3 Steps to Creating an Employee Handbook Manual That Your Employees Will Want to Read

creating an employee handbook

Are you building a brand-new business? Looking to create a new department or team of recent hires? If so, you need an employee handbook.

Creating an employee handbook is the easiest way to make sure everyone on your team is on the same page. This is their guide for everything from the dress code to how to ask for time off and how to handle work-related issues. The employee handbook lays out all the expectations of your team in detail.

As such, it’s often pretty boring for a new hire to go through. When you explain everything from safety protocols to payment processing to parking details, you tend to lose people somewhere along the way. Employee handbooks just don’t have an exciting, interesting feel to them.

At least, the old-school ones don’t.

Here’s how to make an employee handbook your team will actually want to read.

1. Make It Visually Engaging

The best way to display any kind of lengthy content is to break it up. Separate your employee handbook into as many sections as possible.

You don’t have to get overly descriptive or come up with a category for every little thing. But, you should be able to group certain things together based on subjects like Office Behavior, Payments, Confidentiality, and Culture and Values.

Think of these groupings as the table of contents. They make it easier for your employees to jump to a certain part of the handbook when they need to check something for reference. Not to mention, small sections are easier to read through than one large document, which means more people are likely to read the handbook in its entirety.

To make each section even stronger, consider color coordinating them or adding visuals. Place a few pictures and graphics here and there to keep ahold of the reader’s attention. If you’re printing the handbooks, make sure you opt for high-quality services.

2. Simplify What You’re Trying to Say

Think of the last time you saw a big stack of papers on your desk and thought, “wow, I can’t wait to dive into this.” Unless you were using sarcasm, it was probably never.

Your employees are the same way. They have more important things to do than read their way through pages and pages of onboarding information. They’re here to actually do the job you hired them for!

Make it easier for them to get to their actual duties by creating an employee handbook that is straight to the point. The more direct you are, the better.

3. Tell a Few Jokes

There’s being direct for the purpose of saving time, then there’s being too direct and coming off as boring. While you’re writing the handbook, add a few jokes here and there.

These will get your employees’ attention and remind them you’re here to have a little bit of fun just as much as there is serious work to be done. Jokes encourage employees to relax. While an employee handbook is no laughing matter, a few funny moments represent all sides of your business – the practical, and the people side of it, too.

The #1 Rule of Creating an Employee Handbook: Focus on the Culture

Whether you’re breaking down the payment schedule or using a play on words to tell a joke, always keep your company culture in mind. After all, this is the main purpose of having an employee handbook!

Creating an employee handbook allows you foster community. It makes each employee feel like they are an official part of the team, and gives them clear expectations to uphold. These go beyond individual roles and duties – the employee handbook puts everyone on an equal playing field and brings them together.

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Hackworth

In 1991, Hackworth opened its doors as a blue printer. More than 20 years later under the direction of Dorothy and Charlie Hackworth and their son Charles, the business is a full fledged technology and document solutions company.

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