Creating an employee handbook is a must for any business.
It serves as a reference point for both employers and employees, helping to ensure everyone understands their rights, responsibilities, and expectations in the workplace. An effective employee handbook should be comprehensive yet concise and should cover topics like acceptable behavior, safety procedures, compensation guidelines, and leave policies.
While these documents are a critical part of running a business, it can be hard to know what they should include, and how to get started. Luckily for you, we’ve already done all the heavy lifting.
In this post, we will discuss what an employee handbook template is, and what makes a good one. Then, we’ll share our 10 favorite employee handbook templates, so you can jump right into making your own.
- What is an Employee Handbook Template?
- What Makes a Good Employee Handbook Template?
- 10 Employee Handbook Templates
- 1. ClickUp Employee Handbook Template
- 2. ClickUp Advanced Employee Handbook Template
- 3. ClickUp Employee Handbook & Policy Template
- 4. ClickUp Employee Manual Template
- 5. ClickUp HR Handbook Template
- 6. ClickUp Operating Agreement Template
- 7. ClickUp Policy Memo Template
- 8. ClickUp Company Culture Template
- 9. ClickUp Employee Daily Activity Report
- 10. Microsoft Employee Handbook Template from TemplateLab
- How to Write Employee Handbooks
- Sections to Include in an Employee Handbook
What is an Employee Handbook Template?
Before we talk templates, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with what an employee handbook is.
Employee handbooks are documents that communicate critical information to employees about the organization’s policies and procedures, as well as their rights and responsibilities within the workplace.
They serve as guides for all staff to understand their job role and comply with company regulations, covering topics such as organizational structure, standard operating procedures, code of conduct, time off, sick leave, and other employee benefits, disciplinary procedures, and more.
An effective employee handbook is essential for creating a healthy and productive workplace, as it helps to define expectations, foster trust between employees and their employers, provide clarity on roles and responsibilities, build a culture of respect, and ensure compliance with relevant laws. Employees should be made aware of the contents of the handbook early in their employment to ensure that they understand the company’s policies and procedures, and any changes should be communicated promptly to avoid confusion.
With a comprehensive and up-to-date employee handbook, businesses can ensure that their employees feel informed and respected while they work together to achieve success.
Creating your employee handbook using a template is the easiest way to get started.
Templates are simply pre-made roadmaps that outline for you what your employee handbook should include. A template typically has sections such as organizational structure, performance management, compensation plans, benefits policy, safety protocols, and disciplinary procedure. Additionally, it can be customized to include information specific to each business, such as its mission and values, customer service guidelines, and diversity initiatives.
What Makes a Good Employee Handbook Template?
A good employee handbook template is one that is comprehensive, easy to understand and aligns with your company culture and values. Here are some key characteristics of a good template:
- Detailed: A good template should consider every section that’s critical to include in an employee handbook. You can always take out sections that don’t apply to youR business, but it’s better to have a template that is too detailed than one that’s missing important information.
- Customizable: A good employee handbook template should be customizable, allowing you to add or remove policies based on your specific needs. It should also allow you to tailor the language and tone to align with your company culture and values and be easy to update to ensure it stays accurate and compliant.
- Accessible: A good handbook template should result in a finished product that’s easily accessible to all employees, both on company property and remote. It should be available in both print and digital formats, and should be easy to access and navigate.
- Consistent: A good template should be consistent in terms of formatting, design, language, and tone. This helps to ensure that all employees receive the same information and that there is no confusion or misunderstanding.
When deciding on a template, keep these considerations in mind. Ultimately, you want to choose the template that best suits your business and employees’ needs, in a format that works for your workforce.
10 Employee Handbook Templates
We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite employee handbook templates to help you create a comprehensive, well-written, and legally compliant handbook quickly and easily. These templates will save you effort and time while ensuring that your employees have all the information they need to succeed in their roles.
1. ClickUp Employee Handbook Template
Don’t make the mistake of putting together a boring handbook. It’s no secret that basic employee handbooks can be a snooze fest, and your new hires will quickly lose interest. Instead, our ClickUp’s Employee Handbook Template shows you how to infuse your handbook with personality and make it fun using graphics, emojis, or even gifs.
This Employee Handbook Template Includes:
- 8 Sections of information, including the company story, the standard of conduct, communication policies, benefits and health insurance, team policies, office policies, compensation and performance review policies, and termination policies
A fully customizable digital layout that can be updated and added to at any time
Tips and suggestions on how to make your handbook more fun and engaging for employees to read.
Remember, an employee handbook is a great way to communicate important information and policies to your team members. So, take some time to make it unique and engaging, and your new recruits will thank you for it!
2. ClickUp Advanced Employee Handbook Template
Sometimes, a high-level employee handbook focused on just the biggest pieces of information doesn’t cut it. If your company needs a more comprehensive, one-stop-shop handbook, ClickUp’s Advanced Employee Handbook Template is for you.
This Employee Handbook Template Includes:
- A detailed getting started guide that defines each section and offers tips and resources on gathering and writing the information
11 Sections of information, including sections for onboarding, culture, workplace policies (like dress code paid time off, and conflicts of interest), about your company, remote office policies, standard code of conduct, business practices, attendance policies, performance reviews, company perks, and offboarding procedures
This template is designed with the user experience in mind and provides just about everything a new employee could want (or need) to know about your company, from their first day to their last.
3. ClickUp Employee Handbook & Policy Template
If you need a more professional handbook that focuses mainly on your company’s employment policies, procedures, management structures, and code of conduct, consider ClickUp’s Employee Handbooks, Policies & Procedures Template.
This Employee Handbook Template Includes:
- 17 Sections of information, including a welcome note, an “our ideal team member” description, onboarding information, company culture section, dealing with questions, workplace policies, all about your company, remote office policy, how we work, attendance policy, emergency action plan, standard code of conduct, business practices, policies and procedures, performance reviews, company perks, and offboarding practices
- A customizable front cover so you can easily print or PDF the handbook
- A front-page dashboard that shows all subpages and gives you a place to assign owners and contributors to each section
This template is divided up into 4 main sections (All About, How We Work, Standard Code of Conduct, and Policies & Procedures) with subsections within each one to make sure no policies are missed.
4. ClickUp Employee Manual Template
If you’re starting a business but don’t have a company employee training guide yet, you need to create an employee manual. And this Employee Manual Template by ClickUp is the perfect place to start. Fill this template out to show your employees how to succeed and grow in their roles.
This Employee Manual Template Includes:
- A starter guide that explains what an employee manual is, why having one is beneficial, and how to use the ClickUp Employee Manual Template
- 2 main sections with 19 subsections including information about your company, details about the employee’s specific role, and policies and procedures like timekeeping, overtime eligibility, paydays, breaks, paycheck deductions, scheduling, benefits, holidays, vacation, disciplinary action, COVID restrictions, hygiene, and safety
- Notes, writing prompts, guide questions, and tips through each section to guide your manual creation and help you brainstorm what to write
Note that employee manuals and employee handbooks aren’t the same thing. While both documents provide important information for employees, an employee handbook covers general company policies and expectations, while an employee manual focuses on specific procedures and tasks for a particular role or department.
5. ClickUp HR Handbook Template
Some employee handbook templates might include a section for the HR handbook, but in certain situations, you may want to keep the two documents separate. In those cases, use ClickUp’s HR Handbook Template.
Human resources handbooks can take two forms. They’re either handbooks for the department, with team info, HR team goals, policies, procedures, and expectations, or their handbooks for all things HR that the whole company can reference.
The “all things HR” handbook is the type our template is designed to create. HR handbooks typically cover employment law, at-will employment, and equal employment opportunity information, compliance information like worker’s compensation, full-time vs part-time classification, anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies, and company-specific leave policies, like jury duty, PTO, bereavement leave, and the family medical leave act (FMLA).
This HR Handbook Template Includes:
- 3 main sections with 12 subsections covering the company’s mission and values, company information like history, services, structure, leadership, and culture, and HR policies related to onboarding and offboarding, workplace conduct, attendance, and company perks
There may be some overlap between your employee handbook and your HR handbooks, like your company information or core values sections. That’s ok! Reiterating that messaging in multiple documents keeps all your policies and messaging aligned.
6. ClickUp Operating Agreement Template
Beginning your own limited liability company (LLC)? You’ll need an operating agreement to comply with the law, and ClickUp’s Operating Agreement Template can help get you started.
An operating agreement is an important legal document that verifies a business’s organizational framework, ownership structure, member duties, standard operating procedures, and more. For business owners who operate as an LLC, this document is essential and required in most countries when establishing your company.
This Operating Agreement Template Includes:
- 11 sections of company information including organization information, definitions, capital and financing, net income and loss allocation, distributions, company expenses, member powers, and responsibilities, members’ interest assignment, records, audits, and reports, company dissolution and termination, and a miscellaneous section
- Legal language to comply with typical contracts in each section, giving you a baseline contract to work from
Note while this is a great template to get you started with your LLC’s operating agreement, anytime you’re using a document for legal purposes, you should consult with your business attorney before submitting it.
7. ClickUp Policy Memo Template
Being able to effectively communicate policy changes to your employees is vital to the success of your business. ClickUp’s Policy Memo Template helps you develop a consistent format and organization for policy memos to make sure everyone on your team stays informed and up-to-date with the latest changes.
This Policy Memo Template Includes:
- Intro guide explaining what a policy memo is, what makes an effective memo, and the sections your memo should include (ie, header, summary, background, recommendation, and call to action)
- Additional tips and resources to help you fill out the information in each section and learn more about crafting effective memos
Using this simple policy memo template helps ensure all your employees understand your company’s expectations and regulations.
Bonus: Check out 10 Free Memo Templates in Word and ClickUp
8. ClickUp Company Culture Template
Company culture is how your business and its staff act and behave.
It’s the way employees treat one another, the morals they value, and the decisions they make. If you’re looking to establish a strong company culture, ClickUp’s Company Culture Template can be a helpful tool. These pages provide guidance and inspiration to build your business identity.
This Company Culture Template Includes:
- 4 main sections with 12 subsections that detail who you are as a company (including history, team, awards, and press), your mission statement, values and brand promise, your company values and strategic imperatives, and the solutions and services you offer.
Use this template to help write the company culture section of your broader employee handbook, or leave it as its own standalone guide.
9. ClickUp Employee Daily Activity Report
Managing employee performance is a crucial aspect of running a company, and one way to stay on top of it is by keeping a daily activity report. That’s where ClickUp’s Employee Daily Activity Report Template comes in handy. It’s like a mini daily performance report for each of your team members.
This Employee Daily Activity Report Template includes:
- 3 main sections for employees to fill out daily, including accomplishments (completed projects and how much time each one took), ongoing activity (projects that are still in progress), and upcoming activities (priorities for the next days or week, plus any assistance you need)
10. Microsoft Employee Handbook Template from TemplateLab
While we’re partial to ClickUp’s wide array of employee handbook templates, we know that sometimes your organization requires you to use tools from a particular company or suite.
Microsoft users can use Template Lab’s Sample Employee Handbook Template to quickly design an employee handbook. This employee handbook outlines sections for policies related to topics such as technology, benefits, health insurance, and more.
How to Write Employee Handbooks
Now that you have several employee handbook templates to choose from, it’s time to start writing your own. But where do you even begin? Here are some tips and best practices for creating a comprehensive and effective employee handbook:
1. Start with the basics
The first step in writing an employee handbook is to gather all the necessary information about your company and its policies. This includes your company’s mission and values, organizational structure, employee benefits, health insurance, standard code of conduct, and important legal information. Make sure to consult with relevant departments (HR, legal, etc.) to ensure accuracy.
2. Follow a template
As we mentioned earlier, using an employee handbook template can save you time and effort while creating your own document. Templates provide a structure and organization for your handbook, making it easier to include all the necessary information.
3. Be clear and concise
Your employee handbook should be easy to read and understand for all employees. Use straightforward language and avoid jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to everyone. Additionally, keep each policy section short and to the point.
4. Include visuals and examples
Adding relevant images, charts, or tables can make your employee handbook more engaging and easier to process. Additionally, including real-life examples or scenarios can help employees better understand the policies and how they apply in different situations.
5. Keep it up-to-date
As your company grows and evolves, so should your employee handbook. Make sure to review and update your handbook regularly to ensure it reflects your current policies and procedures. This will also help avoid any potential legal issues.
6. Make it accessible
Your employee handbook is a resource for all employees, so make sure it’s easily accessible to them. Consider creating a digital version that can be accessed on company devices or through a secure online portal.
7. Consult with legal and HR professionals
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to have your employee handbook reviewed by relevant departments, particularly HR and legal. This will help ensure that all policies align with employment laws and regulations.
Sections to Include in an Employee Handbook
While each company may have specific policies and procedures unique to their organization, there are some common sections that should be included in every employee handbook. These include:
Your employee handbook should provide a comprehensive list of the company’s recognized holidays. It should specify whether or not employees are expected to work on these holidays and, if they do, what kind of compensation or time off in lieu they are entitled to.
Detail your company’s health insurance policy, including the extent of the coverage, the options available to employees, their contribution, and the process to claim benefits. This section should also explain how employees can add dependents, and the implications of any changes in their employment status on their benefits.
Outline your company’s policy on sick leave, including how many days are allowed, the process for calling in sick, and any documentation required. The policy should also address long-term illnesses and what support the company can provide in such instances. Mention any relevant laws or regulations governing sick leave, and clarify whether it is paid or unpaid.
Vacation and Time-Off
Explain your company’s policy on vacation and time-off, including how much annual leave employees are entitled to, the process for requesting time off, and any restrictions. You may also include information on other types of leaves such as bereavement leave or family medical leave.
Code of Conduct
This section sets the tone for workplace behavior and expectations. It should cover topics such as dress code, professionalism, anti-discrimination policies, conflict resolution procedures, and any other company-specific rules or regulations.
Explain your company’s performance review process and how employees can expect to receive feedback on their work. This section may also include information on promotions, salary increases, and bonuses.
While it may not be pleasant to think about, it’s important to outline your company’s policy on termination. This section should cover reasons for termination, the process for dismissal, and any relevant laws or regulations governing employee terminations.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
If your company handles sensitive information or proprietary data, you may want to include a non-disclosure agreement in your employee handbook. This legally binding document outlines the confidentiality expectations for employees and any consequences for breaking them.
Acknowledgment of Receipt
As a final step, have employees sign an acknowledgment of receipt to confirm that they have received and read the employee handbook. This can serve as proof that employees were aware of the policies outlined in the handbook in case of any disputes.
Information for Non Exempt Employees
If your company has non-exempt (hourly) employees, it’s important to inform employees on overtime policies, meal and rest breaks, and any other regulations that may apply to them. This will help ensure compliance with labor laws.
Optimize Your Employee Handbook Today
While creating an employee handbook may not be your favorite responsibility as a business owner or HR professional, having all your internal and company policies documented for your staff in a clear and detailed is critical for compliance. Using templates can make creating this document much easier – and maybe even fun, when you choose to use a ClickUp solution!
ClickUp is your one-stop shop for organizing your company documents, project plans, workflow processes, and, yes, even your employee handbook.
Our extensive template library can help you create, edit, and update nearly any kind of document you need–and our handbook templates add a bit of color to an otherwise dull task. Once you’re done creating your employee handbook, you can easily use ClickUp to share it with your team and update it as needed.
It’s free to get started with ClickUp, so give us a try today.