An employee manual should be inclusive of office culture, code of conduct, company’s mission and vision, job responsibilities, and policies.

Inspired by this list of handbook templates by AirMason, we picked 5 best employee policy manuals. What makes these employee handbooks top our list of best employee manuals is not only because they include all basic elements but are also unique, fun to read, and appealing to the reader. 

Let’s have a look at the top 5 examples of employee manuals for large businesses and refill your think tank. 

1. The Valve Employee Handbook

It would be a crime if the top position is not given to Valve for it is the most viral employee handbook in history. Valve’s 56-page employee manual leaked and went viral in 2012. Since then it is used widely around the world as an employee manual guru.

There were many reasons for receiving worldwide praise. The handbook was filled with funny illustrations to keep the reader amused throughout reading it. The manual also has an empathetic and cordial approach to it. It also guides an employee about his first day and concretely relates the policies to the company’s vision. 

2. Zappos Culture Book

If you are an office culture enthusiast, you have likely heard of Zappos before. Zappos’s famous policy of bribing their non-competent employees to leave voluntarily for thousands of dollars is no rumour. They have a strong office culture and to publish it, they design a new employee culture book every year. 

The most famous being the comic book version with superheroes on the cover. It made a buzz because of its creativity, unique approach, the use of storytelling techniques to convey their policies in a fun way, and many testimonials from their employees. The testimonials from employees were a highlight, who can better tell you about a company than its actual employees right? 

3. Hubspot Culture Code 

Thinking outside of the box and getting creative with your work can do you wonders. As HubSpot’s reputation suggests, they published their cultural code slide presentation in the form of an elegantly designed presentation on SlideShare to reveal their mission statement and values.

They made a 128-slide presentation with lots of appealing content (such as images, illustrations, and infographics) and reader-focused fonts and colours to keep their readers engaged. You’ll skim through the “boring” parts (like Intellectual Property Rights and Open-Door Policy) without even realizing that you’re reading policies.

As a result, it proved to be an effective way to spread their message across and get lots of new candidate applications.

4. Netflix Culture Code

Sometimes being straightforward and informative can be enough to get your employees on the same page. That was the case with Netflix. They made their “Freedom and Responsibility Culture Guide” in a professional, conversational, and informative way. Using colours to grab readers’ attention and playful humour to cover blunt statements worked well for them.

Eventually, their guide made its way to SlideShare in a 129-slide presentation form that covers seven aspects of Netflix’s culture. To make it easy-to-digest, they limited slides to pictures and fewer sentences. Also, to keep it relatable, they included lots of examples on the way. 

5. Disqus Culture Book

Disqus made its place in our list for its clever approach of dividing its employee handbook into two parts; a legal document and a culture book. The legal document makes sure all the legal checkboxes are checked while the culture book is a fun document filled with images, memes, graphs showing their growth over time, important locations in the office, and their famous and favourite phrases to talk about lighter topics.

The Disqus gets 100 points for a unique approach. The 25-page culture book is available online for you to take important notes from. 

One of the reasons why businesses fail is because of lack of vision and hence, lack of communication. To avoid making your business a failure, it is highly recommended that you have in writing your company’s vision, policies and culture whether you have a large or small business. It is a great tool to keep the employees organized and on the same page. 

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].