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Cleveland, Ohio


Echo System Partners works with organizations to co-create workplaces that inspire high levels of employee engagement tapping into individual greatness for organizational good.

Organizations that work with Echo discover exactly how their people are the secret to their success and they build action plans to secure this competitive advantage.

Echo’s approach is collaborative. With thorough understanding of an organization's goals and success drivers, we tailor customized engagements that will yield measurable results.  We blend a wealth of experiences, research, and knowledge to create actions that will bring your strategic vision to life.

Echo's Blog

A blog that provides snapshots of key ideas that inspire organization growth. 

One idea: Focus on a basic concept. (Explore complex concepts in white papers.)

Short but Useful: Practical insights and ideas that can be quickly implemented.

Engaging: Quick and entertaining.

Thought Provoking: Generate resourceful thought.

Inspire: What works in organizations. 

5 Employee Engagement Tips from Netflix

Regina Loiko

The January-February 2014 Harvard Business Review Article titled How Netflix Reinvented HR, highlights some thought provoking organization development ideas. Here is summary of the article’s high points and a few of our own ideas to add to your organization development knowledge bank.

Netflix talent philosophy is based on two principles.

1.    “The best thing you can do for employees: a perk better than foosball or free sushi—is hire only ‘A’ players to work alongside them.

2.    “If we wanted only ‘A’ players on our team, we had to be willing to let go of people whose skills no longer fit, no matter how valuable their contributions had once been. Out of fairness to such people—and, frankly, to help us overcome our discomfort with discharging them—we learned to offer rich severance packages.”

 Two critical points to consider related to these principles. One, what is the definition of an ‘A’ player in your organization? Two, how do you cultivate ‘A’ players? Clarity on these items will help you identify who may not be a good fit rather than who has different ideas about how to get things done.

From Netflix’s two philosophies they developed five talent tenants to inform how they live these principles.  

Five Talent Tenants 

1.    Only Hire Adults

In the article:

  • “If we asked people to rely on logic and common sense instead of a formal policies, most of the time we would get better results, and at a lower cost.”
  • “If you hire fully formed adults who put the company first an annual bonus won’t make them work harder or smarter. Rather consistently pay at the top end of market value...”

Echo input:

  • Treat all employees like adults and they will behave like adults. Restrictive policies, procedures, and bureaucracy send the message that people are not to be trusted or that they do not have sense enough to do the right thing. Be conscientious of the cycles you create. I once heard a leader say the only way we get results is if we treat people like 10 year olds. I asked--is that because they have always been treated like 10 year olds? Side note: treating 10 year olds with respect and trust also yields desired results.

2.    Tell the Truth about Performance

In the article:

  • “Eliminate formal reviews and asked managers and employees to have conversations about performance as an organic part of their work. Building a bureaucracy and elaborate rituals around measuring performance usually doesn't improve it.

Echo input:

  • Don’t try to control people or make them fit where they don’t. Rather let go respectfully, allow individuals to move on and feel good about their contributions.
  • Performance management is a shared responsibility. Cultivate an environment where employees are as likely to begin a performance related conversation as their manager. 

3.    Managers Own the Job of Creating Great Teams

In the article:

  • Envision your ideal team and build it.”
  • We continually told managers that building a great team was their most important task. We didn’t measure them on whether they were excellent coaches or mentors or got their paperwork done on time. Great teams accomplish great work, and recruiting the right team was the top priority.”

4.    Leaders Own the Job of Creating the Company Culture

In the article:

  • "It’s a waste of time to articulate ideas about values and culture if you don’t model and reward behavior that aligns with those goals.”
  • "Even if you have hired people who want to perform well, you need to clearly communicate how the company makes money and what behaviors will drive its success.

Echo input (#3&4):

  • Clear communication on what is expected of great teams and great leaders in SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic and Time Bound) is key to building great teams.

5.    Good Talent Managers Think Like Business People and Innovators First, and Like HR People Last

In the article:

  • “Instead of cheerleading, people in HR professions should think of themselves as business people. What’s good for the company?  How do we communicate that to employees? How can we help every worker understand what we mean by high performance?”

Echo Input

  • Help people understand how what is good for the company is good for them.
  • See that every team member knows how they create value for the organization.