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Management advice from Netflix, LinkedIn: Talk about job offers



woman interview hr manager talk boss
can benefit the employee and the organization.

Institute for Media, Architecture and

  • The best management
    strategy is encouraging employees to be open about next steps
    in their career, according to top tech companies like Netflix
    and LinkedIn.
  • Executives at these companies have said publicly that
    they have no problem with employees interviewing for other jobs
    — in fact, they sometimes want to help them with the
  • Some research suggests that employee departures can
    bolster the company’s and the manager’s image, if the employees
    leave for high-status competitors.

Interviewing for a job while you have another job can be tricky —
often you end up lying to your current employer about why you’re
late to work or stuffing a suit jacket under your desk so no one
asks why you look so spiffy today.

And yet if you ask executives at some top tech companies, they’ll
tell you this whole process is ridiculous.

A growing number of tech companies say they want to know when
their employees are looking at other jobs. And instead of
considering the employees traitorous, they’ll sometimes go out of
their way to help the employees land those other roles.

Consider Netflix, famous for its culture of “freedom and
responsibility.” Its
website reads
: “Knowing that other companies would quickly
hire you if you left Netflix is comforting. We see occasional
outside interviewing as healthy, and encourage employees to talk
with their managers about what they learn in the process.”

Patty McCord, Netflix’s former chief talent officer,
previously told Business Insider
that this openness has a
number of potential benefits. For example, McCord said,
interviewing can help you clarify your professional goals because
you may be more honest with the hiring manager than you are with
your boss. On the other hand, it can make you appreciate your
current company more.

Read more: 

encourages employees to interview at other companies — here’s

Ryan Bonnici, chief marketing officer of G2 Crowd, a platform for
sharing business software reviews, writes in the
Harvard Business Review
that he encourages his best employees
to consider outside job offers.

According to Bonnici, this practice helps him attract and even
retain top performers. One reason why, he writes, is that when
great employees leave on good terms, “out in the world, they’ll
be in a powerful position to speak honestly about their
experiences. If they leave our company feeling good about us,
they’ll speak positively about the brand.” Some employees may
even be inclined to return to G2 Crowd later on.

Bonnici cites the inspiration of Reid Hoffman, cofounder of
LinkedIn, who
writes in HBR
that talking about an employee’s outside job
offers fosters trust and honesty in the workplace.

Jellyvision, which makes interactive benefits communication
software, has a “graceful leaving policy” to help both the
company and its employees. As Erica Keswin details in her book
Your Human to Work
,” Jellyvision asks employees to notify the
company when they start looking for a new job — and in return,
the company helps the employee in their job search.

Mary Beth Wynn, Jellyvision’s senior vice president of people,
echoed Bonnici’s sentiments in an interview with Lauren Dixon at

Talent Economy
: “Out in the world, they’ll be in a powerful
position to speak honestly about their experiences. If they leave
our company feeling good about us, they’ll speak positively about
the brand.” 

Facebook, meanwhile, makes sure that all employees have
succession plans, Business Insider’s
Richard Feloni reported
. That way, the company isn’t slowed
down by people changing roles or leaving the company.

Some research suggests that employee departures can benefit the

Some management research lends credence to the idea that you
should help your employees build fulfilling careers — even if
it’s not at your company.

In his book “Superbosses,”
Dartmouth business professor Sidney Finkelstein writes that the
best managers don’t try to hold onto employees forever. In fact,
Finkelstein argues, the way “superbosses
become successful themselves is by creating industry-wide
networks of people who have worked for them so that they’re
always well-connected.

And a
2017 study
, published in the Strategic Management Journal and
cited in
The Wall Street Journal
, found that when lawyers leave their
firms for promotions at high-status competitors, their former
firms are subsequently perceived as more prestigious.

To be sure, the willingness to help employees move on may go
hand-in-hand with other, less savory aspects of workplace
The Wall Street Journal
recently published an article on
Netflix, suggesting that many employees are in constant fear of
losing their jobs. (Indeed, McCord
previously told Business Insider
that, if you’re no longer
meeting the company’s needs, you may very well be ousted.)

As for Bonnici, he says he’s committed to G2 Crowd employees’
development above all — even his own. He
writes in HBR
, “I’ve not only encouraged my employees to look
elsewhere but also told them that I keep an eye out for potential
new jobs for myself as well.”

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