Netflix Setting A Corporate Culture Of ‘Fear’

Corporate culture experts like Nadeem Shaikh Anthemis advertise building trust and communication within the workplace.

Contrast that to the recently revealed about streaming giant, Netflix, which has a corporate culture of near unlimited transparency that values freedom, individual responsibility and high salaries, with the caveat of receiving near-constant criticism, as well as a daily fear of being fire for the smallest of faults, from simple incompetence or just having a superior that dislikes you.

The look at Netflix’s corporate culture was from an exposé by the Wall Street Journal, which is the most detailed account of the company’s inner workings so far, an inquiry brought in as the people look at the streaming-video giant and how it works as it upends TV. There have been other looks on the company’s work culture, but, according to the Journal, this newest report is built from the statements of more than 70 current and former Netflix employees and executives.

Among the highlights of the corporate culture in Netflix is the ability of nearly every employee to criticize fellow employees at any time regarding their performance in the workplace. Another key tenet of the “Netflix Way”, is what they call the ‘keeper test’, where managers are asked to decide which employee’s job they’ll be willing to fight for, the ones that don’t have anyone backing them are earmarked for the firing line.

In response, a spokesperson from Netflix says that the company disagreed with some parts of the Journal’s report, but has stated that they’re always working to create a better workplace environment for its workers.

According to a statement from the spokesperson saying that Netflix believes in maintaining a high performance culture, as well as giving employees the freedom they need to perform their best, with fewer controls and greater accountability in order enable them to thrive; making smarter, and more creative decisions.

The article also detailed a corporate retreat that was held following the firing of Chief Communications Officer Jonathan Friedland following his reported use of the N-word during a corporate meeting. According to Friedland, the use of the term was only for making a point about using offensive words in comedy and that it wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.

The corporate culture at Netflix is under heavy scrutiny at the moment, with many people like Nadeem Shaikh Anthemis looking at it and weighing in on the matter, something well worth paying attention to given how big Netflix is growing.