Netflix released its Netflix Culture Deck way back in 2009 and it became an instant hit. This document describes the work culture at Netflix which made the company one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the world.
Different Versions of the Culture Deck
Now, before we can talk about the Netflix Culture Deck and what it may do for a company, we should point out that there isn’t just one version of it. There’s a version on Slideshare that Reed Hastings has provided which talks about the Netflix culture with the help of some key principles: freedom and responsibility.
There’s also an updated version on the Netflix recruiting website. No matter which version you choose to read, you’ll get to see what was the driving force behind the development of Netflix’s culture. Of course, the obvious question is: Is the Netflix Culture Deck still useful for someone looking to shape the work culture of their company?
Updates to the Culture Deck
There are plenty of clear indications that whatever form of the Netflix Culture Deck that the company is following now is working. Netflix is one of the most visited sites in the world and is consistently ranked as one of the top two streaming services.
That being said, the original Netflix Culture Deck came out around 12 years ago. In the time since, Netflix has grown and changed so much that questions about the evolution of the Culture Deck are bound to arise. In any case, we have to start with the key points upon which the Netflix Culture Deck is based to answer the question of whether or not it’s still relevant 12 years after its initial release.
Key Points of the Culture Deck
The Netflix Culture Deck introduces many different concepts, each of which comes with a related action. The document offers readers concrete actions if they want to apply the Culture Deck concepts in their office environment. There are a total of nine values, each with a corresponding set of actions.
Of course, Netflix isn’t unique in creating a set of core values for their employees. This is a common practice at many of the top companies. However, the difference between Netflix and those other companies is that Netflix tells the readers of their Culture Deck how to follow up on the values that they outline.
In other words, leaders at Netflix encourage employees to organically strive for the company by consciously internalizing and acting upon these nine values.
To ensure that employees don’t feel like they’re doing something for nothing, Netflix recognizes and rewards its employees based on how well they perform according to the nine core values. Employees who integrate the nine values into their working lives and who show strong performance are promoted.
Let’s take a look at these values and the actions that accompany them.
Judgment: Netflix’s Unusual Employee Culture
Netflix wants its employees to be wise and make smart decisions. They must be able to go beyond treating symptoms of different problems and arrive at the root cause quickly. Employees are also expected to not only think on their feet strategically but also put their plans into words that others can understand and appreciate.
Communication: Netflix Company Culture to Encourage Independent Decision Making
Netflix doesn’t see employees who react quickly to changes in their work environment as the ideal employees. Instead, it wants them to listen better in the first place.
Employees must be able to articulate their material well and should be concise when speaking or writing. Stressful situations in the office are common and Netflix expects employees to remain calm, especially when they come across equally abled people disagreeing with their point of view.
Impact: Netflix Company Culture Satisfies a Fundamental Human Need
Netflix wants results. Employees need to forget about the process and establish SOPs that allow them to deliver a high level of performance on a consistent basis. They must be able to complete volumes of meaningful work, allowing themselves to stand out among their peers.
Curiosity: Salaried Employees Who Are Excellent At Minimizing Complexity
The company wants its employees to learn new things quickly with the aim of deeply understanding concepts and having a certain level of knowledge about the industry and the business they’re working in. Employees must have the ability to contribute to fields that aren’t part of their specialty.
Innovation: Employees Demonstrate Consistently Strong Performance
Great companies fight hard and care intensely about independent decision making. Without innovation, even the greatest of companies struggle to survive for a long period of time. Netflix knows this and wants employees to develop the ability to take current issues, reconceptualize them and discover new, highly practical solutions.
Employees should have no problem suggesting new methods to solve old problems and challenging assumptions. They should work hard to simplify things and reduce complexity.
Courage: Unusual Employee Culture To Encourage Independent Decision Making
Netflix doesn’t mind controversial opinions as long as the employee is willing to speak up. Employees shouldn’t shy away from making hard decisions quickly, taking calculated risks and bringing to attention all actions that don’t align with the company’s core values.
Passion: Employees Should Strive To Inspire Others
Employees must always care about the overall success of the company and do so intensely. Employees should show the necessary tenacity required to work at a top technology company like Netflix. Workers should celebrate each other’s victories and always seek opportunities to inspire. They don’t tolerate people they describe as “brilliant jerks.”
Honesty: Good Employees Share Information Openly
Netflix wants employees to disagree with other employees when a need arises but they should do so in a non-political and direct manner. Employees should refrain from saying things about other employees that they wouldn’t say to each other face-t0-face. An ideal worker should have the ability to quickly admit their mistakes.
Selflessness: Silent Disagreement Is Different From Status Quo
This is where Netflix wants employees to let go of their ego. Apart from contributing to the company themselves, they should set some time aside to help other employees and be proactive.
Employees are encouraged to share information in an open way and always do what’s best for business. Not for themselves or the teams they work with.
Conclusion: Netflix Team Members Bring a Vast and Endless Sea of Talent to the Streaming Service
The Netflix Culture Deck is a document that outlines and briefly describes what the company expects from its employees. It provides a look at the unusual employee culture If you’d like to take a more in depth look at the document, check out the links at the beginning of this post.
Netflix wants independent employees who are able to make smart decisions on their own. Employees share information openly with each other. All employees should be deliberate in their day-to-day routines and should have a broad outlook on their areas of expertise and on the industry as a whole.
Employees must be extraordinarily candid with each other and not break rules.
Whether or not Netflix actually practices what it preaches or how much of the document has changed is anyone’s guess. But there’s a lot of evidence that however closely Netflix is following its Culture Deck, things are going in the right direction.
The company is still the king of streaming services and has the most diverse set of content available anywhere. Any company that can keep streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video, Disney, Hulu and HBO on their toes must be doing something right.
FAQ: Netflix Company Culture
What is the Netflix Culture Deck?
It’s a document describing Netflix’s company culture that gives employees a clear direction of how to stay productive at the company and how to take it to the next level, all while becoming the best version of oneself. It encourages employees to be extraordinarily candid with each other and to find common ground when possible. It also encourages them to strive to employ more empathy, more joy and more laughter in their work life and set good examples for other employees.
Netflix considers entertainment as a fundamental human need. Entertainment, Netflix wants us to believe, is what makes it easy for humans to feel and connect by understanding each other and quickly establishing common ground. They aspire to make a profit while filling a fundamental human need.
To achieve this goal, the company is very particular about the employee culture it promotes. All great companies strive to improve their company culture to ensure that they’re able to do business profitably and sustainably. To accomplish this, they have no choice but to hire the best of the best and form teams of people who work well with each other and with other internal groups.
Do Netflix employees get Netflix for free?
Yes. According to employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, Netflix employees get a free subscription each month they work at the company.
What is Netflix’s management style?
Netflix’s company culture is famous for its revolutionary nature and its role in pushing Netflix to the top of the streaming market. Netflix strives to hire talented people and encourages them to be extraordinarily candid with each other at work. They want their employees to show more empathy, more joy, and more laughter and to work to find common ground when disagreements arise. They make it clear that they’re seeking excellence and are working to form a highly aligned team, just like a professional sports team.
What does Netflix look for in an employee?
Netflix wants employees to understand the company’s culture and contribute effectively to the company’s market value. Employees are expected to practice self-discipline, curb bad behavior and serve as role models for their fellow employees.
The company strives to encourage independent decision making, more empathy, more joy and more laughter at work. They want their employees to challenge prevailing assumptions and to interact well with other team members. Employees share information openly in the proper context at Netflix, which helps them compete against other great companies.
With such strict criteria, it’s no wonder the company rarely hires the wrong person for a job. Employees are expected to maintain calm poise under high pressure situations, take smart risks, show high performance consistently, be a part of the corporate culture, treat people with the respect they deserve and learn from senior leaders at the company.
In return, Netflix offers high performing employees personal time, job security, stock options, lack of long hours, good vacation policy, great workplace, relaxed clothing policy, stunning colleagues who are high performers and are able to identify root causes behind common sense problems to make tough decisions, facility to work on new ideas at odd hours, and a great pay at the top of an employee’s personal market. They even have a generous severance package when needed if an employee doesn’t pass the keeper test.
Is Netflix a good place to work?
According to employee reviews, Netflix is a great place to work. You can take a look at the Culture Deck if you’d like to see what you can expect while working there.
Does Netflix pay well?
According to employee reviews, Netflix pays very well. This is especially true when they’re compared to their competition.