Netflix: Redefining HR

Netflix is among one of the most popular websites in the world. People of all ages go to the site to watch TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc. Statista provided some details on just how well Netflix really is doing and they weren’t surprising. There are over 70 million Netflix subscribers in the world, with 26 million being outside of the United States. With the convenience of laptops and now smartphones, Netflix viewers can watch their favorite show with just a click of a button.

With the success of Netflix, employees hold themselves to standards in which they can strive in. The culture is something unlike most companies. They specifically have seven aspects to their culture, which are: value, high performance, freedom & responsibility, context not control, highly aligned loosely coupled, pay top of market, and promotions & development (Hastings, 2009).

 

netflix-split

The seven aspects of culture that they hold themselves to all hold each other accountable day in and day out of what they expect from each other. The first one mentioned, value, is very important because it truly shows what the employees and company stand for. To be so successful Netflix knows how they have to treat their employees but also how they need to be their best for others. The trust between each other is very high throughout the company. An example that really stood out to me was that those who work for Netflix (with a few exceptions) are able to pick their vacation time, including how long they want to be off for. They are trusted to be responsible enough to choose wisely and not take advantage of the system. They even encouraged senior leaders to take vacations and let people know about them. They said they were the role models to others throughout the company. Another example is that the employees who travel do not have an expense policy. They did away with travel agencies and instead let the employees take care of their own accommodations. Leaders told their employees that the new policy was to “Act in Netflix’s best interest” (Hastings, 2009). If the behaviors and responsibilities are clear cut, then their won’t be any questions as to what is expected of employees.

In comparison to organizations I have been apart of, Netflix compares a lot to my university soccer team. Most organizations I have been apart of don’t have that much responsibility and leeway as Netflix does. They didn’t have much trust in the other members involved and it wasn’t very organized. My soccer team has a different way of viewing things, which is much like Netflix’s culture. We put a lot of trust in each other to know what is right and what is wrong. On and off the field. On the field, there are so many things that can go wrong but we put faith into our teammates to know that they will do whats right. Off the field, the responsibilities are endless but we know that each and every one of us can handle it. I truly love being apart of something that is so important and special. Knowing people are trussing in you and counting on you to succeed can get nerve raking but succeeding and showing them your abilities is very rewarding as a whole.

I, personally, feel I would be a more effective worker in Netflix’s culture. This is because I already have experience in that style of culture. I also have experience in the opposite style culture and I know that is not what I want out of an organization. Many people may not agree with how Netflix runs its company, and that’s perfectly fine because it is a different approach than what most people are probably used to. Knowing people are counting on me and putting their trust in me to do what I know to be right can be hard and stressful at points, but in the end it is very rewarding when there is success throughout the entire organization and I know that I was able to provide some type of input to that specific success.

Not all people would be fit to work in the culture that Netflix provides. Much like the company Google, there are people who love working for them and those who feel that they run the company completely wrong. It shows Netflix’s true colors the way they handled having to let go some of their best employees due to change in technology. What stood out most to me though, was how those employees who got laid off reacted. They understood and were respectful towards Netflix, showing they respected them and their decision, even though it didn’t benefit that specific employee. Overall, I came to the conclusion that I would enjoy working for a company like Netflix. They give a lot of leeway but only because they trust their employees to be respectful and responsible of the company.

References:

Hastings, R. (2009, August 1). Culture. Retrieved October 5, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664/8-At_Netflix_we_particularly_value

McCord, P. (2016, January 27). How Netflix Reinvented HR. Retrieved October 05, 2016, from https://hbr.org/2014/01/how-netflix-reinvented-hr

Irvine, V. (2016). Topic: Netflix. Retrieved October 06, 2016, from https://www.statista.com/topics/842/netflix/

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