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How to Create An Employee Handbook? (A Complete Guide with Examples 2024)

To run a company like a finely-tuned machine, it’s essential to ensure that all the components (teams and individuals) approach and complete their duties responsibly. An employee handbook can serve as a comprehensive guide to outline an organization’s policies, procedures, and expectations for its employees.

Creating an employee handbook is an excellent way to effectively communicate your company’s values, culture, and the rules that govern the workplace. At most large corporations, employee handbooks are instrumental in onboarding new hires, and the same benefits can be extended to any business. 

Whether you are in the manufacturing industry or retail, an employee handbook can provide much-needed clarity, consistency, and a structured framework for employees to navigate their roles within the organization.

Let’s find out what’s involved in creating an employee handbook.

Table of Contents

What is an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is a document that contains abstract information about the workplace that every employee must know. A handbook typically covers various topics, including company policies, codes of conduct, benefits, and procedures.

Creating an employee handbook aims to provide workers with a reference resource to understand their rights and responsibilities, ensuring uniformity and compliance in applying policies across the organization.

Creating an employee handbook template involves clearly defining expectations and guidelines, which contribute to creating a positive work environment. It also fosters transparency and helps mitigate potential conflicts.

Creating an employee handbook becomes crucial for businesses with large numbers of blue-collar workers to establish a solid foundation for organizational success.

What is included in the employee handbook policy?

This template will be your reference point if you need to know what must be included in the employee handbook. Below, we shared policies to have when creating an employee handbook template.

1. Employment basics

The employment basics section of the employee handbook provides employees with a comprehensive understanding of their contractual relationship with the organization. It includes:

(A) Employment contract types

The employee handbook should elaborate on the types of employment contracts available within the organization. This section clarifies the terms of different types of employment, such as full-time, part-time, temporary, and contractual arrangements.

By outlining these distinctions, you can provide employees with a better understanding of their specific employment status and the associated rights and responsibilities.

(B) Recruitment & selection process

Transparency in the hiring process is mandatory, and this section of the handbook details the procedures followed during the recruitment and selection process. It covers aspects such as job postings, application procedures, interview protocols, and the criteria for candidate selection.

Information about recruitment and selection procedures is included in the employee handbook because it helps build employee trust, ensuring fair and unbiased hiring.

(C) Attendance

Another critical component of employment basics is the attendance policy. The employee handbook should provide clear and concise information regarding punctuality, working hours, breaks, and leave policies. Clear guidelines on attendance policy promote a disciplined work environment and help manage work schedules effectively.

You can use Truein as the ultimate time and attendance management solution. It is a cloud-based, hardware-less attendance software with robust scheduling and time-off management features. It also allows policy management.

Irrespective of what tools and resources you use for attendance tracking, include information about them in the handbook to enhance the accessibility of information for employees.

2. Workplace policies

Next are the workplace policies that provide relevant information about maintaining confidentiality and upholding data protection standards. Including these policies in the employee handbook underscores an organization’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy work environment.

These policies should be regularly updated to align with evolving legal and industry standards. Here’s what workplace policies you should include when creating an employee handbook.

(A) Confidentiality & data protection

These policies provide the scope of handling confidential information and data protection. This section informs employees about safeguarding sensitive company information, client data, and proprietary knowledge. It can include comprehensive data access, sharing, and storage guidelines that ensure compliance with privacy regulations.

(B) Workplace safety and health

Irrespective of your industry, your employee handbook must include guidelines about workplace safety and health policies. These policies are integral for maintaining a secure and healthy work environment.

Here, you elaborate on the safety protocols, emergency procedures, and guidelines for accident reporting. This section can also include information on ergonomics, protective equipment uses, and adherence to health and safety regulations.

By including workplace safety and health policies in the employee handbook; organizations can reduce workplace accidents and promote overall employee satisfaction.

3. Code of conduct

The employee handbook should include the code of conduct information to promote a harmonious and professional workplace culture. It provides a starting point for employees to know the expected behavior at work.

(A) Dress code

The dress code policy outlines what attire is expected of employees. You can define the acceptable clothing and grooming standards in this section. The dress code policy sets the tone for a respectful and appropriate work environment by detailing whether employees should dress in formal, business casual, or industry-specific attire.

(B) Cybersecurity and digital services

Digital transformation of organizations makes it mandatory that the employees accessing company technology, including computers, networks, and digital services, handle them responsibly.

This section can be used to educate employees on cybersecurity best practices, data protection measures, and the potential consequences of unauthorized access.

(C) Conflict of interest

The conflict-of-interest policy discusses preventing situations where an employee’s interests may interfere with their professional duties. Issues of conflict of interest can include financial interests, outside employment, or workplace relationships. By proactively addressing potential conflicts, organizations can enforce transparency and integrity in the workplace.

(D) Employee relationships and fraternization

This section of the code of conduct of the employee handbook sets clear boundaries and expectations regarding personal relationships between employees within the organization. It is necessary to include this section in the employee handbook to avoid unnecessary disruptions and promote a culture of respect and professionalism.

(E) Employment of relatives

The employment of relatives policy provides guidelines for hiring and supervising family members within the same organization. It addresses favoritism and perceived bias to maintain a fair and equitable work environment.

4. Compensation and training & development

Information about compensation and training & development policies provides employees with a reliable source for understanding their compensation packages, the performance evaluation process, and the professional growth opportunities.

When creating an employee handbook, include detailed information about these aspects to motivate employees to excel.

(A) Compensation status and payroll

This section in the employee handbook discusses the organization’s compensation structure, including details on salary, benefits, bonuses, and any other forms of remuneration. It is one of the most important sections to focus on when creating an employee handbook. 

Companies should detail payroll processes such as payment schedules, deductions, and relevant tax information. By transparently communicating compensation details, companies promote trust and ensure employees understand their total compensation package.

(B) Performance management

Performance management policies address how employee performance is assessed and evaluated. This employee handbook section includes details on performance appraisals, goal-setting, and feedback mechanisms. The information included here is a reference guide for managers and employees to navigate the performance management process effectively.

(C) Employee training and development

Organizations that offer training and development programs for upskilling should outline the available training programs, opportunities for skill enhancement, and the process for requesting and participating in training initiatives in this section.

Including training and development initiatives in the employee handbook encourages employees to participate actively in their development.

5. Benefits and perks

Benefits and perks act as self-promotion to retain talent and attract prospective employees. The employee handbook, including the following information, ensures employees are well-informed about the support and perks available.

(A) Employee health

Here, details of the organization’s health benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, are detailed for employees. This employee handbook section should outline the enrollment process, coverage periods, and any associated costs or employee contributions.

Organizations should include all the information on wellness programs, preventive care, and resources available to promote employee health and well-being. When employees are well informed about health policies, they can make informed decisions regarding their healthcare.

(B) Workers' compensation

All organizations should provide employees with information on coverage for work-related injuries or illnesses. It is essential for industries like construction, manufacturing, and mining, where the risk of workplace injuries is high.

This employee handbook section should outline the procedures for reporting incidents, filing claims, and accessing medical care. The comprehensive workers’ compensation section demonstrates the employer’s commitment to the safety and welfare of their employees.

(C) Work from home

If your organization offers remote work opportunities, then policies around such work arrangements should be enlisted in the employee handbook. It may include eligibility criteria, expectations for remote work, communication protocols, and any technology requirements.

The prevalence of work-from-home arrangements requires organizations to provide a reliable source of guidelines for maintaining productivity and accountability.

(D) Employee expenses

All the policies and procedures related to employee expenses, such as reimbursement processes, eligible expenses, and documentation requirements, are included in this section. It provides employees with clear guidelines on submitting expense reports, what expenses are covered, and the timelines for reimbursement.

6. PTO & vacation

Paid time off or PTO and vacation time are different for different employees and depend on their roles, seniority, and time with the organization. An employee handbook can be a good reference point to communicate the organization’s policies regarding working hours, paid time off, holidays, sick leave, and parental leave.

(A) Working hours and paid time off (PTO)

Here, you give employees a detailed account of the organization’s stance regarding working hours and paid time off. It includes details such as standard working hours, breaks, and the accrual and utilization of paid time off.

Organizations can use Truein to track work hours accurately. By offering features such as mobile-based clock-in, GPS and geofencing, and self-service scheduling options for employees, Truein can significantly streamline time and attendance tracking. It also facilitates the PTO request and approval process.

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(B) Holidays

This employee handbook section enumerates the holidays recognized by the organization so employees know when they are eligible for holidays. It also outlines the criteria for holiday eligibility, compensation for working on holidays, and any special procedures related to holiday scheduling.

Holiday policies can also be used to make employees aware of the days designated for rest and celebration.

(C) Sick leave

Here, you elaborate on the organization’s policies on sick leave. The information includes eligibility, notification procedures, and documentation requirements. It may also address the provision of paid or unpaid sick leave so that employees can request paid sick time off to recover without undue financial strain.

A clear sick leave policy is essential to ensure the overall well-being of the workforce. It also helps in preventing the spread of illnesses within the workplace.

(D) Parental leave

The parental leave policy outlines the policies and procedures for requesting leave to welcome a new child into their family. This includes maternity, paternity, and adoption leave, detailing the duration, eligibility criteria, and procedures for requesting parental leave.

7. Non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy

Creating an employee handbook section emphasizing non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies highlights an organization’s commitment to fostering a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

These policies are essential for creating an inclusive workforce where all employees are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or other protected status.

(A) Non-discrimination

The non-discrimination policy explicitly states the organization’s stance against discriminatory practices. Here, you can outline the principles of equal employment opportunity, fair treatment, and the prohibition of discrimination.

All aspects of employment, including recruitment, compensation, hiring, promotion, and termination, are included in the non-discrimination policy.

(B) Anti-harassment

The anti-harassment policy addresses unwanted behaviors, such as verbal, physical, or visual harassment. It defines harassment, provides examples, and outlines procedures for reporting incidents to ensure the work environment is not hostile for any employee.

8. Employee resignation and termination

Employee resignation and termination are an integral part of workforce management. An employee handbook should address the employees’ expectations and procedures associated with these processes.

To set clear guidelines that facilitate an orderly exit for departing employees and help the organization manage workforce transitions professionally and legally compliantly, include these sections.

(A) Resignation

The resignation policy outlines the procedures employees should follow when submitting their resignation. It communicates the entire process, including details on the notice period, the preferred method of notification, and any exit interview processes.

(B) Termination

This section explains the circumstances under which an employee may be terminated and the procedures involved in the termination process. Here, details such as reasons for termination, the notice period (if applicable), and the return of company property can be included.

It’s essential to have clear information about termination to provide transparency on the termination process and mitigate the risk of legal complications.

(C) References

The references policy provides information on how an organization handles references for employees who are terminated. For instance, the organization can deny them references if someone is terminated.

9. Disclosures

The disclosures section of the employee handbook covers essential legal and regulatory information regarding how the information included in the handbook should be utilized. This may include statements such as the information in the employee handbook, which may only address some employment situations or serve as a contract with the organization.

10. Acknowledgment of receipts

The acknowledgment of receipts is a crucial component that confirms employees have received, read, and understood the contents of the employee handbook. Here, employees are typically required to sign and date the acknowledgment, indicating their agreement to comply with the policies outlined in the handbook.

Why do you need an employee handbook?

A comprehensive employee handbook can be a multifaceted tool rather than just a document. It is pivotal in welcoming, guiding, and protecting employees and the organization by ensuring legal compliance.

1. A welcome for new employees

An employee handbook provides a great way to warmly welcome new hires and provide them with all the information that will serve them well during the whole employment period. When onboarding new employees, filling in about the company’s culture, values, and expectations becomes much easier through a handbook. 

It helps new employees understand company policies on various aspects, answer any questions, and help them navigate the organizational landscape. All of these benefits help them quickly integrate into the workplace. This initial orientation through the handbook sets a positive tone for the employee’s onboarding experience.

2. Legal compliance

An employee handbook is a critical tool for ensuring legal compliance within the workplace. The best way to encourage employees to comply with the organization’s legal framework is to ensure that they know the policies and procedures. 

The employee handbook outlines company policies and procedures in alignment with employment laws, industry regulations, and other legal requirements. This helps employees and employers adhere to labor laws, anti-discrimination statutes, and other relevant regulations by clearly communicating what is expected.

This proactive approach minimizes the risk of legal disputes and establishes a foundation for a legally sound and ethical work environment.

3. Conflict mitigation

The handbook is essential to workforce management because it offers clear guidelines for employee conduct. It is a preemptive measure for addressing and mitigating employee conflicts by clearly outlining workplace rules, expectations, and consequences. 

An employee handbook should set policies and guidelines regarding behavior, performance expectations, and dispute-resolution procedures. It helps employees to act proactively such that there are no conflicts.

The handbook fosters a harmonious work environment by providing employees with a reference point for understanding their rights and responsibilities.

4. Other benefits

The handbook ensures consistent application of policies across all employees, promoting fairness and equity.

Having policies documented in the handbook can decrease the risk of employee complaints and protect the organization from legal risks and liabilities.

It is a central communication tool for employees to access important information about benefits, procedures, and organizational policies.

The handbook empowers employees by informing them of their rights, benefits, and avenues for professional development.

Creating an employee handbook template

Here is an employee handbook template to help you structure the content. Please note that you should customize this template to suit your organization’s needs, industry, and local laws.

[Your Company Name] Employee Handbook

Table of Contents

1. Welcome Message

Write a brief introduction of the company culture and values.

2. Company Overview

Here, the company’s brief history, mission, and vision should be included.

3. Employment Basics

(A) Employment Contract Types

(B) Recruitment & Selection Process

(C) Attendance

4. Workplace Policies

(A) Confidentiality & Data Protection

(B) Workplace Safety and Health

5. Code of Conduct

(A) Dress Code

(B) Cybersecurity and Digital Services

(C) Conflict of Interest

(D) Employee Relationships and Fraternization

(E) Employment of Relatives

6. Compensation and Training & Development

(A) Compensation Status and Payroll

(B) Performance Management

(C) Employee Training and Development

7. Benefits and Perks

(A) Employee Health

(B) Workers’ Compensation

(C) Work from Home

(D) Employee Expenses

8. PTO & Vacation

(A) Working Hours and Paid Time Off (PTO)

(B) Holidays

(C) Sick Leave

(D) Parental Leave

9. Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment Policy

(A) Non-discrimination

(B) Anti-harassment

10. Employee Resignation and Termination

(A) Resignation

(B) Termination

(C) References

11. Disclosures

All the legal and regulatory information specific to the organization should be included here.

12. Acknowledgment of Receipts

Employee sign-off confirming receipt, understanding, and agreement to comply with the handbook.


Thank you for taking the time to review [Your Company Name] ‘s Employee Handbook. This handbook guides employees and the organization, clarifying our policies and expectations. It is subject to updates, and employees will be notified of any changes.

[Your Company Logo]

[Date of Last Update]

Where can you get a template to design an employee handbook?

An employee handbook is a creative avenue, and you can use online tools to create an employee handbook online. We recommend Venngage for handbook creation. It is an online document designing tool that offers premade templates to create various human resource documents like the employee handbook.

One of the benefits of using highly versatile tools like Venngage or Canva is that they allow the creation of an employee handbook template that you can easily customize for various applications.

These tools also allow you to collaborate with other members, such as HR managers and the legal team, who can collaborate and approve handbook content to ensure it’s accurate and correct.

When you create an employee handbook online, you can use pre-designed templates that make the handbook look much more professional.

When to distribute your employee handbook?

As important as creating an employee handbook, choosing the right time to distribute the handbook is also critical. The two key moments when organizations should distribute the handbook are:

1. During onboarding

This is when new hires join the company. It is the most appropriate time to provide employees with the employee handbook on the first day of employment or as part of the orientation process. Giving employees the handbook early makes it possible to set expectations immediately and provides essential information about company policies and procedures.

2. Upon policy updates

Another moment to share the employee handbook is when significant updates or changes occur. The revised version should be promptly distributed to ensure compliance.

Ensure existing employees know the changes and provide them with the updated handbook. Depending on the company’s practice, this can be done through digital communication or in print.

Furthermore, organizations should arrange to provide employees access to the handbook whenever they need clarification or information. For this purpose, organizations can make it digital, such as an intranet or an employee portal.

3 Employee handbook samples

1. Walmart

This Walmart employee handbook is one of the best examples of a creative, comprehensive, and encouraging employee handbook. It explains the various policies and guidelines of working at Walmart in simple terms and is generously designed with many graphical elements.

2. Marbury Construction Company

Marbury employee handbook is quite popular in the HR circle for its one-of-a-kind policies on work hours, compensation and paid time off. It delineates Marbury’s culture and values that drive innovation at work.

3. Samsung Electronics

Samsung employee handbook is a detailed document that communicates what the culture at the company is like. The handbook contains all the information employees need to know about Samsung.


Creating an employee handbook is crucial to ensure that new hires and existing employees know the organization’s policies about their employment.

It serves as the document that lets employees feel welcomed at the new workplace and provides them a reference point to turn to whenever they have questions about legal compliance, conflict mitigation, and beyond.


1. How long should an employee handbook be?

There is no standard length for an employee handbook. Depending on the size and complexity of the organization, it can be several hundred pages too. However, it’s essential to keep it concise and focused and ensure it covers all the important policies and procedures.

2. What should be avoided when creating an employee handbook?

Any complex legal language or jargon-filled content should be avoided. Clarity and simplicity are essential to ensure employees can easily comprehend the policies.

Employee handbook content should be regularly reviewed and updated to avoid providing information that may become obsolete.

A one-size-fits-all approach should be avoided when using a pre-designed employee handbook template, and it should be tailored to your organization’s unique culture, industry, and policies.

3. How often should you update an employee handbook?

The employee handbook should be reviewed and updated annually and whenever significant changes in laws, regulations, or company policies occur.

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