A company culture handbook is not the same as an employee handbook.

A company culture handbook goes beyond company policies and PTO. Unlike the employee handbook, which often ends up collecting dust in the back of a desk drawer somewhere, your company culture handbook should be something that employees are constantly interacting with and contributing to. It should fun, engaging, and have information that’s valuable to new hires and current employees alike.

Think of your company culture handbook as a living, breathing touchstone of your company’s culture – which, by the way, exists in your organization whether you’ve defined it or not. In a recent webinar on How to Measure Your CultureDNA™, culture expert Catherine Spence defined company culture as:

A social influence system that already operates within your organization. If you don’t manage your culture, this social influence system can actually undermine your ability to effectively execute business strategy.”

That’s why culture has been getting so much attention in boardrooms around the world. In order to manage your company culture, you first have to understand what your culture is now, and what you want it to be in the future. Writing a company culture handbook is the perfect opportunity to work through these important questions, and in the process, create a valuable document for your organization.

Here are five more benefits you’ll get out of writing a company culture handbook:

  1. Demonstrate your commitment to creating a strong company culture. 
  2. Clearly define your purpose (the reason your company exists), and the impact you want to have on the world. 
  3. Educate current and incoming employees—at scale!—about the way work gets done in your company. 
  4. Empower employees to make independent decisions that align with your business strategy.
  5. Capture your company’s unique culture, with values and traditions that are true to you (and not adopted just because they sound good)

Writing a company culture handbook that’s an authentic representation of your culture doesn’t happen overnight. To guide you in this process, check out 7 Steps to Writing a Culture Handbook.