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Home » Leadership

THIS company with unlimited holidays just made new highs…

Submitted by on Monday, 16 August 2010No Comment

Setting up your company for success

Winston Churchill once said that ‘If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.’

It’s interesting to see more and more companies heeding this advice and streamlining their rules, regulations and processes into simpler formats.

But when Netflix scrapped restrictions on holidays some people in the industry felt they weren’t streamlining but ‘dreamlining’. ‘This will end in anarchy,’ experts said.

Two years on, and the stock price has just posted new highs (see the chart below) and, far from creating anarchy, the unlimited holidays initiative is working a dream for the company.

The thinking behind the move (as covered in greater depth in this article here) is that employees who are trusted work more effectively. And results from key indicators so far are proving that right.

A Corporate Culture built on Trust

In this post published last year, we looked at some of the types of corporate culture as defined by Dov Seidman in his bestselling book How.

He identified 4 main types of corporate cultures: anarchy, blind obedience, informed acquiescence, and self-governance cultures.

It’s this fourth type of culture that Netflix has tried to create – and so far is succeeding remarkably well.

The company’s ‘culture DNA’ is a must read, not only for HR professionals but any managers who believe creating an engaging workplace is an essential part of corporate success.

Bear in mind this is from the company that has, through its commercial acumen, virtually bankrupted its prime competitor Blockbuster Video.

Buckets and Spades anyone?

Anyone who thinks that doing away with rules and regulations is a recipe for anarchy may want to consider the example not only of Netflix but also:

» Nordstrom, which has only one goal and one rule for its staff, that is ‘to provide outstanding customer service’ and ‘to use your good judgement in all situations’. Nordstrom has been the leader in its industry segment for over a decade.

» GE Durham (which manufactures jet engines). Employees have only one KPI – to meet delivery time. The company has no other requirements including holiday time and even work hours, and boasted a zero-defect record for all its parts in 2008 (last data point). The story is covered here.

» Richer Sounds, which has the highest per square foot sales in retail globally, and allows its employees similar flexibility.

In all the above examples, it’s remarkable how trusting employees (while defining behaviours and expectations clearly) leads to breakthrough performance.

Netflix’s culture DNA is, in our view, a manifesto for change than any company can learn from.

What you can do now

If you would like to find out how Talent Technologies can help you enhance your corporate culture through our Employee Engagement solution in Thailand and Asia, you can find out more here. Or follow the link below for more information!

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Talent Technologies :: Employee Engagement in Thailand and Asia

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