If you have some time on your hands, take a look at this slideshare presentation from Netflix. It lays out some pretty interesting approaches to hiring, retaining, and attracting kick-ass employees as well as some unorthodox (but effective, and cool) policies regarding vacation, salaries, dress, etc. It’s long, but worth your time, I promise.
I love the piece on slide 68 regarding vacation and dress:
Netflix Vacation Policy and Tracking: There is none. Employees are able to take the amount of vacation they think they need.
Netflix Clothing Policy: “There is no clothing policy at Netflix, but no one has come to work naked lately.” – Patty McCord, 2004.
Lesson: You don’t need detailed policies for everything
I think these kinds of things are great. They promote responsibility and treat employees like adults. We need more of that.
As I talk to companies about the use of social media one question always comes up. Always. And that is what do they do if an employee starts Tweeting / Facebooking / MySpacing / Blogging / Texting or Smoke Signaling statements that reflect negatively on the company. What kinds of policies do we need? And I think the answer to that is relatively simple. If that’s happening, it’s not the fault of the technology. You don’t have at Twitter problem – you’ve got an employee problem.
See, when you see these kinds of comments, remember that they’re saying them in a public forum. So if it’s out there online, I promise you they have been saying all of those things (and most likely worse things) in private. If they post about how much they hate your business or their job on facebook, they’ve got a dartboard with your face on it already, and their pissed that you make them wear a tie everyday.
What I’m getting at here is that lots of brands and companies want to use Social Media tools to ‘be part of the conversation’ ‘participate in the community.’ But if you can’t build community within your business or foster conversation within your own walls, how the hell are you going to succeed at it online? Start by empowering your employees, make them matter and they’ll become that first line of business eveangelists that will help you succeed in this new environment.