The Best Employee Handbook We've Ever Seen

How to get everyone on the same page — literally.

The employee handbook — that turgid repository of performance review policies, dental plan contact numbers, and legal disclaimers — would seem to be the least likely source of inspiration imaginable for prospective employees and new hires. But when Valve Software realized that its ultra-flat corporate culture was befuddling new hires, it drafted its Handbook for New Employees, which not only clarified essential points but also became an overnight success, both as a blueprint for a team-based organizational structure and as a reminder that no form of communication has to be boring.

org chart example 

The handbook was put together over the course of a few months by a small team of veteran employees and graphic designers. Although Valve is a cutting-edge maker of video game software, the company published the handbook first as a print edition – and later made it available online as a downloadable PDF. The print edition was conceived “as if it were a trail guide – something you could throw in your backpack and refer to when you need to,” says handbook co-creator Greg Coomer, Valve’s eighth employee.

 valve employee handbook

Article provided by   © 2013 Mansueto Ventures LLC


On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being 'Not Good' and 5 being 'Excellent', how would you rate this article?

Press enter to submit your rating

Rate this Article

Use this form to provide additional feedback based on the rating you provided.

Thanks for Rating

Would you like to provide feedback?

Thanks for your feedback!

The information, views, opinions, and positions expressed by the author(s) and/or presented in the article are those of the author or individual who made the statement and do not necessarily reflect the policies, views, opinions, and positions of Regions. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented.

This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Information provided and statements made by employees of Regions should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.