• Brandminds 2020

How Company Culture Drives Success – Netflix, HubSpot and UiPath

What is company culture? Company culture is a set of shared beliefs, values and practices.

Let’s see how Netflix, HubSpot and UiPath define their company culture and why it is central to their success.

Netflix Company Culture – With Empowerment comes Trust and Expectations follow. The ‘No Rules Policy’.

Netflix is one of the first companies to draft an in-depth long-form employee culture manifesto.

It’s been ten years since Netflix CEO Reed Hastings published his SlideShare presentation detailing his company’s employee culture. The slide has gained over 19 million views to date.

It certainly caused quite a stir among people worldwide! And let me say it again: it was 2009 when the world was still suffering the consequences of the global financial crisis (rising unemployment, declining economic growth, etc).

What makes Netflix’s company culture special?

Instead of tightening its control on employees which is what any other company would do in times of turmoil, Netflix was taking a different and surprising approach.

Like all great companies, Netflix strives to hire the best. So do a thousand other companies, nothing special about that.

Building a great employee culture doesn’t stop with hiring the best people for the job, that is only the beginning.

The hardest part comes after the hiring process has ended and it involves getting every employee on the same page.

How does Netflix do that?

By empowering its employees, trusting them to make the right decisions and expecting them to deliver high-quality work.

Oh, and one more thing: avoiding rules. Now that’s pretty unusual.

We don’t have rules about picking up the real or metaphoric trash. We try to create the sense of ownership so that this behaviour comes naturally.

Our goal is to inspire people more than manage them. We trust our teams to do what they think is best for Netflix — giving them lots of freedom, power, and information in support of their decisions. In turn, this generates a sense of responsibility and self-discipline that drives us to do great work that benefits the company.

We believe that people thrive on being trusted, on freedom, and on being able to make a difference. So we foster freedom and empowerment wherever we can.

We work to have a company of self-disciplined people who discover and fix issues without being told to do so.

“Use good judgment” is our core precept.

Netflix

9 ways Netflix nurtures employee freedom and encourages responsibility:

  1. Management shares documents internally broadly and systematically;
  2. No spending controls or contract signing controls;
  3. Travel, entertainment, gifts, and other expenses are allowed if employees Act in Netflix’s best interest”;
  4. No compliance departments that most companies have to enforce their policies;
  5. Unlimited vacation policy which encourages employees to intermix work and personal time at their own will. It helps them get back to work with fresh new ideas;
  6. Netflix’s parental leave policy is: “Take care of your baby and yourself”;
  7. No compensation handcuffs“People are free to leave at any time, without loss of money, and yet they overwhelmingly choose to stay. We want managers to create conditions where people love being here, for the great work and great pay”;
  8. The company is strict about ethical issues and safety issues, it shows zero tolerance for harassment or trading on insider information;
  9. Holding meetings is another corporate pain point that Netflix deals with differently than other companies. The company schedules effective meetings where the meeting starts and ends on time with well-prepared agendas. The main takeaway from this is these meetings are more about learning from each other and get more done than preventing errors or approving decisions.

Every company or/and employee culture is a reflection of the executives working there.

Netflix

HubSpot Company Culture – We dare to be different

HubSpot is a platform uniting software, education, and community to help businesses grow better every day.

The company was co-founded by fellow MIT graduates Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2005.

This year, HubSpot was named a Best Workplace for Millennials by Great Place To Work and Fortune, #2 Best Company for Professional Development, Leadership and a Best CEO for Diversity and Women by Comparably. 2700+ HubSpot employees work in 8 global offices.

So how does HubSpot define its company culture?

In 2013, HubSpot published the Culture Code: Creating a Lovable Company on SlideShare.

They state company culture is an obsession because culture doesn’t just help attract amazing people, it amplifies their abilities and helps them do their best work.

What makes HubSpot’s company culture special?

HubSpot set themselves apart from other companies by being different.

How are they different?

They are maniacally committed to their mission and their metrics.

Their mission is to help organizations grow and metrics help them earn the resources to further their mission.

9 ways HubSpot ensures they are different and how employees benefit from it:

  1. They share openly and are remarkably transparent (financials, board meeting deck, management meeting deck, strategic topics, etc);
  2. No door’ policy“Everyone has open access to anyone in the company.”
  3. They favour autonomy and take ownership;
  4. When employees need to make a decision the only rule is to use good judgement;
  5. Employees need to follow only two rules: Don’t solve for your personal interests to the detriment of the team. When in doubt, favour solving for the customers’ interests over our own;
  6. Long-term interest prevails over anything else;
  7. “Don’t just hire to delegate. Hire to elevate;
  8. Remarkable outcomes are rarely the product of modest risk.”
  9. They refactor to continue on being exceptional. They look for simplicity so they avoid turning into a Goliath of an organization – slow to adapt, less innovative, easily outrun by the competition.

Power is gained by sharing knowledge, not hoarding it.

HubSpot

UiPath Company Culture – Humility drives innovation

Co-founded in 2005 in a tiny apartment in Bucharest by Daniel Dines and Marius Tirca, the Romanian RPA Unicorn UiPath has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings.

Today the company has additional offices in London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Bengaluru and Melbourne and a total funding amount of $1 billion.

In 2018, among tens of thousands of large U.S. companies, UiPath has been awarded the 11th Best Place to Work, based on company culture, and one of the top 50 Best Companies for Women and Diversity. Also, UiPath ranked sixth for Happiest Companies in Comparably’s 2018 Culture Awards.

In 2019, UiPath was named a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for Robotic Process Automation Software. This recognition celebrates the company’s ability to execute and completeness of vision.

In February 2019, the company published UiPath Culture Deck on SlideShare.

What makes UiPath’s company culture special?

UiPath’s purpose is to accelerate human achievement.

They set out to change the way work is done, but they are keen on making their people happy. If their people are not happy, they have failed no matter how successful they are.

UiPath believes that a happy employee is an employee who is listened to by their leaders. And being successful as a leader means exercising humility and practising active listening.

They also state that the company’s future is centred on psychological safety beyond anything else. With global expansion and technological connectedness come unique challenges.

It’s paramount the company finds ways to overcome these challenges and stay on the path to innovation.

The core values of UiPath are speed, immersion, boldness and humility.

7 ways UiPath provides its employees with a psychologically safe workplace:

  1. Authenticity – The company doesn’t expect its employees to fit a certain mould. Instead, they are encouraged to be who they really are. “We hired you for your unique experience and insight.”
  2. Trust and ownership from day one – Employees support each other whether they know each other or not;
  3. Everyone is empowered to speak up if they have an idea even if it’s outside of their expertise because it shows they care and maybe it’s a different perspective the company should take into consideration;
  4. Humility – Employees are expected to be humble, open and listen in order to learn even that at which they already excel; they are encouraged to get their hands dirty and do whatever it takes to drive towards innovation;
  5. The company encourages its employees to acknowledge and address their fears because this is the key to personal growth and team improvement;
  6. UiPath leaders are trained to listen, really listen to their team members and be ready to give and take criticism;
  7. Employees are encouraged to disconnect their mind from work when they’re at home. This allows space for inspiration and ideas flowing freely which is a great way to keep moving towards excellence.

Buckle up – you’re about to board a rocket ship into uncharted space. This company is a meritocracy and your potential is limitless.

UiPath

Conclusion

All three companies run highly successful businesses with thousands of employees working in offices spread across the world.

The elements that all of them have in common are trust, responsibility and empowerment. Netflix expects its employees to act in the company’s best interest, HubSpot encourages them to use good judgement and UiPath ensures a safe work environment to drive innovation.

What is your company culture?

How does your company culture support your organization achieve its business objectives?

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