Since Netflix first released its company culture slidedeck in 2009, it’s been synonymous with the notion that employees should be treated as ‘whole adults’: competent people who excel when given freedom and responsibility.
In celebration of the recently released update to their manifesto, take a leaf – or five – out of their rulebook.
1. Greatness beats gimmicks
Silicon Valley is known for lavish perks, from nap pods to improv classes. Netflix goes against the grain, believing that good work is more than sushi lunches: it’s ‘a dream team in pursuit of ambitious common goals’.
Thus, their main perk is that they only hire the best. In the words of one of their engineers: ‘I’d rather work alone than with subpar performers’
2. Be ready to let go
Employees who don’t live up to expectations shouldn’t be corralled with rules and performance improvement plans. They simply shouldn’t be hired, and if they are, they should be let go – with a generous severance package to soften the blow.
3. Unlimited holidays, parental leave and expenses
In a team of A-players, adult like behaviour is expected and received. Thus, Netflix’s expense policy is five words long: ‘Act in Netflix’s best interests’.
4. Judge values by behaviours
Fashionable company values like ‘passion’ are easier to measure and reward when defined by specific behaviours. For example, showing integrity at Netflix means ‘you only say things about fellow employees that you say to their face’.
5. Be curious about difference
Ignoring differences such as race and gender can seem like a simple way to promote inclusion. However, we all have unconscious biases – encourage employees to notice and point them out.
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