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Elon Musk praises Netflix for telling workers to quit if they don’t agree with its content

Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence

Great leisure thrills and conjures up. It sparks laughter, tears, gasps and sighs, stirring our feelings and nourishing our spirit. Ever since people realized to converse, storytelling has been important to our happiness.

At Netflix, we aspire to entertain the world—creating nice tales from wherever and providing better alternative and management for individuals in every single place. To assist us succeed, we have created an uncommon worker tradition. This doc is about that tradition, and the way we will constantly enhance as a workforce in order that we will higher serve our members.

What makes Netflix particular is how a lot we:

Encourage decision-making by staff

Share data brazenly, broadly and intentionally

Communicate candidly and immediately

Keep solely our extremely efficient individuals

Avoid guidelines

The factor we most worth is working with proficient individuals in extremely artistic and productive methods. That’s why our core philosophy is individuals over course of, and why we attempt to convey nice individuals collectively as a dream workforce. Of course, any rising business requires some course of and structure. But with our people-first strategy, we will be extra versatile, artistic and profitable in all the pieces we do.

Valued Behaviors

We consider a company’s precise values are proven by whom they hire, reward or let go. Below are the particular behaviors and abilities we care about most. If these values describe you, and the individuals you need to work with, you are seemingly to thrive at Netflix.


You make clever choices regardless of ambiguity

You use knowledge to inform your instinct and selections

You look past signs to determine systemic points

You spend our members’ money correctly

You make choices principally primarily based on their long run, relatively than close to time period, affect


You search what’s finest for Netflix, not your self or your workforce

You are humble and open-minded about others’ nice concepts

You make time to assist colleagues throughout Netflix succeed

You debate concepts brazenly, and assist implement no matter resolution is made even whenever you disagree


You make robust choices with out agonizing or lengthy delay

You take knowledgeable dangers and are open to doable failure

You question colleagues’ actions inconsistent with these behaviors

You are keen to be weak, in the hunt for fact and connection

You give and take suggestions to and from colleagues at any degree


You hear nicely and search to perceive earlier than responding

You are calm in anxious conditions

Your writing and pondering are concise and coherent

You adapt your communication fashion so you may work successfully with totally different individuals, together with those that don’t share your native language or cultural norms


You work nicely with individuals of various backgrounds, identities, values and cultures

You are excited to assist build various groups the place everybody feels welcomed and revered

You acknowledge all of us have biases and work to counteract them

You take motion if somebody is marginalizing a colleague

You deal with everybody with respect no matter their position at Netflix


You exhibit and are identified for candor and transparency

You solely say issues about colleagues that you’re keen to share with them

You admit errors brazenly and share learnings broadly

You at all times share related data internally, even when uncomfortable

You act with good intent and belief your colleagues to do the identical


You care deeply about Netflix’s success

You encourage others with your drive for excellence

You are enthusiastic about your work

You are proud to entertain the world

You are tenacious and optimistic


You develop new concepts that show impactful

You look for each alternative to cut back complexity and maintain issues easy

You problem prevailing assumptions, and counsel higher approaches

You are versatile and thrive in a continually evolving group


You be taught quickly and eagerly

You search alternate views to enhance your concepts

You see patterns and connections that different individuals miss

You search to perceive members’ altering tastes and wishes

It’s straightforward to discuss valued behaviors; it is more durable to reside them. In describing braveness we are saying, ‘You question colleagues’ actions inconsistent with these behaviors.’ We all work to maintain one another accountable for dwelling up to these requirements, particularly our leaders.

Honest, Productive Feedback

At Netflix, optimistic and constructive suggestions is a part of on a regular basis life—not solely an annual occasion. Meaningful suggestions will be laborious to give or settle for. But like every new behavior, it will get simpler with observe. So we assist individuals be taught to give and obtain suggestions by means of teaching and modeling the behaviors we would like to see throughout the company. It takes braveness and selflessness to ask somebody what you possibly can be doing higher, or to ask your self what suggestions you will have but to share with a colleague. Both depend on belief and optimistic intent, which is why we make investments time in creating robust skilled relationships. We know this degree of candor will be particularly difficult for new hires, individuals in components of the world or cultures the place direct suggestions is rare, and if there is a energy imbalance. But it is a crucial a part of getting stronger, as people and as a company, as a result of it is what fuels our dream workforce.

Dream Team

A dream workforce is one wherein your whole colleagues are extraordinary at what they do and extremely efficient working collectively. Our model of an important workplace is just not nice perks, though we have now many. It’s about investing in a dream workforce of proficient people who find themselves excited to pursue bold shared targets. On our dream workforce we encourage collaboration, share data and discourage politics. There’s a lot of love and there are demanding friends. It’s exhilarating and the way we be taught essentially the most, do our greatest work, enhance the quickest and have essentially the most enjoyable.

To assist us appeal to and retain gorgeous colleagues, we pay staff on the high of their personal market. This is a good-faith estimate of the best compensation every worker may make at an analogous function in native peer corporations, mixed with what we’d pay to substitute them if wanted. Some staff’ estimated personal market will rise quickly, both due to their efficiency or a scarcity of expertise in that space. For others, it might be flat year-to-year due to market circumstances, even if they do nice work.

We mannequin ourselves on being knowledgeable sports activities workforce, not a household. A household is about unconditional love. A dream workforce is about pushing your self to be the very best teammate, caring intensely about your workforce, and figuring out that you could be not be on the workforce endlessly. Dream groups are about efficiency, not seniority or tenure. It is up to the supervisor to make sure that each participant is superb at their position, performs successfully with others and is given new alternatives to develop. That’s how we maintain successful the championship (entertaining the world). Unlike a sports activities workforce, as Netflix grows, the variety of gamers additionally grows. We work to foster gamers from the event leagues so they can develop into the celebs of tomorrow.

To strengthen our dream workforce, our managers use a ‘keeper take a look at’ for every of their individuals: if a workforce member was leaving for an analogous function at one other company, would the supervisor attempt to maintain them? Those who don’t go the keeper take a look at (i.e. their supervisor wouldn’t battle to maintain them) are given a beneficiant severance package deal so we will discover somebody even higher for that position—making an excellent higher dream workforce. Being on a dream workforce is the fun of knowledgeable lifetime, and workforce members are extremely supportive of one another. This is why ‘You make time to assist colleagues throughout Netflix succeed’ is a valued habits.

Managers talk regularly with every member of their workforce so surprises are uncommon. We additionally encourage staff to verify in with their supervisor at any time by asking, ‘How laborious would you’re employed to change my thoughts if I have been pondering of leaving?’

Dream workforce members take knowledgeable dangers, which require braveness and encouragement from leaders and friends. We have many successes and failures, which is how we be taught and why everyone seems to be evaluated on their complete document (versus merely errors or bets that did not repay).

Loyalty is nice as a stabilizer. Employees with a robust observe document at Netflix get leeway if their efficiency takes a brief dip, or if they are in a brand new function. Similarly, we would like staff to stick with Netflix by means of any quick time period dips the company might have. That stated, we don’t consider in long-term allegiance to a stagnant company, or to an only-adequately-performing worker.

On our dream workforce, there are not any good jerks as they are detrimental to nice teamwork. We insist on first rate human interactions, regardless of how good somebody could also be. When extremely succesful individuals work collectively nicely, they encourage one another to be extra artistic, extra productive and finally extra profitable as a workforce than they may very well be individually.

Succeeding on a dream workforce is about being efficient, not about working laborious. Sustained ‘B’ efficiency, regardless of an ‘A’ for effort, will get a severance package deal with respect. Sustained ‘A’ efficiency, even with a extra modest degree of effort, will get rewarded. Of course, to be nice, most of us have to put in appreciable effort. But we don’t measure somebody’s contribution by the hours they work.

Dream groups are usually not proper for everybody. Some individuals want job safety, and select to work at corporations which can be extra centered on stability and seniority, and fewer rigorous about efficiency administration. Our mannequin works finest for individuals who worth excellence and the alternatives it supplies.

You be taught so much at Netflix engaged on laborious issues with gorgeous colleagues, and that will increase your market worth. Knowing that different corporations would shortly hire you if you left Netflix is reassuring. We see exterior interviewing as acceptable, and encourage staff to speak with their managers about what they be taught within the course of. Ultimately, your skill to earn an important earnings relies in your abilities and repute, not in your seniority at one company.

Freedom and Responsibility

At some corporations, individuals ignore trash on the ground, leaving it for another person to decide up. At different corporations, individuals lean down to decide it up, similar to they would at dwelling. We attempt laborious to be a company the place everybody feels a way of accountability to make us higher. Picking up the trash is a metaphor for taking good care of issues, small and huge, and by no means pondering ‘that is another person’s job.’ Creating a way of possession helps this habits come naturally.

Our purpose is to encourage individuals greater than handle them. We need our groups to do what’s finest for Netflix. This, in flip, generates a way of accountability, accountability and self-discipline that drives us to do nice work. Freedom itself is just not the purpose; the purpose is creating a robust sense of caring for Netflix so that individuals do what’s finest for the company.

In some organizations, there may be an unhealthy emphasis on course of and never a lot freedom. These organizations did not begin out that means, however each time one thing went improper the python of course of squeezed more durable. Specifically, many organizations have freedom and accountability when they are small and everybody is aware of one another. As they develop, nevertheless, their business will get extra advanced, and typically the extent of ardour and expertise goes down. As the casual, smooth-running group begins to break down, pockets of chaos emerge. At this level, the final outcry is to ‘develop up’ and add processes to cut back the chaos. As guidelines and procedures proliferate, extra worth is positioned on following the principles. The system is dummy-proofed, and inventive thinkers are advised to cease questioning the established order. This form of group could also be very specialised and nicely tailored to its business mannequin. However, over 10 to 100 years, the business mannequin inevitably has to change, and most of those corporations are unable to adapt.

To keep away from this, we work laborious to preserve worker excellence and maintain our business so simple as doable given our progress ambitions. We need to be a company of self-disciplined, accountable individuals who uncover and repair points with out being advised to accomplish that.

Some examples of our uncommon quantities of employee1 freedom:

We share paperwork internally broadly and systematically, so individuals can learn and sometimes touch upon them—together with memos on every title’s efficiency, our technique choices and product function assessments. There are some leaks, however the worth of highly-informed staff is way better.

Our coverage for journey, leisure, items and different bills is 5 phrases lengthy: ‘Act in Netflix’s finest curiosity.’

Our trip coverage is: ‘Take trip.’ We don’t have any guidelines about what number of weeks per year. Frankly, we combine work and personal time fairly a bit, doing e-mail at odd hours or taking off a weekday afternoon. Our leaders be certain that they set good examples by taking holidays, usually coming again with contemporary concepts, and inspiring the remainder of the workforce to do the identical.

Our parental go away coverage is: ‘Take care of your child and your self.’ Parents usually comply with native norms.

You may suppose this a lot freedom would lead to chaos. Instead, it has created a particularly profitable business mannequin over the past 25 years. The lesson is you don’t want insurance policies for all the pieces. You will be groundbreaking with out them. Freedom can (and does) lead to chaos after we fail to couple it with a robust sense of accountability. That is why freedom and accountability go collectively.

Freedom additionally doesn’t suggest your managers are usually not concerned in your work. Getting enter from leaders, friends or direct reviews improves resolution making. It’s one other instance of how freedom cannot exist with out accountability.

There are just a few vital exceptions to our anti-rules pro-freedom philosophy. We are strict about moral and issues of safety. We haven’t any tolerance for harassment of staff or buying and selling on insider data, for instance. We even have strict controls round our members’ fee data. But these are all edge instances.

In common, we consider freedom and fast recovery are higher than attempting to forestall error. We are in a artistic business and our largest risk over time is an absence of innovation. So we’re comparatively error tolerant besides the place security is a matter—and we deal with guaranteeing that any error prevention efforts don’t restrict creative, artistic work. Rapid recovery is feasible if individuals have nice judgment.

Over the years, some staff have taken benefit of this freedom in varied unlucky methods. But these are the exceptions, and we attempt to keep away from over-correcting. Just as a result of just a few individuals abuse their freedom doesn’t suggest the remainder of our staff aren’t worthy of nice belief.

Some processes are about elevated productiveness, relatively than error avoidance. One course of we do nicely is purposeful, scheduled conferences. We plan an agenda forward of time, together with pondering by means of what wants synchronous dialogue versus what will be performed offline. We use these conferences to be taught from one another and get extra performed, relatively than forestall errors or approve tactical choices.

Informed Captains

For each vital resolution, we determine an knowledgeable captain of the ship who’s an professional of their space. They are accountable for listening to different individuals’s views after which making a judgment name on the appropriate means ahead. We keep away from choices by committee, which might gradual us down and diffuse accountability. It is usually difficult and at all times vital to agree up entrance who’s the knowledgeable captain for a project.

On huge strategic points, the captain farms for dissent and different options to guarantee they are really knowledgeable. Dissent will be troublesome, which is why we make an effort to stimulate dialogue. Often, teams will meet to debate subjects. But then the captain wants to resolve. We don’t wait for consensus or vote by committee, nor can we drive to fast, uninformed resolution making. Small choices could also be shared simply by e-mail, whereas massive ones will benefit a memo with a dialogue of the varied positions and why the knowledgeable captain made that call. The greater the choice, the extra intensive the controversy. Afterwards, because the affect turns into clearer, we replicate on the choice and see how we may do even higher sooner or later.

Disagree Then Commit

If an worker disagrees on an vital open problem, it’s their accountability to clarify why, ideally in individual and in writing. Discussion clarifies the totally different views, and concise writing of the core points helps individuals replicate on the clever course. It additionally makes it simpler to share views brazenly and broadly. The knowledgeable captain on that call has the accountability to welcome, perceive and contemplate the totally different opinions (aka farming for dissent), even if they don’t agree. Once the knowledgeable captain decides, we count on everybody—together with those that disagreed—to commit and assist make the result as profitable as doable.

Representation Matters

Our members need to see a wide range of tales and folks on display screen—and our company and management ought to replicate that range. Just like our members, our staff have distinctive views primarily based on their backgrounds and expertise. As we develop, we’re working to make our staff, suppliers, off and on-screen expertise higher replicate our membership in order that we will higher entertain the world. We have developed our

worker and management range

to be a few of the finest in our trade, and we’ll proceed to enhance so that everybody feels a way of belonging at Netflix.

Artistic Expression

Entertaining the world is an incredible alternative and likewise a problem as a result of viewers have very totally different tastes and factors of view. So we provide all kinds of TV exhibits and flicks, a few of which will be provocative. To assist members make knowledgeable selections about what to watch, we provide scores, content warnings and straightforward to use parental controls.

Not everybody will like—or agree with—all the pieces on our service. While each title is totally different, we strategy them primarily based on the identical set of ideas: we assist the inventive expression of the creators we select to work with; we program for a range of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers resolve what’s applicable for them, versus having Netflix censor particular artists or voices.

As staff we assist the precept that Netflix presents a range of tales, even if we discover some titles counter to our personal personal values. Depending in your function, you could want to work on titles you understand to be dangerous. If you’d discover it laborious to assist our content breadth, Netflix might not be one of the best place for you.

Context not Control

We try to develop good decision-making muscle tissues throughout our company. We pleasure ourselves on how few, not what number of, choices our senior managers make. That stated, we don’t consider in hands-off administration. Each chief’s function is to coach, set context, give ideas and suggestions, and be extremely knowledgeable about their workforce’s work. Rather than micro-managing small choices, leaders can discover the small print of various tasks. This data can then be used to set higher context for their groups, so extra choices are made nicely. We consider Netflix is handiest and progressive when staff throughout the company make and personal choices.

We additionally consider fewer administration layers makes us extra agile. Our ‘context not management’ tradition works finest when leaders handle many direct reviews, giving every worker adequate autonomy to do one of the best work of their lives. Sometimes we have now smaller groups due to specialization or sub-scale environments, however these ought to be exceptions and never the norm. Generally leaders discover between six and twelve direct reviews a great stability between too many layers and too little time to add worth.

There are some exceptions to ‘context not management’. For instance, when: it is an pressing state of affairs and there may be not sufficient time to develop and share context; a brand new workforce member hasn’t but absorbed sufficient context to be assured; it is acknowledged that the improper individual is in a decision-making function (quickly, little doubt); or an unambiguous moral or compliance breach wants to be stopped.

Highly Aligned, Loosely Coupled

As corporations develop, they can develop into extremely formal and rigid. Negative signs embody:

Senior administration is concerned in lots of small choices

There are quite a few cross-departmental buy-in conferences to socialize ways

Pleasing different inner teams takes priority over pleasing members

The group is very coordinated and fewer inclined to error, however gradual and irritating

We keep away from this by being extremely aligned and loosely coupled. We spend a lot of time debating and writing down technique and context, after which belief one another to execute on ways with out prior approval. Often, two teams engaged on the identical targets will not know the small print of, or have approval over, the opposite’s actions. If one thing does not appear proper later, we have now a candid dialogue. We might discover that the technique was too imprecise (i.e. inadequate context) or the ways weren’t aligned with the agreed technique. And we talk about how we will do higher sooner or later.

The success of a extremely aligned, loosely coupled work surroundings relies on proficient people working nicely collectively, and setting efficient context. Ultimately, the top purpose is to develop the business for a much bigger affect whereas rising flexibility and agility. So we search to keep quick and nimble, at the same time as we develop.

Ethical Expectations

Beyond candor in our day-to-day interactions, we act honorably, even when nobody is trying. One take a look at we use is to ask whether or not we’d be ashamed if our actions have been made public—and keep away from doing something the place the answer can be sure.

Separately, we have now a lot of data that we would like to maintain confidential as a result of it’s commercially delicate. We count on all staff to defend confidential company data, whether or not or not it’s marked ‘confidential’.

Employees Direct our Philanthropy

Netflix donates tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to worthy causes world wide each year. Instead of management choosing specific causes, we do that by means of a two-to-one worker match. When an worker donates to a charitable group, Netflix donates double that quantity to the identical group. This democratizes our giving choices, and incentivizes staff to assist causes they’re obsessed with.

Seeking Excellence to Drive Success

We don’t search to protect our tradition—we search to enhance it. Every new worker helps to form and evolve the tradition so we discover new methods to accomplish extra collectively. We are studying quicker than ever, as a result of we have now extra devoted individuals with extra various views working to excel because the dream workforce.

That cultural excellence propels our business excellence, which will increase member satisfaction and in flip propels our long run progress and stock value. It’s how we build a very profitable company entertaining the world.


As we wrote to start with, what’s particular about Netflix is how a lot we:

Encourage decision-making by staff

Share data brazenly, broadly, and intentionally

Communicate candidly and immediately

Keep solely our extremely efficient individuals

Avoid guidelines

Finally, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the creator of The Little Prince, exhibits us the best way:

If you need to build a ship,

don’t drum up the individuals

to collect wooden, divide the

work, and provides orders.

Instead, train them to yearn

for the huge and countless sea.

1 Mostly for our salaried staff; there are limitations on this for our hourly staff due to authorized necessities.

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