Today’s blog post is by 10Eighty CEO and Founder Michael Moran. He has a passion for helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career and helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement.
I’m a big fan of Jacob Morgan’s Future of Work podcasts and a recent episode (broadcast on 4 June 2018) featured Patty McCord who has some interesting ideas for both organisations and individuals around career management.
McCord spent 14 years at Netflix, serving as Chief Talent Officer. She has more than 15 years’ experience in Human Resources with high-tech companies.
When Netflix started they didn’t have the budget for perks so instead, they emphasised good salary, interesting work and great colleagues. Later, they added extras and one of Netflix’s most talked about perks was unlimited vacation – it was never designed to be a perk. Initially, employees accrued 26 days a year but, as an experiment, the company decided that they wouldn’t keep track of employee vacation but instead would keep track of what got done. The focus is on results and they leave it for the employees to decide when to take their vacation time.
Hire talent and let it run with the ball
In short, Netflix expected their people to ‘act like adults’ – giving them more freedom but with high expectations of them.
This resonates with our philosophy at 10Eighty – by dispensing with the admin involved in a traditional system of booking and approving holiday time in favour of unlimited leave it allows staff to focus on building their work around their life. This approach treats employees like mature adults who know how to manage their time. If you offer compelling work, cooperative teams, and performance-based pay, then there are enough positive incentives to drive employees to work more hours.
McCord says: “At Netflix, we realized that when we had the right people, the right focus and the right deadlines, people operated pretty independently. It was about adults. It was about them knowing what they were doing. It’s about having people who are passionate about the work that you need to get done.”
Hire the curious and passionate
She also deprecates the annual performance reviews which need a rethink and traditional recruitment practices that mostly involve ticking the boxes alongside lists of skills. McCord maintains: “I advocate figuring out the problems you need to solve, then hiring people who want to solve those problems and are capable of doing it. That’s a different kind of matchmaking, rather than recruiting for skilled and experienced people.”
I particularly liked McCord’s advice to employees, her ‘algorithm for success’ – think about what makes a great day for you, self-awareness is important because your career belongs to you and you need to take ownership and seek out roles where you can do what you are good at and where what you do matters. Find someone in the organisation you admire and talk to them, how did they get where they are, you’ll get really useful, real information and, importantly, context.
The most important thing you can do to advance your career is to solve problems that need to be solved, and the way to be heard is to ask smart questions about the business so that you are seen as someone who cares about the right things and is curious and smart.