A few hours after hitting its all-time stock price high today, Netflix has announced a new program for all employees.
In a blog post, the company outlined its unlimited maternity and paternity leave program. Its Chief Talent Office, Tawni Cranz, said:
At Netflix, we work hard to foster a “freedom and responsibility” culture that gives our employees context about our business and the freedom to make their own decisions along with the accompanying responsibility. With this in mind, today we’re introducing an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.
We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.
Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field. Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.
This is a pretty landmark perk, with the company showing both current and potential employees how much it cares. The company suggests parents can come back to the office either part or full time, then go back out as necessary during the first year. All paid of course.
Yahoo doubled its maternity and paternity leave in 2013 to make it more competitive with Facebook and Google, and it has shown to be an important perk for all three companies.
The talent is growing up.
Back in the earlier-2000’s perks were ping pong tables, an XBox, snacks and free lunch (all to keep you in the office working hard). Now people want a better work-life balance and Netflix is stepping up in the pursuit of that. It’s smart. Companies aren’t going to get the best out of folks when they’re super stressed out and have their minds at home.
Mind you, Netflix has an unlimited time-off policy, but today’s policy update is a clear reminder that the company wants the best talent. Especially when and after they become new parents.