Netflix’s Company Culture is Not for Everyone. That’s exactly how it should be.

Reed Hastings and Netflix are not the only culture-driven company to be criticised for their strong culture. Ray Dalio, co-chief investment officer and founder of Bridgewater Associates, which is the largest and most successful hedge fund in the world, took to publishing management team changes to address the fact that “our communications often find a way into the media’s distorted ways”. This article was published by the . A recent article Shalini RAMachandran and Joe Flint from The Wall Street Journal interviewed 70 former and current employees of Netflix. They highlighted the challenges that employees face in navigating the company’s culture, including transparency, accountability, and honesty. The “sunshining” practice encourages employees to share their mistakes with others, thereby encouraging transparency.

The Wall Street Journal could write about disgruntled employees of any Fortune 1000 company, but why chose Netflix? Netflix has a voluntary attrition rate between 3-4% and 8% over the past two years, which is close to the U.S. average at 6%. It’s easy to see the Netflix culture. It is well documented and shared publicly since 2009. It is clear that Hastings knows that company culture is the only competitive advantage he can control and has invested heavily in making it a key asset to the company. You can find details about the Netflix culture on the company careers webpage. The famous Netflix culture deck is still online. These documents, which are still available online, are very effective in distinguishing the company from other companies. They communicate exactly how the company operates, its values and the expectations of its employees, as well as what the company expects from them. Netflix is now easier to target because it communicates so openly.

Finding disgruntled employees within a company with over 6000 employees and 21 years of age wouldn’t prove difficult. Andrew Parker, a disgruntled employee who joined the company in 2016, and then left it voluntarily in August was one of them. The Wall Street Journal reports that Parker was anxious about starting at Netflix. He was scared by the company’s performance culture and the possibility of losing his job. “It was very much in our minds: How can I tell if I’m going to be fired?” These are the two questions that need to be answered: Why did Parker join Netflix?

Imagine yourself as a hypothetical software engineer looking to work for a top technology company. Your first child is gone, and you are looking for a stable job in a company with strong culture. You have many options. A recruiter from Netflix will reach out to you about a role as a lead engineer.

This role sounds interesting and would challenge you. It is a great opportunity to expand your career. Engineers need to know they will be challenged and exposed to cutting-edge technology. They also need to have the opportunity to grow, learn and reach their full potential.

You don’t need money to be successful, but you won’t work for peanuts. Netflix doesn’t care about money. The company pays the highest market salary and encourages employees to interview with other companies so they can compare their market rates. According to the recruiter, Netflix does not want you to feel unhappy at the company.

The recruiter continues to say that the company is doing well. In fact, the company’s growth has been phenomenal. Subscriber numbers have almost quadrupled since 2013, and the stock price has doubled in the past twelve months. Additionally, the company generates more revenue than Apple per employee. You will be joining Netflix and working for an Oscar-winning company that is at the forefront of entertainment technology.

The recruiter will give you a brief overview of the Netflix culture. It also sounds very different. He suggests you take a closer look at the job description, the career website, and the employee YouTube videos. If you are interested in seeing where the culture evolved from, you can view the original Netflix culture deck. In a few days, he will return to you to gauge your interest.

You can see that Netflix is very clear about its culture by looking at the links.

Netflix is unique because of how much we:

  1. Encourage employees to make independent decisions

  2. Information should be shared openly, widely, and intentionally

  3. They are extremely open with one another

  4. Keep only the most effective people

  5. Avoid rules

The company has a list of “Real Values” that explains what each value means to them.

Although many companies have value statements, these values are often vague and overlooked. Who gets rewarded and who is let go are the true values of a company. These are our true values, the behaviors and skills that we value most. These values will help you thrive at Netflix if they sound more like yours and can be described as people you would love to work with.

  1. Judgment
  2. Communication
  3. Curiosity
  4. Courage
  5. Passion
  6. Selflessness
  7. Innovation
  8. Inclusion
  9. Impact
  10. Integrity

The company explains how critical feedback is and explains the differences between “A” or “B” levels performance. It also explains the “keeper test”, the cost of “brilliant jaks,” unconditional loyalty, and many other details.

Let’s pretend that we are a software developer. This sounds great until you read this sentence.

It is not possible to be part of a dream team for everyone. That is okay. Many people value job security highly. They would rather work for companies that are more focused on stability, seniority, or working with inconsistent employee effectiveness. This model is best for those who value consistency and excellence in their coworkers.

You value stability and you are ready to tell the recruiter that Netflix is not the right job move for you.

Netflix is not the perfect company and Hastings is not the perfect CEO.Hastings is creating “better entertainment at a lower cost and greater scale that the world has ever experienced.” The Wall Street Journal may be right and they are correct in describing some aspects of Netflix’s culture. However, they miss the point. You don’t have to agree with Netflix’s way of working if you do your research on the company and read about its values. A person who is anxious and scared by the performance culture of Netflix should not join it, let alone stay for more than two years. They will never make enough money.

To build a successful business, you don’t need to have a high-performance culture. Many companies are not able to establish a culture that is conducive to steady growth. If you want to create a culture that is innovative, disruptive, high performance, and attracts the best talent, you must be careful about what you do. Strong cultures can be difficult and not for everyone. Potential and current employees must honestly analyze the culture and determine if they are a good fit for the company’s values and expectations. Only then can they decide if they wish to be part of that culture.

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