It sounds so civilized, yet my worry would be that people end up not taking enough time off due to a combination of peer pressure and indifference. In my experience I've found there are a set of people who always struggle to use up a given vacation allowance, and in a situation where there is no allowance I could see the natural behaviour of these people creating pressure on those who enjoy taking time off to take a lot less.
I knew this was something special when it started out with an example of Enron's corporate values. Too many companies have corporate values printed on little cards, back of pamphlets or even "chiseled on the marble on the main lobby."
I think about two thirds the slides stressed on hiring the best talent possible, having high performers and keeping high performers. I have to agree. One of the most important things you can do, especially at a smaller company, is hire well.
One thing that is lacking is a reference to motivation. Compensating people well is important, but you also need a sense of impact and growth. See Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (a little out dated but a great place to start):
I'd say pay is at the lower levels. At the higher levels:
-People need to feel appreciated (part of that is well compensated).
-People need to feel like they are making a difference. (Your job adds value)
-People need to like they're growing. It's not just about getting Sr. added to your job title but actually your learning something and self-actualizing.
Not all companies are like that, and that's why working at Netflix takes a bit of a mindset re-org.
I think the work place is one place of many where you can grow and prove yourself. It's a great place to learn new things, test your theories and be creative. A company should nurture that.
I put away a start-up idea to work there. It was worth it.
Good - A few days after I joined I decided I wanted a much bigger monitor and several gigs more ram. After hemming and hawing for a day trying to figure out how to justify it to my manager, I just asked. My manager said there was no reason to ask him, just file a ticket. No approval needed. This is true for anything I need (hardware, software, cell phone...).
Bad - Within my first week, I noticed three "good bye" emails, none of which were voluntary.
Great - I have free access to one of the largest sets of voluntary enjoyment decision data and lots of big machines. ML paradise.
Great - All of my coworkers are amazing. It's really satisfying to not be the smartest guy in the room.
Great - All of my coworkers are amazing. It's really satisfying to not be the smartest guy in the room."
You might want to reconsider the "bad" label on your first line item, because I suspect it's strongly correlated with the "great" label on your second one.
(This is a bit of a troll, because I do appreciate the drive to do the very best you can at whatever task you've set yourself. And the deck certainly reflects well on the company's ethics and overall cluefulness. It just strikes me as overkill -- competing with dumbass companies like Blockbuster shouldn't be that hard, should it?)
It should also be pointed out that they do value and tackle hard problems. The Netflix prize is the most public example of this. One million dollars for a 10% improvement in movie recommendations. The battle has been fought and won in the hundredths of percentages points. http://www.netflixprize.com/leaderboard
edit: added more context to what I meant by the "online market"
Context vs. Control.
"constant ass holes" equates to "jerks". How does the "brilliant" part come in to play?
"The problem is, not all these people are really jerks. Some just don't like being told what to do."
This interpretation makes sense. I've seen this happen in large companies. "He is brilliant and very good at his job, BUT he doesn't take orders (blindly)".
Orders are not given at netflix. I choose the project I want to work on. Hence my comment "Context vs. Control", it's taken right out of the presentation.
No mention is made of why they feel the need to offer severance when they're shedding an underperformer, but maybe they want to make it a less negative event. Maybe the strategy is to try and avoid distracting or upsetting the high performers by having underachievers leave on good terms (this could explain the "goodbye" emails).
I find this to be revealing of the culture this document is trying to express : the focus on the people. I don't think you can find that in many workplaces.
I don't know if I've ever been so impressed by a corporate document.
Their Jobs page quotes Godfather: "I will make an offer he can't refuse"
One thing that stood out for me in that document was their analysis of how company growth forces the reduction of creativity in the workforce by the implementation of rigid processes.
Even more impressive is their solution to avoiding this problem: Just keep hiring more talented people.
Dear Netflix: can you please open software development offices in NJ or NY? Please?
I think Yahoo found the bizarro world version of this.
To paraphrase: "I pledge my allegiance to the Borg and will always give of myself and care for it above all else including my own needs."
Sounds like a factory to me. You guys who vote me down are just so very delusional about the information economy's greatness. LOL.
Well, yeah, it pretty much does, if the company actually follows the personnel-retention guidelines in that slide deck. Your work at such a company is graded on a curve, whether you like it or not, and if you don't outperform your peers, you end up looking "only adequate." Meanwhile, your peers are talented twenty-something kids who cheerfully work 60-hour weeks, and you're not going to be able to keep up for long since there's going to be (again, presumably, under the stated guidelines) fresh meat coming in all the time.
As my other comment to elq pointed out, this seems a bit OTT for a company whose mission is, at the end of the day, to mail out a bunch of DVDs without screwing up too much. It's more like selling sugar water than changing the world, and I'm not sure I see the point in killing yourself for it.
I'd say the average employee age skews towards 35+. No young whipper-snappers here! Except for a few :) Most everyone seems to have a family they need to take care of, which means leaving early some days.
Mailing out DVDs is big business! You have no idea how important Netflix is to people's happiness. I think that's closer to changing the world than most other companies. Just do a search of Netflix on twitter and you'll see what I mean.
As a longtime customer, I do indeed. :-P Pretty damn reliable service, actually.
The last Netflix error I experienced was when you sent me a fourth disc for some reason. An advanced AI would have recognized that He's Just Not That Into You doesn't go well with Park Chan-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy. /grumble
Personally I've found, and read research to the effect, that the difference between skilled/knowledgeable coders can be up to 10x in efficiency. If you're a talented older guy with a family and such, then you should've put in the 60-hour work weeks when you were twenty-something, such that your knowledge and talent at your current age means you don't need to work 60 hours to accomplish the same goals.
If you weren't a talented twenty-something, and didn't work your butt off, then you're most likely not a talented forty-something, and thus won't fit in the Netflix firm anyway.
Makes me wish they were hiring in a city where I wanted to live.