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10 Employee handbook examples: creating a comprehensive guide for your business


April 27, 2023



Employee Handbook Examples - SC Training (formerly EdApp)

An employee handbook is an essential document that outlines the rules and policies of a company. It helps employees understand what’s expected of them and what benefits they’re entitled to. In this article, we’ll explore employee handbook examples and offer tips on what to include in your sample employee handbook for small business.

1. Introduction

The introduction of an employee handbook should begin with a warm welcome to the company. It’s important to equip employees with a brief overview of the handbook, explaining its purpose and significance.

Employee Handbook Examples - Introduction

This section can also be used to introduce the company's mission and values, giving employees a better understanding of the culture and what the company stands for. You can also include some quick need-to-know for new hires, such as safety training for new hires. Additionally, the employee's employment status should be clarified in the introduction, along with an overview of the benefits and responsibilities that come with that status.

Finally, the introduction should include an acknowledgment section asking employees to sign a page to confirm that they have received and read the handbook.

Create your employee handbook with SC Training (formerly EdApp) today.

2. Employment Policies

The employment policies section of an employee training manual is crucial as it outlines the expectations of both the employee and the employer in (and sometimes outside of the workplace. This usually makes up the bulk of an employee handbook since it should contain detailed guidelines and leave nothing vague or abstract.

Employee Handbook Examples - Employment Policies

It should include details about the employment relationship, such as the employment-at-will policy and the terms and conditions of employment. This section needs to contain information about the hiring process, including job postings, interviews, and background checks.

Offering some guidance on the use of company resources, such as email and internet usage policies, can guarantee that employees are aware of the appropriate use of company resources. A great training module template to include here would be SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Safety in the Workplace course since it gives your employees all they need to know about safety awareness and precautions.

Finally, it should cover the standards of conduct that employees are expected to adhere to, including discrimination and harassment policies, as well as disciplinary procedures and consequences.

3. Code of Conduct and Ethics

Code of Conduct and Ethics describes the company's expectations for employee behavior and establishes ethical standards. This section should identify and explain the company's values, mission, and principles as they relate to employee behavior in detail.

Employee Handbook Examples - Code of Conduct and Ethics

Unlike the introduction, this section should be as detailed as possible to clarify prohibited behavior and offer clear direction on anticipated behavior, including ethical and legal responsibilities. It should also define the mechanism for reporting any infractions of the code of conduct and ethics, including the proper reporting channels and safeguards against repercussions for reporting.

If you’re looking for a sample code of conduct and ethics, check out SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s microlearning course to find out how you can craft your own.

4. Benefits

An employee handbook's Benefits section should contain a complete description of the company's benefits, including health insurance, retirement programs, vacation and sick leave policies, and any other benefits offered to workers. This section should have details on eligibility requirements, enrollment procedures, and any charges connected with each benefit.

Employee Handbook Examples - Benefits

It also needs to describe how each benefit program operates, as well as any limits or limitations that may apply. Specify how any changes to benefits will be notified to employees. This is so they won’t get thrown off in case there are any changes with third-party benefit partners.

5. Time Off Policies

A company's time off rules, including vacations, sick leaves, personal days, and holidays, should be outlined in the Time Off Policies section of a sample employee handbook in PDF. It should state the number of days off available for each type of leave as well as the procedure for claiming time off.

Employee Handbook Examples - Time Off Policies

It must address any limits or limitations that may apply, such as blackout days or minimum staffing levels. This section should also clarify how time off is accrued or earned, as well as any laws governing the carrying over of unused time off from year to year. By doing this, employees can better understand their rights and duties when it comes to taking time off.

6. Performance Expectations

Performance reviews are a staple of any organization’s success. But your employees can only go so far without fully knowing what’s expected of them. That’s why one of the company policy examples you should include in your company’s performance expectations. 

Employee Handbook Examples - Performance Expectations

This section should ideally have the quality of work expected, the specific tasks and duties associated with the different jobs, and any deadlines or quotas that must be met. It’s highly recommended to also add your company's performance evaluation process, including how often evaluations will be conducted and the criteria that will be used to evaluate employee performance.

7. Safety Policies

When it comes to keeping your employees safe at work, the Safety Policies section of your employee handbook is your go-to. This section should give you a rundown of what the company expects of you in terms of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

Employee Handbook Examples - Safety Policies

You can expect to find information about potential hazards in the workplace and how to steer clear of them - think about proper handling of equipment and chemicals, wearing protective gear, and keeping your work area clean and organized.

8. Technology and Security

Having a Technology and Security section tells your employees all about how to use company-owned technology, like computers, smartphones, and other devices. They’ll learn all about data security, and how to keep sensitive information safe from hackers and other threats. Plus, it'll tell them what to do if there's a data breach, so they’ll know how to handle it themselves.

Employee Handbook Examples - Technology and Security

This section will also talk about how to use company email and other communication channels, like social media and instant messaging platforms. It'll list what's okay and what's not okay, so they can use these tools without getting into trouble. 

9. Conflict Resolution

What should your employees do when they have disagreements with someone? Or have they witnessed someone being treated unfairly at work? It's not always easy to know what to do in those situations, but that's where the Conflict Resolution section comes in!

Employee Handbook Examples - Conflict Resolution

This section gives clear guidelines on how to handle workplace conflicts, including who to talk to and what information to offer. Plus, it outlines the company's policies on bullying, harassment, and discrimination, so they know what behavior is not tolerated in the workplace. By following these guidelines, you can trust that the company will take appropriate action to resolve the conflict and create a more positive work environment for everyone.

10. Acknowledgement

While it's the last section in your handbook, the acknowledgment section is as crucial as any other part we've listed above. It confirms that the employee has received and read the handbook, understands its policies and procedures, and agrees to follow them.

Employee Handbook Examples - Acknowledgement

This section must underline the significance of thoroughly reading and digesting the contents of the handbook. It should also clearly clarify the penalties for failing to follow its policies. To make this acknowledgment official, the employee must sign and date it, demonstrating their understanding and consent to follow the handbook's regulations. This part may also include a statement informing employees that breaking corporate policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

SC Training (formerly EdApp) is a handbook creator designed for today’s digital habits, delivering more engaging and effective micro-learning directly to learners anytime and anywhere.

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Stephanie Escuadro

Stephanie is an eLearning content writer for SC Training (formerly EdApp), a microlearning solution designed for today's digital habits. She creates content about cutting-edge learning technologies and resources to help companies deliver great training experiences. When not absorbed in writing, she spends her time taking care of her dog and binge-watching.

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