The 5 Best Employee Handbook Examples & What Makes Them So Special?

Many companies invest thousands of dollars into developing a desirable culture.

From the benefits on offer to the workspace where teams collaborate, every detail plays a role in creating a place where people want to work. However, there is often one vital cultural tool that goes unutilized for many organizations the employee handbook. Every company has one (or they should at least!), but most don t use them to their full potential. Instead of painting a picture of the company culture, many employee handbooks simply lay out general rules, dull guidelines, and stiff policies. So how do you make the shift from a less-than-inspiring handbook everyone reads (they sign off on it, at least), to one that tells the real story behind your brand? As you’ll see from the examples in this article, the answer is to make reading the employee handbook an engaging experience, not just a must-do.  

What to Avoid in Your Employee Handbook

One of the biggest hurdles companies face with their employee handbook is engagement. Generally, new employees will skim through sections and read the areas that are important or interesting to them, or that pertain to their position. This means that certain key points items like the intellectual property section for instance, or other important procedures. If you’re looking for some examples of exceptional employee handbooks, check out this list of top 10 handbooks updated for 2022 to see what makes them so special. These handbooks have been praised for their clarity, ease of use, and comprehensive coverage of important topics. might be skipped over altogether. To help prevent your employees from skipping any pages, try to avoid:

Long sentences

Large blocks of text

Numerous consecutive pages without a visual feature

Small font

Technical jargon


What Makes an Employee Handbook Engaging?

You may be asking yourself, As an employer, you may be wondering how to make your employee handbook more engaging. Upgrading your employee handbook now can provide four key benefits for your company. These include improving clarity, reducing legal issues, establishing company culture, and ensuring consistency across all employees. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-written and easy-to-understand employee handbook in promoting a positive work environment. Great question! It s not necessarily as hard as you might think it would be, and there are many ways to approach it. Here are just a few ideas you can try that have worked for some clients of AirMason:  

Include visuals and brand colors throughout to make the handbook easier to digest

Utilize a conversational tone throughout to draw the reader in

Go the extra mile to explain why specific rules are in place

Highlight items such as company values and the mission statement as it relates to workplace culture

Capture what it is like to work at your organization with employee testimonials

  Let s see how other companies are putting the ideas above into action with their employee handbooks.  

5 Examples to Inspire Your Employee Handbook


1. Uber (Built with AirMason)

The Uber employee handbook delivers a unique experience for new employees, thanks to the AirMason platform. Not only does the document focus on topics beyond general rules, like diversity & inclusion and social impact, but it also uses a tone that connects with readers. It s evident after the first couple of pages that the company has a goal for its employee handbook: to push its core values. Focusing on diversity in the workplace and growth opportunities gives readers a great idea of what to expect within the coming months. Visuals are included in the handbook to break up topics and to keep new team members attention where it needs to be. Videos welcome drivers to the company and set the precedent for what is to come as a new member of the Uber family.  

2. Patagonia (Built with AirMason)

The aim of the Patagonia employee handbook is clear to new employees the moment they begin reading. Culture is a part of everything the company does. Throughout the document, new teammates are introduced to the company s core values and mission statement to Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. These guiding values are carried throughout the document and set the expectations by which all employees are to act. The conversational tone is used well to help team members connect personally with the company.  

3. Netflix (Built with AirMason)

With the help of AirMason, Netflix has transformed its employee handbook into a hugely welcoming, upbeat experience for new team members. Branded as part manifesto, part employee handbook, the Netflix Employee Culture Guide instantly gives readers a view of what the business is truly all about, beyond what they do; it s about who they are. The 30+ slide presentation uses short sentences and paragraphs to make complex topics easy to understand. The conversational writing style also makes it easier to digest slides with heavier legalese and difficult-to-navigate topics like confidentiality. The employee handbook also features pictures and graphics from current employees that outline what to expect when working at Netflix.  

4. Zappos Employee Handbook

Regarded as one of the best places to work globally, Zappos has done an excellent job showcasing its culture through its employee handbook. The Zappos employee handbook, often referred to as the culture book, is full of pictures, quotes, and testimonials provided by current and former employees. By focusing on their team members, Zappos can connect with new workers through the employee handbook. Looking for some inspiration on creating your own employee handbook? Check out these employee handbooks for management of companies and enterprises companies and see what makes them so special. Another thing that makes the Zappos culture book stand out is the way rules and guidelines are presented. Instead of a traditional bullet-point format, the company has found exciting ways to get its core values across, including the famous Comic Book edition.  

5. Motley Fool Employee Handbook

The Motley Fool employee handbook, better known as The Fool Rules, is an excellent example of using concise writing to engage readers. Make sure your employee handbook covers these 3 essential things such as short, concise writing and features links that expand upon topics. This allows readers to quickly move through the document and learn more about specific topics if interested. The Fool Rules also helps the Motley Fool culture shine through. The pages include items such as:

Staff photos

Maps of the offices


A glossary to help new hires learn the company vocabulary


Create an Employee Handbook Your Team Will Enjoy with AirMason

Creating an employee handbook that showcases your culture while addressing all the necessary topics and remaining engaging can be difficult. AirMason makes the process a little easier by letting you create stunning digital handbooks, manuals, and other online documents, with the easy-to-use editor. There’s also no need to worry about hosting the document either – the team has it covered, even using a custom domain of your choice to ensure a fully branded experience for your employees.

Schedule your free demo today and see how AirMason can help your company tell its story with a beautiful digital employee handbook.

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