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THE A-Z GUIDE TO
BOOKS AND EMPLOYEE MANUALS
Culture is your company's
only truly sustainable
competitive advantage.
2Culture Decks NOBL
True Story:
Culture Can’t Be
⌘C, ⌘P’ed
3
What We Mean By That
Culture is the sum total of your individual behaviors, values,
attitudes...
While every deck is
different, most have:
1. A history of the company and its
plans for growth
2. A description of their p...
22squared Atlanta
Employee Handbook
This handbook has a clever premise: it was written by a
new employee, documenting thei...
360incentives Culture
Book
Instead of being a prescriptive manual, 360's Culture
Book serves as a yearbook, including fun ...
Acceleration Partners
Culture Deck
AP's Culture Deck is oriented towards recruiting new
team members, with a heavy emphasi...
Big Spaceship Manual
Big Spaceship's manual is upfront about its purpose: it
helps new employees understand how the team m...
CP+B Employee
Handbook
Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Employee Handbook is clear
about its expectations for employees: commit ...
DoSomething’s Culture
Book
DoSomething's culture book is largely geared towards
interns and potential employees, demonstra...
Disqus Culture Deck
Disqus spends the first part of its Culture Book
explaining its history, the product, and the company'...
Facebook Employee
Handbook
Ok, we couldn't find the whole document, but here are
some images from the mysterious Facebook ...
GiveForward Culture
Deck
Everyone talks about mission, vision, and values, but
GiveForward's Culture Deck explains the con...
Handy Culture Deck
In addition to practical do's and don'ts, home service
booking platform Handy provides a discount code ...
HubSpot Culture Code
As part of its commitment to transparency (and to recruit
great people)‚ HubSpot makes its cultural "...
Idea Couture’s Culture
Handbook
As befits a strategic innovation shop, IC's culture is
always adapting, but their culture ...
Memoria Visual
Memoria Visual uses a narrative approach (specifically,
an analogy of a mission to Pluto) to explain its pu...
Mindvalley Culture
In addition to an introduction to its company culture,
Mindvalley includes a "Code of Awesomeness" that...
The Motley Fool Rules
The Motley Fool's Interactive handbook incorporates
video (an increasing trend) and additional links...
NASA Safety Culture
Handbook
NASA's handbook is more cut-and-dry as befits a
government organization, but still covers imp...
Netflix Culture Deck
The Netflix Culture Deck was one of the first to be widely
shared, and now has well over 14 million v...
Nordstrom Employee
Handbook
Nordstrom's Handbook gets right to the point: there's
only one rule. This is page two of a two...
Paessler Culture Deck
Paessler's Culture Deck is minimal, but it makes an effort
to explain how they have arrived at each ...
Possible Culture Code
Possible's Culture Code breaks down its 11 values and
gives people clear examples so they understand...
Spotify Engineering
Culture
Who says an employee handbook has to be a book?
Spotify's video (the first of two parts) break...
Thoughtbot Playbook
Thoughbot's handbook is a "living document" that
employees can edit in GitHub. It's laid out in a clea...
Trello Employee Manual
Board
Trello created a kanban board to capture its policies,
making it easier to find the specific ...
Valve Handbook
One of the most comprehensive handbooks available,
Valve's explains "the choices you're going to be making
...
Whiteboard Culture Book
Whiteboard's culture book infuses information about
their work practices with their own personal s...
Zaarly Employee
Handbook
Zaarly puts a greater emphasis on internal
communication and structure, leaving values for last.
Zappos Culture Book
One of the most famous culture books; it includes
contributions from all its team members.
ZGM Employee
Handbook
ZGM's handbook lays out expectations for how the new
employee will interact with the rest of the tea...
Want to create your
own culture book?
Attend our Team
Design Bootcamp.
33Culture Decks NOBL
The next step
Get in touch:
heart@nobl.io
nobl.io
“Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.
For, indeed, that's al...
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The A to Z Guide to Culture Books and Employee Manuals

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Facebook, Netflix, Valve, and Zappos are famous for their culture manuals–documents which introduce team members (and potential employees) to their way of working. But every company, regardless of its size or stage, can benefit from a clear understanding of how their employees work together and the unique aspects of culture that set them apart. We've gathered over two dozen examples and called out helpful features.

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The A to Z Guide to Culture Books and Employee Manuals

  1. 1. THE A-Z GUIDE TO BOOKS AND EMPLOYEE MANUALS
  2. 2. Culture is your company's only truly sustainable competitive advantage. 2Culture Decks NOBL True Story:
  3. 3. Culture Can’t Be ⌘C, ⌘P’ed 3 What We Mean By That Culture is the sum total of your individual behaviors, values, attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. Culture is the most effective and defensible tool to win with both customers and employees. As a result, companies are openly sharing "culture decks" or employee handbooks to attract like-minded employees and customers. Culture Decks NOBL
  4. 4. While every deck is different, most have: 1. A history of the company and its plans for growth 2. A description of their products and/or business model 3. A look into how the company works, especially what sets it apart 4. A set of shared values and what those values demand from employees 4Culture Decks NOBL The Basics
  5. 5. 22squared Atlanta Employee Handbook This handbook has a clever premise: it was written by a new employee, documenting their first 22 days at the company, and functions as half-handbook, half-journal.
  6. 6. 360incentives Culture Book Instead of being a prescriptive manual, 360's Culture Book serves as a yearbook, including fun pictures from events of the past year and reflections of what the company's values mean to individuals. The book also serves as a great recruiting tool that supports their designation as the second best workplace in Canada in 2014.
  7. 7. Acceleration Partners Culture Deck AP's Culture Deck is oriented towards recruiting new team members, with a heavy emphasis on the benefits of working with the company, such as a stimulating working environment, flexible schedules, and continued learning opportunities. In addition, they give clear examples of how their values impact their daily activities, like using values as hiring and promotion criteria.
  8. 8. Big Spaceship Manual Big Spaceship's manual is upfront about its purpose: it helps new employees understand how the team makes decisions, not how to access an internal server. There's a heavy emphasis on being a human at work, and they even include a checklist of things newbies can do to integrate into the team faster.
  9. 9. CP+B Employee Handbook Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Employee Handbook is clear about its expectations for employees: commit to creating only the best advertising, and aid others when they need help. They also address the company's weaknesses, like meeting deadlines, and ask employees to help.
  10. 10. DoSomething’s Culture Book DoSomething's culture book is largely geared towards interns and potential employees, demonstrating how they can make a difference within the company. Several pages are dedicated to employees answering questions like "What's your favorite DS memory?" to "What tatoo would you get?".
  11. 11. Disqus Culture Deck Disqus spends the first part of its Culture Book explaining its history, the product, and the company's business model. The rest is dedicated to the work itself: how employees work, how to operate within the workspace, and "life," including time off and work-life balance.
  12. 12. Facebook Employee Handbook Ok, we couldn't find the whole document, but here are some images from the mysterious Facebook employee handbook, detailing the company's purpose and approach to work.
  13. 13. GiveForward Culture Deck Everyone talks about mission, vision, and values, but GiveForward's Culture Deck explains the connection between the three, and what they look like in practice. They also include a mantra—their "secret sauce"—and include video examples so people can see it in action.
  14. 14. Handy Culture Deck In addition to practical do's and don'ts, home service booking platform Handy provides a discount code for its services directly in its Culture Deck—a clear indication that these decks are powerful marketing tools as well as internal guides.
  15. 15. HubSpot Culture Code As part of its commitment to transparency (and to recruit great people)‚ HubSpot makes its cultural "operating system" available to all. To better attract and screen potential candidates, one section details the characteristics of a "Hubspotty" individual.
  16. 16. Idea Couture’s Culture Handbook As befits a strategic innovation shop, IC's culture is always adapting, but their culture guide maps out their values and what they expect their team to do (and what not to do!).
  17. 17. Memoria Visual Memoria Visual uses a narrative approach (specifically, an analogy of a mission to Pluto) to explain its purpose and ways of working.
  18. 18. Mindvalley Culture In addition to an introduction to its company culture, Mindvalley includes a "Code of Awesomeness" that summarizes their 10 most important values.
  19. 19. The Motley Fool Rules The Motley Fool's Interactive handbook incorporates video (an increasing trend) and additional links so employees can dig deeper into important topics.
  20. 20. NASA Safety Culture Handbook NASA's handbook is more cut-and-dry as befits a government organization, but still covers important topics like the "Lessons Learned System" and "Engaged Culture."
  21. 21. Netflix Culture Deck The Netflix Culture Deck was one of the first to be widely shared, and now has well over 14 million views. Despite its simple design, it's gone on to inspire many of the other decks seen here.
  22. 22. Nordstrom Employee Handbook Nordstrom's Handbook gets right to the point: there's only one rule. This is page two of a two page "document."
  23. 23. Paessler Culture Deck Paessler's Culture Deck is minimal, but it makes an effort to explain how they have arrived at each value.
  24. 24. Possible Culture Code Possible's Culture Code breaks down its 11 values and gives people clear examples so they understand what those values look like in practice.
  25. 25. Spotify Engineering Culture Who says an employee handbook has to be a book? Spotify's video (the first of two parts) breaks down their engineering culture and has a handy graphic that can be easily referred to.
  26. 26. Thoughtbot Playbook Thoughbot's handbook is a "living document" that employees can edit in GitHub. It's laid out in a clear, step-by-step manner, from the Design Sprint to Measuring, making it easy for anyone to understand the entire process. We love seeing a company put their culture deck not only online, but in a form that those inside and outside the company can iterate upon.
  27. 27. Trello Employee Manual Board Trello created a kanban board to capture its policies, making it easier to find the specific policy or topic the reader is interested in.
  28. 28. Valve Handbook One of the most comprehensive handbooks available, Valve's explains "the choices you're going to be making and how to think about them." This can be as high-level as their approach to serving clients, to the mundane, like moving a desk.
  29. 29. Whiteboard Culture Book Whiteboard's culture book infuses information about their work practices with their own personal style. It also includes resources like an office map and glossary of commonly used words like "wireframs."
  30. 30. Zaarly Employee Handbook Zaarly puts a greater emphasis on internal communication and structure, leaving values for last.
  31. 31. Zappos Culture Book One of the most famous culture books; it includes contributions from all its team members.
  32. 32. ZGM Employee Handbook ZGM's handbook lays out expectations for how the new employee will interact with the rest of the team and responsibilities to clients.
  33. 33. Want to create your own culture book? Attend our Team Design Bootcamp. 33Culture Decks NOBL The next step
  34. 34. Get in touch: heart@nobl.io nobl.io “Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead Culture Decks NOBL

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