under this code, they are to communicate politely with customers and colleagues, avoid profanity and respond promptly to clients and supervisors. If employees feel that they are unable to comply with the code, they can contact human resources to discuss the situation.

6. Payment and benefits

Hourly employees, like cooks and servers, receive their payment weekly through direct deposit and are not eligible for additional benefits. Salaried employees, like managers and client services representatives, receive a direct deposit payment every two weeks, on or near the 1st and 15th of each month. They may become eligible for additional benefits after six months with the company. For more information, contact the HR department.

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