Ever since Netflix’s awesome vacation policy was revealed to the public (basically, there is no policy, it’s take the time you think you need), the company’s work policies have been of interest to people. A new 128-page presentation called “Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture” was recently sent around the company, and then put on SlideShare, where the blog Hacking Netflix found it.
The presentation, which you can see for yourself below, is as interesting as any 128-page document can be. If you read it over, about half-way through, you’ll probably start wishing you worked for Netflix. This was meant to be an internal document for employees to read, but it’s also one hell of a recruitment pitch.
Early on, a lot of it deals with workplace efficiency, and not being afraid to let someone go if they’re not doing their job. The idea is that if someone just wants to do mediocre works, that’s fine, they’ll get a nice severance package. It extends this into an emphasis on effectiveness over effort — the company doesn’t want to necessarily reward people who stay late versus those who don’t, but get the same amount of work done. It then turns to some internal policies including management best practices. And then to retention practices — making sure the company pays the top people a high enough salary that they’ll never want to leave.
There’s a big emphasis within the company on salary, rather than stock options and bonuses. The thought is that you should give the employees as much money as possible up front and let them decide what to do with it.
This is all pretty interesting stuff for a fairly large, publicly-traded company. The emphasis is obviously not to act like other big companies do. Given Netflix’s recent successes, it would seem that the strategy is working. And yes, there is stuff in there about the vacation policy.