Treating workers like adults? What a concept!
March 23, 2007
From the San Jose Mercury News:
When it comes to vacation, Netflix has a simple policy: take as much as you’d like. Just make sure your work is done.
Employees at the online movie retailer often leave for three, four, even five weeks at a time and never clock in or out. Vacation limits and face-time requirements, says Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, are “a relic of the industrial age.”
“The worst thing is for a manager to come in and tell me: `Let’s give Susie a huge raise because she’s always in the office.’ What do I care? I want managers to come to me and say: `Let’s give a really big raise to Sally because she’s getting a lot done’ – not because she’s chained to her desk.”
Across America, executives are searching for ways to keep experienced Baby Boomers at their companies and attract younger workers, many of whom are used to controlling which songs they listen to and where they get their news.
Netflix’s time off rules – or lack thereof – are part of a broad culture of employee autonomy instilled in the company when Hastings founded it a decade ago. The executives trust staffers to make their own decisions on everything – from whether to bring their dog to the office to how much of their salary they want in cash and how much in stock options. Workers are treated, as Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord likes to say, as adults.
“We want our employees to have great freedom – freedom to be brilliant or freedom to make mistakes,” Hastings said.
That might sound like executive blather, but to hear employees tell it, on the way to almost $1 billion in sales last year, Netflix has made good on its promises to workers…(read the whole article).
Best Buy has implemented a similar structure. I hope this “virus” spreads. Actually measuring by results, instead of punch cards…I can hardly think of a better way to attract and keep the best people, and get optimal output!