Writing an Employee Handbook? Here is a curated list of the best handbooks (2019)

Want to gain knowledge on how to create the best workplace? Where employees would love to work and build a successful business. Well, Employee handbooks are designed to serve this purpose where both the employees as well as the employer gets benefited.

Before I would give you a list of the best employee handbooks, I will explain why it is significant to read employee handbooks and write one for your organization. Some people find it daunting to write an employee handbook, but I’m sure that this article will make you write one, as it is filled with a whole lot of benefits.

What does employee handbooks include?

  • Brief introduction about the company, its journey from the start to the present, core values, vision, and mission statement.
  • Details about the workplace culture
  • A comprehensive description of what is expected from the employees and what employees can expect from the management.
  • A clear statement of company policies and procedures.
    • Harassment (both sexual and other) and workplace violence policy
    • Leave policies, including both vacation and medical leave, compensation, work schedules, workplace safety, and security.
    • Non-Discrimination policy
    • Social Media Policy
    • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • A list of benefits the organization offers
  • States the legal obligation as an employer and rights as an employee.

All these help the employees to learn more about the company and avoid misunderstandings. Thus making the employees work productively and proactively. The employee handbooks act as a guide to the employees from the start of their journey in the company till the end.

Importantly for newly hired candidates, it provides with everything they need to know before getting started. Companies make the handbooks available online for the convenience of the employees. Saves time for the management, and also acts as a knowledge sharing resource.

Now here comes the list of best employee handbooks. This list will guide you through writing a proper handbook like what to include, how to make it unique, realistic and something that works for your company.

The Valve employee handbook

The valve employee handbook is a 56-page document which went viral receiving praise across a large extent of people and social media personas. It is one of the most shared handbooks in history.

  • Empathetic
  • Enjoyable to read
  • Amusing illustrations
  • Real useful examples
  • Prepares you for different situations proactively.

Valve employee handbook →

Disqus Culture Book

The Disqus’ Employee Handbook extensively contains two sections. The first half includes the official legal document, and the second half is all about the workplace culture. The culture book is a 25-page pdf which is available online.

  • Contains colorful images, memes and graphs.
  • The content used is easy to relate and fun.
  • Comprehendible Illustrations.

Disqus’ Employee Handbook →

HubSpot Culture Code

The HubSpot Culture Code is a part manifesto and part employee handbook in the form of a slideshow. There are 128 slides; each one provides information on being transparent.

  • Insightful
  • Keeps the reader engaged
  • Even boring topics are portrayed interestingly.
  • Goofy and playful culture aligns the employees with the company’s mission.

HubSpot Culture Code →

Zappos Culture Book

The Zappos Culture Book is released every year. The best one was the comic version. They used a superhero to explain different departments in the company. For policies, they used a storytelling theme where a Grandmother explains the policies to her grandson. They consider cultural fit so seriously, and that is depicted throughout the book.

  • Enjoyable to read
  • Photos of staffs
  • Quotes and testimonials

Zappos Culture Book →

The Netflix Culture Slides

Netflix’s employee handbook follows the slide presentation format. It consists of 129-slides, and each slide is limited to a couple of words and explains precisely the seven aspects of Netflix culture. It has a straightforward approach with a lot of examples to make employees understand completely.

  • Extensive and conversational
  • Blunt statements made more interesting by using playful humor.
  • Contains pictures and bullet points, making it easy and interesting to read.
  • It is inspiring to make things actionable.

Netflix’s employee handbook →

EF Education First

EF Education First’s Employee Manual is a colorfully animated handbook which is designed like a children book and follows a humble tone throughout the book. The CEO outlined this book in such a way that it is more interesting digestible and entertaining rather than imposing a corporate talk. They follow a culture where it is fun to work, and that’s how the handbook is also designed. The handbook explains the company’s values, expectations, and goals in a lively and light-hearted way.

  • Short with colorful, charming illustrations
  • Fun to read kind of handbook

EF Education First’s Employee Manual →


The Trello’s employee hanbook have used their platform to create their handbook. The employee guide mentioned the required aspects of the company culture, procedure for the new employees on the first day of joining, benefits, and other legal policies on the Trello board. Changes or updates made are also showed in the activity column. Trello handbook is one of the coolest employee handbooks of all times.

  • Creative
  • The easy and fastest way to read and understand

Trello’s employee hanbook →

Pronto Marketing

Prontomarketing employee handbook webpage is one of the best comprehensive employee handbooks. The handbook contains a modern table of contents with a list of topics on the left side. The material under each topic is brief and can be read easily. Timeline of the first day, expectations regarding paperwork, HR programs, and Company policies are explained.

  • Well presented
  • Easy to read

Prontomarketing employee handbook →


The Sterling culture code is mainly designed for new employees to make their on-boarding and first few weeks as easy as possible. The handbook is created on AirMason website. It starts with the message from the CEO and then explains the other details like goals, key policies, benefits, and all the additional required information. There are more space and color between each content, making it more convenient to read. The document also has iMessage chats to answer FAQ’s

  • Helps with queries
  • Follows a creative pattern

Sterling culture code →


The Zaarly Employee Handbook follows the old school employee handbook but still represents all the significant information in a fun and light-hearted way. They have used humor to portray company culture and have given a detailed description of the policies, rules, and organizational structure.

  • Thorough and comprehensive
  • Descriptive

Zaarly Employee Handbook →

Motley Fool

The Motley fool rules have concise content, bullet points, and referral links for reading further information. They have photos of staffs, videos, maps to locate office address, and glossaries. This online handbook compresses all the important data in 45-slides and adding a note about the changes that can take place in the rules.

  • Interactive
  • Comprehensive

The Motley fool rules →


The Nordstrom employee handbook states only one rule. They follow the approach of following one simple rule and framing the rest later.

“Use good judgment in all situations.”

The Nordstrom employee handbook →

Dollar General

Dollar General employee handbook is a perfect example of a well-done handbook. It is the best of comprehensive handbooks which accurately represents the information with fewer jokes and memes. The handbook has a search option, which makes employees to easily search and gather information on any topic they want to.

  • Informative
  • Handy to read and get information on required queries.

Dollar General employee handbook →


Facebook handbook contains bold and evocative sentences. They focus on how to put power to their traditional beliefs like “Slow and Steady wins the race” make a change from others and win in a big way.

  • Inspirational
  • Highly visual employee handbook.

Facebook handbook →

Thus you can create an interactive employee handbook for your company, which will help communicate better, educate your employees, complies with your company policies, and importantly make the workplace happier and work easier.

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