Breaking Down Netflix’s Culture Deck: A Step Towards Mutual Success
Company Culture–the phrase evokes images of working from the comfort of bean bags, sipping espresso, going out on office tours, and having an open atmosphere. Pool tables, pet-friendly offices, and gaming studios are often heard from the staff.
While corporate culture is framed to define a company’s values and make a difference in the employee retention process, ping-pong tables and perks are not what defines corporate culture.
If you think a healthy corporate culture emerges only with hard work and integrity, you need to think again. We recently stumbled upon Netflix’s legendary Corporate Culture Side and found how Netflix turned from a DVD shipping company to a leading streaming service provider.
We analyzed that Netflix’s approach to retaining first-principle thinkers helped the company climb the ladders to reach the top. The first principle of thinking is the idea of ensuring everything you do is underpinned by the foundation’s belief. But, how does it sound to let your employees shape your company’s culture?
There is a huge gap in how companies in Silicon Valley build their culture. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says, “a healthy culture emerges only when every employee, from CEO to the receptionist, observes the culture every day.”
The company’s culture and principles can change over time, but what remains constant is that your staff firmly believes in your culture. Here are some highlights of Netflix’s culture deck that you’ll be interested in or find food for your thoughts to move your business with a whole new approach.
Netflix Culture: Freedom + Responsibility
Displayed as a central metaphor in the recent document, “Freedom and Responsibility” opposed the culture of companies with value statements like integrity, communication, response, and excellence. The Chief Talent Officer at McCord said, “At Netflix, we believe in being honest and treating people like adults.”
Freedom and Responsibility—while these are not necessarily important, they pave a path to success, and that’s why Netflix is a pretty successful company today. “I think that giving your team the opportunity and the freedom to make decisions and accountability to deliver exceptional results (for the company and the customers) leads not to just success but also ensures a happy and highly motivated team,” McCord added.
At Netflix, the company opposes the pitchy mission statements. Instead, the Netflixians believe that “behavior and skills, the true company values, are colleagues’ values too.” After all, the company values the values. Here is how Netflix defines behavior and skills in employees.
Most often than not, companies build a culture for the sake of professionalism, which later, after two or three years, is found somewhere in the trash. What Netflix does is the inverse of this approach.
“At Netflix, we redefine our culture with a Collaborative Process with members of the management team,” McCord explained. “We do this at least once a year, sometimes twice. We stumble upon the slides and ask, ‘Is this still in work?’” she added.
There are good company cultures and bad company cultures, but Netflix preferred calling out winning company culture; built for and with the Netflixians. A corporate culture that focuses on employee satisfaction naturally brings lower turnover and improves company performance.
To build a strong culture, you don’t necessarily need to be a big company; remember, Netflix was once a startup in 1997, but its belief in designing a great workplace with stunning colleagues eventually fruited.
Here is what you must adopt from Netflix!
Do you think that the secret to attract and retain talent lies in perks & benefits? No, it doesn’t. Instead, it is about employee engagement, happiness, and developing a space for freedom & responsibility.
Does your company have a great corporate culture? Here are the quick signs to find your company has a great culture.
- You get lots of well-qualified job applicants
- You have an atmosphere of excellence
- You are clear about the company’s values
- You have partially low employee turnover
- You have a constructive conflict resolution policy
- You have minimal office politics but no backbiting at all
- You have a high level of trust in employees
- You periodically invest in training
- You receive high-quality employee referrals
- Your business has a solid financial performance
Rate your business on a scale of ten. What is your score? If it’s above 7, you have the potential to succeed. In his new book No Rules Rules, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting embraces Netflix’s success to the company’s unorthodox office culture, which primarily focuses on:
- Valuing Values
- High Performance
- First Principle Thinkers
- Freedom & Responsibility
- Context, Not Control
- Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled
- Paying Top Of The Market
- Promotion & Development
Companies often restrict employee freedom as they grow, which somehow leads to growth, but not exactly in a way that attracts top talent. So, you should focus on increasing employee freedom with your growth—that’s what leads to mutual success.
What’s It Really Like At Netflix And How It Should Inspire You?
Netflix firmly believes in hiring excellence, which is defined as self-motivating, self-improving, and having the potential to be a leader. As a thriving business, you might be interested in retaining employees with these attributes, but can you bring strong near-term outcomes for minimized employee turnaround? So, how would you ensure a thriving business?
What Netflix’s recent document suggests is, “having a culture of creativity, self-discipline, and freedom & responsibility is more effective than a culture of process adherence.” However, it mainly depends on the kind of process you are adhering to.
Talking about the promotion & development, which become necessary with the growth, there are three conditions for promotion discussed in Netflix’s culture deck.
- The job is big enough
- A person is a superstar in his current role
- A Person extraordinarily fits the culture and values of the organization
These factors must be taken into consideration when promoting an employee. Talking about staff development, most companies still believe in conducting development training, which was announced outdated a decade ago. High-performing employees are generally self-motivated through experience, observation, and discussion; that’s what Netflix’s Culture Deck explained.
There is a lot in Netflix’s “Corporate Culture” that thriving businesses can adopt to succeed and build a solid presence in the market.
Note* the plagiarised sentence has quoted official words.