How do netflix staff really feel about those internal emails?

New / Media oNqW15
Oct 3 129 Comments

A friend works for netflix and showed me one of those ‘this person is leaving’ emails where they detail their shortcomings. Curious how netflix staffers feel about those? I dont get the upside..

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TOP 129 Comments
  • Amazon bоb
    Sounds like a very toxic culture.
    Oct 3 10
    • Netflix / Other wrthpa
      I had plenty of public shaming at Google. This is not that. Thankfully.
      Oct 3
    • Amazon bоb
      Hai, James 👋
      Oct 3
    • Spotify / Eng qbeforeu
      is it transparency when you only hear one side of the story?
      Oct 4
    • Netflix / Other wrthpa
      As mentioned, these are sent because you likely work with this person. A lot of people have heard the other side, as well. We're very open here.
      Oct 4
    • Uber / Eng fujgvceu5
      This is much better than random rumors
      Oct 6
  • Roku / R&D Family.Man
    Love it! Every company should follow this.
    Oct 3 10
    • Cisco 1029384756
      Immature is being generous. I’d call it malevolent. These evaluations are subjective and can often be highly biased - like a d bag manager. Awful culture.

      Interestingly no comments from actual Netflix employees.
      Oct 3
    • Oracle pzd
      I see quite a few, and for some reason they seem to have favorable opinion of this practice. (Something in the water, maybe?)
      Oct 3
    • Cisco 1029384756
      I suppose they like when other people are being shamed. I bet it won’t be fun when it happens to them.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix HxFI27
      This is not about shaming somebody. Most of the time it's to give context on why the decision was taken. If you've worked closely with that person then you would want to know where things didn't work out. Depending on the manager, you sometimes get to also hear the other side of the story.
      Oct 4
    • Cisco 1029384756
      To give you in example of how other people do it, we do not even disclose if someone was fired or PIPed. We say that the person decided to move on and wish them all the best.

      It’s the decent thing to do and it’s the right thing to do. If you tell yourself otherwise, you are living in your own reality.
      Oct 4
  • Netflix flixer
    Completely untrue. This is not shared with everyone. Only with affected parties or teams that would have worked closely with the person and would want to know.
    Oct 3 5
    • BMO ohtrbf
      Well I think that’s what they mean by “everyone”, nobody thinks it’s sent to every single person in the company, that wouldn’t make any sense.

      > “They would want to know”

      Well of course they would, I would also like to know all the dirty details of why two people I know broke up - doesn’t mean there should be an email sent out with a detailed report ..
      Oct 3
    • Netflix
      realReed

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      @flixer
      May be you haven’t seen the extent of it, so I am going to give you the benefit of doubt. These emails are sent to the current Org and partner orgs. Considering a single org typically have 50-100 people, the audience is pretty big in general.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix flixer
      I think it is good to be transparent and know the reasons instead of getting the feeling that manager just didn’t like that person. It is a part of the exercise where you need to be able to justify the firing properly without your biases coming into play. I have seen many such emails and they definitely stay away from too many details such that it does not affect dignity of the person.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix flixer
      Also, it is send to the leaders and leaders can share with the teams if they feel are relevant. Not to the entire org unless it is a person that everyone knows like VP.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix notnotreed
      "justify the firiing" that's what HR and 1:1 with the employee are for. You're not entitled to all the confidential details. Get over yourself. There is only so much that can be disclosed while accounting for confidentiality.
      Oct 3
  • Netflix
    realReed

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    Sucks but this is what is it. Public shaming happened to some of the best engineers that I know in the Industry- because manager had some kind of vendetta or when these ICs didn’t agree with leadership.

    For anyone claiming that this is the right way to do it, ask yourself a question- do managers get it right most of the time? Don’t their personal bias and bad judgement get some great people fired?
    Oct 3 4
    • Red Hat johnniewic
      Very true. C**t managers of good ICs that left Red Hat maintained the ICs were forced out, even when they left for google.🤦🏼‍♂️
      Oct 3
    • Netflix notnotreed
      At what expense do mangers allow sub par employees linger? Better to let go early on than prolong, no?
      Oct 3
    • Netflix
      realReed

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      Yeah sure, let go early. But why broadcast someone’s weaknesses publicly? This is literally manger 1:1 - praise in public and criticize privately
      Oct 4
    • Netflix HxFI27
      That doesn't make sense. Why would you want that since you're reducing transparency? I agree that it's not always the right decision by the manager. But that's a different problem.
      Oct 4
  • GoodRx Sudafed
    Yeeah.. Netflix is pretty well-known for having a super demanding workplace, think of constantly being on a PIP. Since everyone is subject to it and the chance of getting let go at any point is very real - having this kind of transparency is probably helpful.
    Oct 3 4
    • Microsoft oackjfk
      And all that for a streaming service lol
      Oct 3
    • Oracle pzd
      In terms of technology and talent, Netflix isn't even close to YouTube and Google when it comes to streaming.
      Oct 3
    • Microsoft oackjfk
      I mean it’s fucking Netflix. Not NASA
      Oct 3
    • Netflix notnotreed
      Put up or shut up
      Oct 3
  • Bose
    haITried

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    haITriedmore
    Omg lol
    Oct 3 0
  • Amazon / Product
    beaver

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    beavermore
    Dang! That's like your gf telling your friends on why you suck in bed!
    Oct 3 0
  • Netflix vBWE82
    I appreciate it. In my experience, people disappearing without any context leads everyone to wonder what they did and how to prevent it from happening to them.

    The tone of the email isn't about public shaming, it's about making sure everyone knows that the decision was thought through, and that there were shortcomings, feedback, and an eventual parting of ways. You can also immediately realize that it doesn't have anything to do with you and you shouldn't be nervous.

    Netflix has a reputation of quick to fire, but it really isn't to that quick and involuntary attrition isn't that much higher than other companies, Netflix is just really straightforward about it. In all the years I've been here, I've seen hundreds of people go involuntarily and I'm only aware of a handful that didn't know it was coming ahead of time due to consistent feedback. those few people were pretty clueless and I wasn't sorry to see them go.

    Plus everyone gets a 4-month vacation so... cool.
    Oct 3 8
    • Netflix vBWE82
      In a company of thousands? It really really isn't.
      Oct 3
    • Oracle pzd
      Hundreds fired for performance reasons, even over years, sounds high. If you are hiring well, I am not sure why you need this hire and fire strategy.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix notnotreed
      Cool non empirical data that has zero basis. Please continue.
      Oct 4
    • Oracle pzd
      Yeah I am sure you have performed widespread studies on public shaming. Great company 👍 keep it up
      Oct 4
    • Uber / Eng fujgvceu5
      Much better than Oracle.... Reality is that A players find this environment refreshing
      Oct 6
  • Netflix login
    This is ok when the email states the truth about the person. However, when lies are filled to justify the fire and sent out to the entire company, it is completely toxic and damaging to the departing employee's reputation. And trust me, I have seen both.
    Oct 3 3
    • Netflix vBWE82
      Your mileage may vary, but I have never seen outright lies and I've been around for a while. Certainly sometimes the reasons for letting someone go can be more or less legitimate depending on the eye of the beholder.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix login
      I've seen lies mean I've seen lies. I dont know who you are to counter my personal experience.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix
      realReed

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      I have seen at least 10 separate instances where leadership lied about departing ICs
      Oct 4
  • Netflix jkAP00
    I've never worked at a company that didn't send these out. The only difference is, it normally only goes to other managers. Netflix doesn't put as big of a wall between management and ICs. It's a matter of transparency. The emails are high level, they don't get into detail. The purpose is to share context. A manager at Netflix is given the power to deal with performance problems quickly but not without accountability. They don't get to make these decisions quietly behind closed doors and then plead privacy whenever someone questions them. I don't know why anyone thinks that this email would hurt the employee that's leaving. They've already been fired, telling people at a high level that it was about an inability to drive alignment or that they haven't been able to deliver is hardly going to be more embarrassing than the normal whispers that would happen anyways.
    Oct 4 3
    • New / Media oNqW15
      OP
      To be clear - these emails go out to hundred of multi level staff - many of whom barely know the person. I’ve seen them.
      Oct 4
    • Netflix jkAP00
      To be clear... I actually work at Netflix.
      Oct 5
    • Netflix bread
      Non-Netflix employee telling a Netflix employee how things work at Netflix. Sounds legit 😂.
      Oct 5
  • New lxosnfj
    What does the email say?
    Oct 3 5
    • New / Media oNqW15
      OP
      I saw one that was like ‘x got let go today. His feedback was he was failing to give helpful information and was repeatedly not learning to do so’ or some version thereof.
      Oct 3
    • Amazon pdodnme
      he probably got paid enough to retire early
      Oct 3
    • New lxosnfj
      Wow, they send that to everyone
      Oct 3
    • Amazon bоb
      Did he have helpful information? Was his understanding of ‘helpful’ the same as that of others?
      Oct 3
    • Amazon pdodnme
      I must say this isn’t the worst reason to call someone out; info siloing is harmful. Just ask M’softies :D
      Oct 3
  • Netflix bread
    It’s better than “X has decided to retire effective immediately” followed by a storm of whispers and speculation.
    Oct 3 2
    • Amazon / Product
      beaver

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      beavermore
      Can you share how detailed the email is?
      Oct 3
    • Netflix / Eng BlndrThngs
      Not op. There’s no standard. Could be a couple lines to multiple paragraphs (usually for higher management). It usually to explain the rationale rather than cause confusion.

      Email is also sent to appropriate recipients. I won’t know if someone was let go in a team I don’t interact with.
      Oct 3
  • Netflix / Eng OA3
    Why is that wrong? It explains how the manager thinks about it. And the teammates get the context
    Oct 3 9
    • Netflix / Eng OA3
      Netflix managers are under scrutiny. I saw maybe 2 to 1 let go ratio between IC and manager, and about 6 to 1 ratio employed. It's much easier to get fired as a manager. A couple of IC complaining you are not fair may be enough to trigger it. There's certainly check and balance.
      Oct 4
    • Netflix notnotreed
      PIP @beaver
      Oct 4
    • Netflix / Other wrthpa
      Are you suggesting that Managers and ICs at non-Netflix companies always agree? That isn't unique to Netflix. Ultimately, at all companies, if the manager and IC don't agree on the ICs performance, then they have to leave the team. That's just the way it works.
      Oct 4
    • Netflix beebox
      How naive are you to think those emails ever reveal what really is a manager thinking? I’ve seen someone let go because of reason A but in reality it was really because of reason B that the person was let go.
      Oct 4
    • Netflix / Eng OA3
      It's in email so there's accountability even if not true. If a manager is exposed lying his/her job is at risk.
      Oct 4
  • New klnxxs
    If they send this to everyone, this is close to a public shaming.

    If they just send to the person being let go, then it is a good thing so that person knows what area to improve on
    Oct 3 2
    • Spotify Atinlay3
      Jesus you don’t need to work for Netflix if you don’t want to. All of this is explained in their culture deck, which by the way, is advised to be read before applying.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix / Other wrthpa
      It's not sent to everyone. And it's not public shaming. Emails are well crafted, add context and always wish the person well. If it's not for you, fine, but don't sit on the other side of the wall judging something you have no experience with.
      Oct 3
  • Adobe fngstained
    This is crap. You wanna shame people, also shame the people in the hiring committee who said yes. "Also, X failed to spot the same defects in Y while interviewing and are probably next in line on the way out."
    Oct 3 2
    • New klnxxs
      The you have to fire the people who hired the hiring committee and it will go up all the way to the CEO.
      Oct 3
    • Adobe fngstained
      Sure, why not? If you're that stringent about things, do it recursively all the way to the top until there're no humans left and Disney takes over the remaining assets.
      Oct 3
  • HBO yakko
    Does this happen to people who quit of their own accord or only those who were fired?
    Oct 3 6
    • HBO yakko
      Yikes.

      I would hope Netflix would at least have the decency to let me resign and send out my own email if my performance is that low.
      Oct 3
    • Netflix / Eng OA3
      This is not about you. It's about letting people work with you know why you are let go.
      Oct 3
    • HBO yakko
      Sounds like a great company to work for...
      Oct 3
    • Netflix vBWE82
      It is!
      Oct 3
    • Netflix notnotreed
      Yawn... don't let the bullshit scare you off.
      Oct 4
  • Netflix wheresthe$
    Yes, this is true. It happens all the time. But when I take a look at my paycheck, I immediately forget all about it. 😁
    Oct 4 1
    • Netflix
      history

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      Yeah $$$ is just too sweet
      Oct 4
  • New yzDM73
    Wow never apply to netflix, gotcha
    Oct 3 0
  • Cisco apj2021
    Agree...imagine a manager bad mouthing an employee after they leave...spreads rumors...this just ends all that...like it
    Oct 4 3
    • Netflix / Eng OA3
      You can't stop a manager from doing that in any company. An email like this provides some accountability. If a manager fires a few IC for performance reasons, s/he may have a recruiting issue and s/he may be let go.
      Oct 4
    • Netflix
      history

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      @OA3
      I have been reading a lot of your posts in internal as well as external forum. You are either HR/Recruiter or a manager. I have never seen you being critical of Netflix culture, like ever. As if this is the perfect place in the world. Shame on you for lying
      Oct 4
    • Netflix bread
      If you think HR/Recruting blindly drinks the kool aid you’re mistaken.
      Oct 5
  • Amazon / Eng batou
    IMO better than being let go without knowing what are the reasons.
    Oct 3 1
    • They could let you know in private
      Oct 3

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