Netflix office tradition usually ‘ruthless, demoralizing,’ WSJ reviews

Netflix‘s office tradition, at its worst, can be ‘ruthless, demoralizing and clear to the position of dysfunctional,’ in accordance to a Thursday report by The Wall Road Journal. 

It really is a shocking appear within the media large. In contrast to other tech businesses, this sort of as Amazon, that’ve been the matter of bruising exposés about office tradition, Netflix has extended been celebrated in Silicon Valley for its cultural rules. CEO Reed Hastings is even writing a book about it

In an emailed assertion, Netflix explained it thinks ‘strongly in keeping a substantial functionality tradition and offering folks the flexibility to do their ideal operate.’ 

‘Fewer controls and increased accountability empower our workers to prosper, generating smarter, far more imaginative selections, which signifies even greater leisure for our associates,’ the assertion explained. ‘While we feel components of this piece do not mirror how most workers knowledge Netflix, we are continuously operating to understand and enhance.’

The report consists of assertions that Netflix’s ‘keeper test’ — the notion that a supervisor ought to maintain only the personnel he or she would struggle to maintain — serves as a entrance for common office politics and that some professionals recount experience strain ‘to hearth folks or danger hunting delicate.’ The report recounts anecdotes of workers coming to operate with a everyday dread of getting fired, and getting discouraged from demonstrating assist for exiting personnel due to the fact it is not the ‘Netflix way.’ 

For several years, Netflix’s tradition has been praised by other people in the tech sector. Its ‘culture deck,’ a extended manifesto outlining the rules of how to handle workers, was released on Slideshare in 2009 and seen tens of millions of moments. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s main working officer, has explained it ‘may nicely be the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.’ 

Netflix up to date its cultural rules final yr in a long online document that life on its employment webpage. The document’s main tenets consist of the business retaining ‘only our extremely powerful people’ and encouraging workers to be ‘extraordinarily candid with every single other.’

The Journal’s report will come right after Netflix fired its chief communications officer in June for employing a racial slur at the very least two times in conferences with personnel. That incident and how it was dealt with had been important anecdotes in the Journal’s reporting. 


Amongst the story’s other assertions: 

  • Netflix’s vice president of publicity for first collection, Karen Barragan, advised a collected team of Netflix PR executives that it was ‘good’ they arrived into operate every single working day fearing they’d be fired. ‘Because dread drives you,’ she advised them, in accordance to folks common with the dialogue. Barragan afterwards advised the paper that she failed to make that remark. 
  • A previous worker recalled seeing a lady cry as she packed her possessions right after she’d been fired, whilst the relaxation of her group shied absent due to the fact supporting her may ‘put a focus on on their again,’ the ex-worker explained. 
  • A Korean previous worker from Netflix’s Singapore place of work explained the firm’s tradition at moments reminded her of North Korea, exactly where moms are manufactured to publicly criticize their sons. 
  • When a previous community-relations supervisor in Singapore requested co-personnel about chipping in to assist a receptionist who was fired throughout Chinese New Yr, human assets officers advised her this sort of a selection was not the ‘Netflix way,’ in accordance to folks common with the incident.