Essay on Netflix Invented Hr

4569 Words Oct 6th, 2014 19 Pages
HBR.ORG

JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2014 REPRINT R1401E

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

How Netflix Reinvented HR

SPOTLIGHT ON TALENT AND PERFORMANCE

This document is authorized for use only by Janet Hughes (JAH612@LEHIGH.EDU). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact customerservice@harvardbusiness.org or 800-988-0886 for additional copies.

SPOTLIGHT ON TALENT AND PERFORMANCE

Spotlight

ARTWORK Freegums, Good Vibrations 2011, acrylic on wood, 8' x 15'

This document is authorized for use only by Janet Hughes (JAH612@LEHIGH.EDU). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact customerservice@harvardbusiness.org or
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I told John I hoped to hire some help for him soon. His response surprised me. “There’s no rush—I’m happier now,” he said. It turned out that the engineers we’d laid off weren’t spectacular—they were merely adequate. John realized that he’d spent too much time riding herd on them and fixing their mistakes. “I’ve learned that I’d rather work by myself than with subpar performers,” he said. His words echo in my mind whenever I describe the most basic element of Netflix’s talent philosophy: The best thing you can do for employees—a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else. The second conversation took place in 2002, a few months after our IPO. Laura, our bookkeeper, was bright, hardworking, and creative. She’d been very important to our early growth, having devised a system for accurately tracking movie rentals so that we could pay the correct royalties. But now, as a public company, we needed CPAs and other fully credentialed, deeply experienced accounting professionals—and Laura had only an associate’s degree from a community college. Despite her work ethic, her track record, and the fact that we all really liked her, her skills were no longer adequate. Some of us talked about jury-rigging a new role for her, but we decided that wouldn’t be right. So I sat down with Laura and explained the situation—and said that in light of her

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