A Look Inside Netflix’s Tough But Honest Culture

Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (8 of 10)I recently listened to a podcast of an interview with one of the founders of Netflix. Netflix founders started the company on the premise employees will have a job as long as they are a productive member of the team. When the employee is no longer effective, it is time for them to move on.


Netflix shows all new hires training Power Points. One of the slides lists the nine behaviors and skills the company values in their colleagues. These skills and traits are further defined so there is no ambiguity about what the company means by each trait.

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  1. Judgment: The Company wants the employees to make wise decisions. Most companies want upper management to make the decisions and lower level employees to carry them out.
  2. Communication: Listening, articulation and treating differing opinions with respect are identified as good communication skills.
  3. Impact: Consistently producing copious amounts of work creates the impact they are looking for.
  4. Curiosity: Netflix expects learning and contributing outside of your field of expertise.
  5. Innovation: What surprised me here was, “challenging prevailing assumptions when warranted and suggesting better approaches”. Again, how many companies encourage this behavior?
  6. Courage: Say what you think even if it is controversial. At this point I am beginning to wonder if this is a set up.
  7. Passion: This one is my favorite. Netflix values inspiring others and caring about their job and others. Passion is an element missing from so many employees in every field.
  8. Honesty: Netflix defines this trait as candor, directness, non-political in disagreements with others and quick to admit mistakes. I wonder how they are able to find a large group of people who embody these traits.
  9. Selflessness: The company wants people who will do what is best for the company and the coworkers.


These are fantastic values and I wish every company looked for these in their staff. How much more would you look forward to going to work if your company valued these traits in it’s employees.   A Power Point slide states, “Imagine if every person at Netflix is someone you respect and learn from…” Yes, imagine that. It sounds like the ideal workplace.


There is a catch though and it is a big catch. “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package”. Most companies, especially unionized companies expect just a ‘meets standards’ performance. Unfortunately, most companies set this bar pretty low.

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To maintain this high level in their staff, Netflix further explains its stance. “We’re a team, not a family. We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team. Netflix leaders hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have stars in every position.” Do you find this a bit harsh? Maybe it is but Netflix does not expect anyone to work for them forever. The concept seems to have worked for the company as they continue to be a powerhouse.   Work hard as long as you can and you won’t get cut from the team.



About The Author

Margaret Ludwig

I am an aspiring writer that is working as a Deputy Sheriff. I have been in law enforcement for fifteen years. I have five left to go before I can retired and follow my heart desires. My plan is to change people misconceptions and prejudices towards the dogs that are perceived as aggressive or broken in some way. I have five of my own dogs, all with some kind of issue themselves. I hope to continue to rescue dogs and give or get them the homes they all deserve.

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