Sunday, August 9, 2009

Take a vacation for however long you want !

If a company told you that you can take a vacation whenever you want, and for however long you want (paid of course), what would you say ? Unbelievable ? There can’t be a company like that ? Think again. There is a company like that. And a pretty successful company, so far. Welcome to Netflix.

Their logic is simple. People act responsibly when given the freedom. After all nobody tells you that you have to work for more than 8 hours; or on weekends. And yet you do. Netflix says if its not monitoring exactly how many hours you work in a day or how many days a week, why should it “monitor” how many days vacation you take. Interesting point of view, eh?

Netflix’s presentation called “Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture” found its way into the internet. Click here for a fascinating read. It’s a 128 slide long presentation – but don’t be intimidated by the size. These are simple slides and a quick read. Every company would do well to read it.

Here are some interesting aspects of their culture that makes you think

- Increase employee freedom as you grow. As companies get bigger, they add complexity and a plethora of rules and procedures get formulated. Netflix says that as they grow, they consciously try to give more freedom, and not chain people.

- Their policy on travel and entertainment – “Act in Netflix’s best interests”. That’s it. No 100 page policy document detailing entitlements. No checking of expense statements.

- Every year each employee's pay is reset to the market (whatever it takes if he were to be hired afresh). No % increases.

- Almost all salary is fixed. No bonus pool. Pay is not dependant on company’s performance.

A very interesting point of view. I am so struck by reading this, that I intend to post on company culture and HR policies all week.