Your company is unique. Why shouldn’t your Employee Handbook be?

Many companies are retooling their Employee Handbooks to delight and inform their current, and often prospective, employees. Because Employee Handbooks are evolving to encompass company culture, your Handbook ought to jibe with your workplace feel.

A Handbook that is properly designed and executed will hone into your company’s ethics, emotions and logic. The new Employee Handbook is a company culture delivery wagon. These days, employees don’t mind reading the Handbook, in fact, they’ve started embracing it, as long as your Handbook includes one or more of the following:

Digital or interactive format
Visually Pleasing
Emotionally engaging
Anecdotal/ Personal
Narratively accessible

Handbooks are no longer intra-office paperweights taking up drawer space. Many Handbooks are being redubbed “Culture Books” and are no longer marketed to only current employees. Prospective employees can now access many Handbooks online and dial into the company culture before beginning the job application process.

Not just a list of company demands, your Handbook is also an inside look at what your company can offer its employees. Think beyond standard benefits packages. Perks are a great way to ramp up in your Handbook. A few sought-after company perks include:

A great Holiday Party
Catering/Snacks
A softball/dodgeball team
Supportive of continuing education

Don’t overlook the look of your handbook. Many companies are passing on the binders, plastic presentation covers, and hole-punched or spiral-bound floppy copies of drabness, instead opting to have copies hardbound or otherwise aesthetically assembled.

Increasingly, employers such as Zappos, whose Culture Book has gone viral, have discovered that hiring an employee whose personality matches your company’s culture outside of work is obviously more likely to be a better fit than someone who wears one face on the job and another off the clock.

This mindset has led to an uptick in companies who use their Handbooks to cover more than legalese. In fact, some companies have begun to relegate legal liability documents to other sets of employee paperwork, freeing up the Handbook (or “Culture Book”) to inspire current employees while recruiting new ones.