more-arw search

Q&A Forum

How Netflix Reinvented HR

"We also departed from a formal travel and expense policy and decided to simply require adultlike behavior there, too. The company’s expense policy is five words long: “Act in Netflix’s best interests.” In talking that through with employees, we said we expected them to spend company money frugally, as if it were their own. Eliminating a formal policy and forgoing expense account police shifted responsibility to frontline managers, where it belongs. It also reduced costs: Many large companies still use travel agents (and pay their fees) to book trips, as a way to enforce travel policies. ..."

This was Patty McCord in the Jan/Feb 2014 HBR. Patty was the former chief talent officer of Netflix.

So here is a totally unstructured approach to expenses.


  • Would it work in your company?
  • Could you support a culture and paradigm change?
  • Do you think you'd save money?


Ken Stumder
Title: Finance Director / Controller
Company: Ken Stumder, CPA
(Finance Director / Controller, Ken Stumder, CPA) |

Sure that approach makes sense - if your travel and expense is internal and non-billable.

Netflix is not a consultancy or other professional service firm. Those usually require a policy because their clients have right of audit (and often mandate T&E conform to their own policy).

Sure, everyone can go on Travelocity and cut out the agency middleman. I doubt that takes advantage of a company's leverage if they are a big spender in the travel arena. Most large / mature business want to negotiate favorable rates.

Patty's comments (about PTO) "Some people worried about whether the system would be inconsistent...In general, I worried more about fairness than consistency, because the reality is that in any organization, the highest-performing and most valuable employees get more leeway." Hmmm.

Agreed with the Tell the Truth About Performance excerpt. The Maria scenario was very good.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

There was a thread a couple of months ago about T&E policies where I answered a "conceptual" policy would be good for them and cited a tech company (that I could not remember) with the same policy...... it was Netflix!


Get Free Membership

By signing up, you will receive emails from Proformative regarding Proformative programs, events, community news and activity. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact Us.

Business Exchange

Browse the Business Exchange to find information, resources and peer reviews to help you select the right solution for your business.

Learn more

Contribute to Community

If you’re interested in learning more about contributing to your Proformative community, we have many ways for you to get involved. Please email to learn more about becoming a speaker or contributing to the blogs/Q&A Forum.