The Keeper Test: Netflix’s High-Stakes Employee Evaluation Process

Strive to work hard if you aspire to be a Netflix employee, as failing the “keeper test” could result in being escorted out the door.

Based on Netflix’s culture memo, the organization’s “Dream Team”is motivated by achieving high levels of performance.

Essentially, even if you have been a part of the team for a decade and consider yourself an integral member, your job is in jeopardy if you are not considered a top performer.

The streaming service has a designated assessment for its managers, referred to as the “keeper test.”They are tasked with determining, “If X expressed a desire to depart, would I make an effort to retain them?”or “Considering all the information I have now, would I rehire X?”

If they decline, that employee will likely experience a similar feeling to Joe Pesci’s character at the end of Goodfellas. Alternatively, as stated by Netflix, “we believe it is more equitable for all parties involved to promptly end the relationship.”


Business Insider reports that employees who are let go based on the keeper test are given a “generous”severance package.

Despite criticism over the years, Netflix has been accused by some of promoting a toxic work environment. In an interview with Verge’s Decoder podcast, co-CEO Greg Peters acknowledged that there may have been a miscommunication about Netflix being a harsh and competitive workplace.

The company has recently updated its website by including a crucial note regarding the test and reasons why individuals should not be concerned.

“While the keeper test may seem intimidating at first glance, we strongly encourage individuals to regularly communicate with their managers about both positive and negative aspects of their work. This open dialogue helps prevent any unexpected issues from arising.”

“In addition, managers assess team members based on their overall performance, rather than dwelling on any errors or risks that may not have yielded positive results. The Dream Team values individuals who are willing to challenge the norm and experiment with novel approaches. This is why we support our employees through temporary obstacles.”

Netflix added that while everyone’s opinions are valued, they cannot all be given equal weight in decision making. The exception to this is the current memo being discussed.

In the interim, be sure to browse the selection of new movies available for streaming this month, along with a variety of TV shows and true crime documentaries that you won’t want to miss.

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