Netflix & Ethena: Solving the Problem with Content
Updated: May 14
As Senior Counsel for Employment at Netflix, Jon Hicks set out to solve what his years of experience told him was the biggest problem in harassment prevention: how do we get our employees to want to do their training? How do we make it feel important? When a colleague forwarded Ethena’s innovative training, Jon saw an opportunity to make an impact and reached out.
After a year of brainstorming and over eight months of compliance training, Ethena’s legal advisor, Melissa Tidwell, sat down via webinar with Jon to discuss Netflix’s approach to compliance, culture, and how working with Ethena became a solution to a difficult problem.
We’ve put together some key takeaways below.
Check out the recording of the webinar at the bottom of the page!
Netflix arms their employees with the right tools and flexibility they need to make important decisions, even when it comes to pitching a new training platform.
It’s no surprise to anyone reading this that one of the most-recognizable film studios and streaming platforms in the world used to only be known for mail-order movie rental. Netflix’s drive to evolve extends beyond the entertainment industry—their approach to company culture has made headlines around the world. Jon points out that part of what makes Netflix’s workplace culture special is the degree of agency the company gives its employees to make the right decisions to solve any problem, often leading to dynamic, out-of-the-box solutions atypical of their peers.
When it came to finding an anti-harassment solution, Jon utilized this agency, experimenting with all kinds of methods and media to empower Netflix employees with the right knowledge and skills to address harassment in the moment, but nothing seemed to stick. Netflix could write their own training content and host their own in-house training, but nothing seemed to engage folks like Jon envisioned. Ethena’s delivery method—i.e. short, monthly, continuous training delivered directly to employee inboxes—as well as Ethena’s willingness to write custom scenarios that tailored the training to the perspective of a Netflix employee won Jon over. Ethena’s training nudges felt relatable, directly applicable to the daily life of a Netflix employee, and the convenience of short training sessions that employees could access from their computer or smartphone made new training feel exciting.
To Jon, the best company culture is one that can quickly change with the company and the people that work there, empowering them to make good decisions with the best tools and fewer policies in the way to slow things down.
There’s more than one way to measure training success.
Evaluating Ethena as a training tool, Jon noted, is easy to do when you look at the numbers: from the admin end, tracking high compliance rates and positive in-app feedback are easy indicators of the training going well.
But for Jon, the first thing that comes to mind is the content. Netflix employees love good stories, so it makes sense that when stories and training scenarios from within Ethena’s training nudges are referenced when real-life problems arise, the training is really working.
What is the future of compliance and anti-harassment training?
Considering what the workplace training landscape might look like ten years from now, Jon noted that innovation lies at the heart of the training itself: the content.
When you ask someone to do something at work, the better the quality of that thing, the more it looks like you care about that issue. And if you’re giving people high-quality, just well-thought-out and appreciated content around all of your trainings and particularly anti-harassment, folks are going to feel like you take it seriously. And that feeling matters, and I think people are going to start to appreciate that.
When it comes to content that really resonates, “very few people get it right,” and finding the best ways to deliver those messages is key to building training that works.
To Jon, investing in giving the best resources to your employees is crucial to not only protecting them when things go south; it’s crucial to showing you care.
A huge thank you to Jon Hicks and Melissa Tidwell for an amazing talk! Thank you all who attended. For those of you who missed it, check out the recording below:
If the link above isn't working, try this one!