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Willy C. Shih

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How Netflix Reinvented HR

  • Patty McCord

case study of netflix

When Netflix executives wrote a PowerPoint deck about the organization’s talent management strategies, the document went viral—it’s been viewed more than 5 million times on the web. Now one of those executives, the company’s longtime chief talent officer, goes beyond the bullet points to paint a detailed picture of how Netflix attracts, retains, and manages stellar employees. The firm draws on five key tenets:

Hire, reward, and tolerate only fully formed adults. Ask workers to rely on logic and common sense instead of formal policies, whether the issue is communication, time off, or expenses.

Tell the truth about performance. Scrap formal reviews in favor of informal conversations. Offer generous severance rather than holding on to workers whose skills no longer fit your needs.

Managers must build great teams. This is their most important task. Don’t rate them on whether they are good mentors or fill out paperwork on time.

Leaders own the job of creating the company culture. You’ve got to actually model and encourage the behavior you talk up.

Talent managers should think like businesspeople and innovators first, and like HR people last. Forget throwing parties and handing out T‑shirts; make sure every employee understands what the company needs most and exactly what’s meant by “high performance.”

Trust people, not policies. Reward candor. And throw away the standard playbook.

Sheryl Sandberg has called it one of the most important documents ever to come out of Silicon Valley. It’s been viewed more than 5 million times on the web. But when Reed Hastings and I (along with some colleagues) wrote a PowerPoint deck explaining how we shaped the culture and motivated performance at Netflix, where Hastings is CEO and I was chief talent officer from 1998 to 2012, we had no idea it would go viral. We realized that some of the talent management ideas we’d pioneered, such as the concept that workers should be allowed to take whatever vacation time they feel is appropriate, had been seen as a little crazy (at least until other companies started adopting them). But we were surprised that an unadorned set of 127 slides—no music, no animation—would become so influential.

  • PM Patty McCord was the chief talent officer at Netflix from 1998 to 2012 and now advises start-ups and entrepreneurs. She is the author of Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility (Silicon Guild, 2018).

case study of netflix

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    A Case Study of Netflix’s Marketing Strategy Chenying Yuan1, * 1Department of Sociological Studies, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK *Corresponding author: [email protected]...

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    (PDF) A Case Study of Netflix’s Marketing Strategy A Case Study of Netflix’s Marketing Strategy License CC BY 4.0 Authors: Chenying Yuan Abstract With the global epidemic, home entertainment is...

  3. Netflix

    Abstract. Reed Hastings founded Netflix with a vision to provide a home movie service that would do a better job satisfying customers than the traditional retail rental model. But as it encouraged challenges it underwent several major strategy shifts, ultimately developing a business model and an operational strategy that were highly disruptive ...

  4. How Netflix Reinvented HR

    The firm draws on five key tenets: Hire, reward, and tolerate only fully formed adults. Ask workers to rely on logic and common sense instead of formal policies, whether the issue is communication ...

  5. Netflix: Disrupting the entertainment market with digital

    This case study focuses on Netflix’s technological journey, emphasizing its role as a startup that revolutionized a sector through tech-savvy approaches. Until 2023, Netflix continues to innovate. This exploration delves into how Netflix has evolved as a platform organization, leveraging advanced technologies to enhance user experience and ...