NetFlix Values

Catching up on TechCrunch this morning I came across a post about Netflix and its attitudes towards its employees. Inspiring to say the least. They seem to value a culture that puts the company and the people on even footing — a place where you make decisions with the best interests of your life and the company. The slide presentation below is said to be a leaked internal presentation that was designed to shed light on the company’s policies. No matter what it is, it shows that Netflix has figured out that motivated and interested people make a huge difference. Kinda makes you want to work for them too … my favorite statement:

Imagine if every person at Netflix is someone you respect and learn from …


View more presentations from reed2001.

Could a set of policies like this work in Higher Education? I’m not sure, but I am betting it could. The idea that you are responsible enough to decide how much vacation you need is very similar to the arrangement I had with my faculty appointment while in the College of IST. I doubt we’d extend that kind of practice to everyone, but when taken within the framework of the Netflix environment it makes sense. They make it clear that they have intense expectations of each and every person in the company and if you aren’t pulling your weight it is time to find another place to work. I wonder how this makes people in education feel?

3 thoughts on “NetFlix Values

  1. As I look for a new job, this is the kind of stuff that makes me want to give industry a go…but with the right company.

    I feel like I’m “on the job” 10+ hours a day, regardless of whether I’m in my office from 9-5. IM’ing with students at 10pm, emailing colleagues at 7:30am from home, preparing labs and syllabi after dinner at 7pm…it’s all work. As long as the work gets done and exceeds expectations..that’s what counts.

    • I agree. But what about the folks who don’t look at their jobs like you do? Are we at a distinct disadvantage b/c of our lumbering policies?

  2. Of course it could work in higher education – this is pretty much what faculty have. As long as instructors appear in the classroom, office hours and key meetings, they are not really monitored as to their whereabouts.

    It could work for most of us too…but I notice that even NetFlix distinguishes between “hourly” employees (i.e. customer service) who are required to have regular hours and “salaried” employees (the programmers/executives) who have the time flexibility.

    We may have gotten away from blue/white collar distinction but we still have the support staff vs. “the talent” (can’t think of a better word) – even in ETS.

    I’m not saying this is wrong because support (customer service for consumers, and internal support including tech support) is critical to modern operations. I know my life would be incomplete without the Post-Its that get ordered regularly.

    But I think it’s important to remember that we do operate on multiple tiers somewhat at ETS and consider options to make the experience rewarding for everyone…even if not everyone can have the same work schedule flexibility.

    A company who I think is a good example of treating their customer service right is Land’s End. Whenever I call, they know how to help and are always friendly. The same is true at Wegman’s where people are uniformly friendly and helpful even though most employees are “mere” cashiers or stock people. That can’t happen unless they are well-trained, well-respected and well-rewarded.

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