From Good to Great: How to Elevate Employee Handbooks

Having an employee handbook is essential to minimizing risk and cultivating company culture.

So, think about what could happen with a truly great employee handbook? One that educates new hires, holds interest, sets expectations and engages employees. It could change the world! (Well, maybe not the world, but you get the idea.)

Take your employee handbooks from good to great with these simple suggestions.

A good handbook has policies that will help drive your organization’s mission, vision, and values, while at the same time minimizing risk by being compliant.

A truly great handbook has a mission, vision and set of values that resonate with your employees (and customers/prospects). According to this Forbes article, “Most people either don’t know their organization’s vision, don’t understand it or feel so disconnected from it that they can’t explain how it relates to their day job. The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way.” The article goes on to outline questions you can ask yourself to create a great vision statement.

A good handbook has your organizational chart and a letter from the company’s leader at the start of the handbook. The letter should be an overview of why the handbook exists, and what employees should expect from the company and vice versa. You should consider a brief About Us or Company History to help new employees learn more about the organization and its goals.

A truly great handbook has, instead of a letter, a video of your company’s leader addressing all of the above and your company mission, vision, and values. Hearing the importance of the handbook as well as the mission, vision, values, and history directly from the leader makes it more personal and authentic.

A good handbook is distributed to every employee; ensure each person signs an acknowledgment that they received one.

A truly great handbook is online so it’s really easy to update and distribute new versions; just send out an email with a link! Also, think about making it pretty. It sounds like a minor thing, but making the handbook more visually appealing will hold interest and increase engagement.

A good handbook is incorporated into new hire orientation.

A truly great handbook is reviewed at orientation and HR managers can use quizzes or games to engage employees. Hand out prizes like company pens or candy to those who answer correctly or ask good questions about company policies.

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