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Tips from Netflix

Have you seen the Slideshare on the HR practices that Netflix put in place a while back (you may have since it received 6 million views!)?  If you have not, or have forgotten, here is the link and a summary of the key points below.  We are especially interested in the importance of managers and colleagues communicating clear expectations while being honest, candid, and communicating with both their words and behaviors.  Enjoy!



  • A great workplace = stunning colleagues.
  • High performers would rather work by themselves than with subpar performers.  So spend your energy on surrounding them with high performers.
  • Focus on increasing the % of high performing employees rather than increasing complex processes (process does have its place, but limits long-term).
  • The “Keeper Test”: which of my people, if they told me they were leaving for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep?
  • Give people more freedom and responsibility, not control, but responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of it.
  • For example, an informal vacation policy – let people take whatever time they feel is appropriate (the focus and accountability is on high performance).
  • Managers own the job of creating great teams.  Imagine what you want your team to accomplish six months from now.  What specific results?  How is the work different from today?  What skills are needed to make that image a reality?  Then, what skills are currently on the team?  Do you need to shift people to better suited positions / what skills do you need to hire for?
  • Leaders own the job of creating the company culture – match talk with behavior, make sure everyone knows how the company makes money, etc.
  • Conduct conversations about performance as an organic part of work (far more effective than formal performance reviews) – for example, ask people to identify things that colleagues should stop, start, or continue.
  • Groups should be highly aligned with the corporate goals, but loosely coupled to allow for speed and flexibility.
  • Great colleagues and managers trump everything else.
  • Hire people that put the company’s interests first (instead of spending great effort on managing those that don’t).
  • Hire and expect adult like behavior (honesty, communicating with candor, communicating openly and professionally, etc.).
  • HR should focus on what’s good for the company, how that is communicated to employees, and how every worker can understand what is meant by high performance.




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