Netflix
3.2 of 5 376 reviews
www.netflix.com Los Gatos, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Netflix Reviews

Updated Mar 1, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 376 reviews

                             

71% Approve of the CEO

Netflix Founder, Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings

(295 ratings)

51% of employees recommend this company to a friend
64 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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38 people found this helpful  

Netflix: Culture of Fear

Manager (Former Employee)
Los Gatos, CA

I worked at Netflix

ProsThe pay is above market. Not a lot above market, but a bit above market. The drawback is there are absolutely no benefits to speak of (no health benefits, no training, no daycare) so that above market pay gets eaten up pretty fast by real world needs.

ConsA total fear of failure permeates the ranks. Netflix basically gives you a warning on your first mistake, and then fires you after your second mistake. This is why the annual turnover rate is well over 20%. Since there is an entirely new set of employees every few years, nobody knows what process to follow, and everything is chaotic. HR solves this by saying "there is no process for anything! Make it up as you go along!" Sure, if I fired all the employees every few years I'd stay away from process too.

The key problem is that with all the firings most employees spend the day simply trying to find cover. The ass covering at Netflix is legendary. Nobody wants to innovate. Nobody wants to reach outside their comfort zone. Netflix has created a culture of fear, and the way in which they manage terminations reinforces the culture of fear (they immediately demonize the terminated employee, and try to make the termination serve as a lesson to others).

The culture of fear is so ingrained in Netflix that many managers only have one tool for managing their directs, and that is to threaten to fire them. There simply is no other process for managing poor performance (remember, there is no process - they will admit this to you if you ask).

And finally, the last thing you should be warned about is their "high performance" culture. Their justification for all the firings is that the fired employees weren't high performers. But since there is no process, no record-keeping, there is no objective measurement of performance. So "high performers" end up being the employees that get along with the boss and keep a low profile. "High performers" at Netflix are not employees that take risks, interact with outside groups, or produce a high volume of work.

Netflix loves to talk about high performance but they have the lowest standard for high performance that I've ever seen. They are completely happy to manage with fear, however. If you put those two insane concepts together you end up with a rather hysterical environment.

Advice to Senior ManagementSo you guys did one thing well, a long time ago, and you've been marginally improving that business (DVD rental) ever since. Your astoundingly high turnover rate worked in that world, because all the processes were in place. But now you are trying to get into the streaming business, and that business only runs with knowledge workers at the helm. And guess what? Knowledge workers are pretty well-connected. The word is out that Netflix does not value its employees and as a result it's going to be harder and harder to staff your new ventures. You really need to find the groups at Netflix with the highest turnover and keep those managers away from the streaming business. You have some managers that simply do not know how to manage, they only know how to fire and hire. As much as you love to say that firing and hiring is what management is all about, you could not be more wrong. Find the teams with low turnover, they are the teams that work in spite of your chaotic work environment.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Employees treated like a paper towel - good for one use then throw away.

Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
Hillsboro, OR

I worked at Netflix

Pros- Higher that average pay for a call center
- Free food/ fun incentives
- Good benefits package

Cons- No job security what so ever
- Extreme lack of communication (you can be told you are doing great 4 days in a row and then "let go" on the 5th.)
- Sickening climate of fear in this workplace
- Lack of respect and sensitivity during the "let go" process

Advice to Senior ManagementDo not hire people just to fire them. People have feelings, and goals, and bills... do not just hire people, train them and then let them go for not being a "good fit." I followed all the rules, was an exceptional employee, and was fired for no legitimate reason. This company is getting a bad reputation for treating it's employees like disposable pee ons. Take some PRIDE in your people, let them excel and nurture them.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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13 people found this helpful  

Worst place to work.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Los Gatos, CA

I worked at Netflix

ProsHigh Salary and Good Office location

ConsAverage benefits.
Management by fear.
No human values.
Can get fired after high performance.
Severance package is not good.

Advice to Senior ManagementI never thought human values and business values have to be diametrically opposite in order for a company to succeed. Netflix is a great manifestation of that. Management by fear is what they practice and they are able to achieve great business results using that. So far it seems to work. Ethics and human values are good topics for theoretical discussion but I think those are obvious hindrances to the way modern day businesses need to run.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Love the company, Hate working for it!

Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
Hillsboro, OR

I worked at Netflix

ProsThe pay, and the perks, ie. free netflix!

ConsTerrible management! Very high schoolish. It is not how good you can do your job, its how good you are with your supervisor. Actual comment from a supervisor when asked to come in a couple minutes late for a school exam was "you need to think about what is important to you right now, school or your job." Supervisors are very self absorbed and if you are not all about them then you will be fired and off their team.

Advice to Senior ManagementTraining program is very good. They let you know what is expected of you and how to get there. Unfortunately the supervisors do not match up with the training. The training was very thorough and we went through a lot. I was very dissapointed when I got out and noticed that each sup had their own way and went a total different direction then training. We wer given examples of what not to do and you would see the supervisor doing it constantly. We were given specific verbage that we could use in certain circumstances and the supervisor will let you know how terrible you are for using that verbaige and that is not the netflix way! very contridictive. Managers only go by what their supervisors say about you so if your supervisor doesnt like you they have all the power to get rid of you. Very high turn over rate! I personally saw at least 30 people fired during the short time I was there. Even though I read the comments about get in and get out before getting canned, I went into the job thinking that would never happen! I did everything I was told to do was told I would be amazing by all the trainers and that I would go far, wasnt my supervisors best friend, so I got fired.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

No Wonder Netflix is Always Looking for Customer Service Reps!

Customer Service Representative (Former Employee)
Hillsboro, OR

I worked at Netflix

ProsBenefits on first day of work.
Nice headsets.
Clean facilities.
Just-Add-Water Microwaveable Food in break room.

ConsExceptionally high turnover rate.
Fear-based management.
Disposable employees.
Lack of respect with a smile.

Advice to Senior ManagementSet clear and realistic performance expectations. Implement and follow a concrete and clear warning procedure for poor performance. Be honest and upfront about the high turnover rate and effectively address the causes. This company is getting a reputation in Portland.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Ops Manager

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Netflix

ProsTime off was good and benefits start from day one. The RM is not there everyday as long as you get the job done.

ConsAs an Ops Manager, I was putting in 75 hours/week. The expectations were unrealistic. Even though we were #1 in the country for quality, they still wanted more. Over three years they have over 50% turn over with in their managers. Managers get let go at a moments notice yet associates must go through a HR nightmare of write ups before they get canned.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe culture is just a sign on the wall as you instructed us to put up. You have no idea what your managers are thinking because they are all worried about their careers. Pure scare tactics.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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It's an OK stepping stone, but get out when you can.

Customer Service Representative II (Former Employee)
Hillsboro, OR

I worked at Netflix

ProsPerformance based -> better performers get to pick their hours.
Free Food! Free Netflix Subcription!
Decent pay and benefits.
Easy communication between teams/HR/Loss Prevention.

ConsAngry customers whom you cannot help at all... The job is basically sitting there and getting yelled at about New Releases.
Quite a ways from the Portland Metro area. Good luck if it snows or traffic gets bad. Those WILL get you write ups the first time and every time.

Advice to Senior ManagementArguably incompetent management team. You never see them, and when you do, they can't really help. They may, however, get into their "manager" voice and spout phrases they read out of a business life book. Not enough investment in the reps. If you don't hit the numbers, you get a talking to. If you perform well (According to the recent "shift bid," I was in the top 10% of performers) you'll never hear from them. One bad month is more impactful to them than 9 months of high end numbers.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Thanks to all the former Netflixers on glassdoor! You helped confirm that it wasn't me, it was was them

Network Engineer (Former Employee)

I worked at Netflix

ProsThere were no pros to having worked there, other than people who haven't worked there assume it was an honor to have worked there because of the name recognition, so it looks good on your resume.

ConsThe building and its grounds were nice.

Advice to Senior ManagementYou have to treat employees like humans, not resources or chattel.

When I was terminated, I was one among a group of 12 people who were summoned to a meeting called, "Business Planning" that popped up in our calendars a Wednesday morning. We were handed red folders and told we had to give up all of our company equipment immediately and although we were still officially employed until the end of the week, they wanted us to leave immediately and not come back.

I assumed it was my fault, I asked my manager's manager (my manager had left a couple of months before) if there was anything I could have done differently or done better to not have been let go. He said, "No, you were all right, we just don't need you anymore." I asked if he could elaborate, but he said he didn't have time to discuss this matter, so I got no exit interview.

I was mostly in shock, because I'd never been fired before and I'd spent nights and weekends at the office, making sure I got my tasks and projects completed on time and correctly; I was confused and slightly bitter.

Thank you glassdoor and all the rest of the former Netflix employees who were also treated so poorly. You've made me realize that it wasn't me. I worked hard and performed well but i was fired for reasons that Netflix didn't want to bother telling me about. I'd never had a disciplinary action or even an employee review during the year that I worked there.

HR can hop onto glassdoor.com and stuff it with praised filled reviews all they want, but we know the truth.

The final kick in the pants was that there was a job posting for my job at Netflix on Monster within a few days.

Final word. Netflix does not care about you at all. They would rather spend more time, money and resources training new employees than reviewing existing employee's performances.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Pay was great, leadership was horrendous..

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Los Gatos, CA

I worked at Netflix

ProsGreat Pay
Decent health plan
Great amenities
Building was well maintained/clean
Decent Swag
Plenty of parking
That's about all for the "pros' and that was a stretch.

ConsNetflix is an HR driven company. As far as I am concerned they are the "bullies" of Netflix. Nothing is confidential. Be prepared, whatever you discuss with an HR employee will be leaked out to nearly everyone at Netflix. They will take confidential information and turn it into the joke of the day. Senior/Executive HR staff is crass and they seem to think cursing in front of others and telling lewd jokes is appropriate workplace etiquette.

No-vacation policy (As far as I am concerned, it is a scam). They work you so hard you feel guilty about taking time off. Between the blackberry they "give" you as soon as you walk through the door, and the laptop you will receive, you are never off the clock.

The revolving door in this place will literally make you dizzy. During my time at Netflix I can't even begin to count how many employees were terminated or resigned on a daily basis. Senior management even seemed to be desensitized to the large number of terminations.

No job security. You can be doing a fantastic job one day and the next day you are "re-structured"

Reed - Do yourself a favor.. Hire senior staff who truly understands the values that you believe in and who want their employees to embrace them. Currently the values are about as clear as mud. If one truly tries to abide by every aspect of what it reads, they will be fired. Wake up buddy, you are smarter that? Aren’t you?

Advice to Senior ManagementStop having meetings about having more meetings. A lot of managers at Netflix seem to be good at doing that. What amazed me is that even though all they do is seem to be locked in conference rooms all day, nothing good ever comes out of them. Perhaps they are plotting who to fire next??

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Not for me

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Netflix

ProsVacation policy
Free movies
Fair benefits
Fun concept
Nice coworkers

ConsSenior management
No security
No recognition for good performance
No respect from management
No HR support

Advice to Senior ManagementWhat happened to this company? Used to be a great job, not so much anymore. Please start caring about your people. We have lost many talented people, more want to leave. See what's going on and help your employees want to stay and get the old culture back.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Netflix reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. All 64 reviews posted anonymously by Netflix employees.