Keep the Star Employees. The others need a generous severance package now!

I’m doing research on the NetFlix customer service culture this afternoon for a customer service conference I’m hosting next week. One of my many discoveries about the company’s culture is that they view themselves as a team, not a family, according to one website. And there’s a big difference folks. In a family, you never want to get rid of a member. You (hopefully) believe the best of everyone and you stick it out no matter what. Not so with a professional sports team. You keep the stars and trade or ax the rest.

Netflix works to hire well and sees the coach’s job as hiring, developing, and cutting smartly so they have stars at every level. The Netflix culture is no recreational basketball camp. No, they run their operations like a professional sports team, according to a 128 slide PowerPoint deck that someone posted on SlideShare, “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” The enlightening PowerPoint deck explains the Netflix Manager’s Keeper’s test:

 The Keeper Test Managers Use:

“Which of my people, if they told me they were leaving in two months for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep at Netflix?”

They keep the stars and believe “the other people should get a generous severance package now so we can open up a slot and find a star for that role.”

It may sound cut-throat, but it works. In 2009 Netflix was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD and surpassing 10 million subscribers. The company is legendary for customer service and they’ve got their competitors running scared. Take a look at the PowerPoint deck I’m reviewing for my customer service conference. (below)