Discover innovative HR practices at global companies like Netflix, CISCO, and Intuit to create a positive work culture. Explore how these practices improve recruitment, retention, and productivity.

Creating a positive work culture and environment is key in modern day human resource management (HRM). A strong employer reputation can aid staff recruitment, retention and improve productivity and performance. From unlimited annual leave to matched savings contributions, we look at the more innovative HR practices of three global companies.  


Ranked 40th in Glassdoor’s 2023 Best Places to Work in the US with a rating of 4.3/5 from over 2K reviews, Netflix made headlines worldwide in 2009 when a 129-page PowerPoint presentation, Netflix Culture Desk, on the company’s management style went viral and received widespread acclaim for reinventing HR. 

Today, the organisational culture retains its roots, the main traits being: independent decision-making (autonomy); open, broad, and deliberate information sharing (communication); extraordinary candidness (attitude); focus on high effectiveness (productivity and effectiveness); and rule avoidance (rules and organisational rigidity).

Netflix’s HR motto is: “putting people over procedures”. This translates into an HR strategy that puts trust in its staff, focusing efforts on seeking to “hire, reward and tolerate only fully-formed adults” who “tell the truth about performance” 

From its initial paid-time-off policy of 10 vacation days, 10 holidays, and a few sick days, Netflix now operates a ‘Take vacation’ vacation policy and, instead of a set amount of parental leave, parents can return to work whenever they feel that they and their new baby are ready.

The company has adopted an ‘Act in Netflix’s best interests’ employee expense policy and has also abandoned formal performance reviews in favour of informal 360-degree performance reviews. 

CISCO systems 

A former winner, currently 49th in Glassdoor’s 2023 Best Places to Work in the US with a rating of 4.3/5 from over 30K reviews, Cisco’s motto is: “we like to keep everyone happy and healthy”. The company offers a broad range of financial, personal development, health and wellness benefits of perks, including paying staff to enjoy and take their birthday off and up to five paid days to undertake voluntary work for causes that matter to them. 

Particularly impressive is its approach to career development, which proactively encourages staff to identify their strengths, find opportunities to grow and break silos. The Job Swap and Time Swap schemes offer employees the chance to swap 100% of their job or 20% of their time on the job with someone on a temporary or permanent basis, while Stretch Assignment allows them to work on projects across various business groups.  

Previously recognised as a Top 10 Military Friendly Employer, Cisco has also led the creation of programmes designed to help veterans and their spouses develop new skills for a career in tech, directly at Cisco and its partners.

Cisco's VETS Employee Resource Organisation hosts an annual Military Career Day, a virtual event for transitioning active-duty service members, veterans, and military spouses. In 2022, its 13th year, the event extended beyond the United States to include the United Kingdom, India, and Australia/New Zealand. 


Ranked 57th in Glassdoor’s 2023 Best Places to Work in the US with a rating of 4.5/5 from over 9K reviews, software company Intuit’s employee recognition program ‘Spotlight’ was first highlighted in 2008 as a best practice case study by Stanford Business School. Its merchandise and subsequent gift certificate incentive programme to recognise outstanding performance helped shape an exciting performance-driven culture and increased employee engagement. 

With 14,200 employees in nine different countries, it remains a “purpose-driven, values-driven company” that “empowers employees to bring their whole selves to work and to do the best work of their lives”. An impressive, comprehensive benefits package is now designed to support staff to stay healthy, achieve financial security, and enjoy peace of mind for them and their family.  

This includes best-in-class medical, dental, and vision benefits, and a Well-Being for Life program that reimburses employees up to $1,300 per fiscal year for expenses related to their physical, emotional and financial well-being (e.g., a treadmill). To increase long-term financial security, Intuit matches $1.25 for every $1 staff contribute, up to 6% of their eligible pay.

They can also claim up to $5,250 per year pro rata for continuing education through accredited institutions in subjects related to their current position or career development. Little wonder that 92% of staff would recommend them to a friend and a staggering 96% approve of the CEO. 

Why study an MSc in Global Human Resource Management at Portsmouth? 

Our MSc in Global HRM is accredited by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for experts in people at work and the only body in the world that can award Chartered status to individual human resources and learning and development professionals. 

The course is also recognised by the US-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one of the largest professional human resources (HR) membership associations in the world with over 300,000 members in 165 countries.  

CIPD accreditation and being granted status as an SHRM-aligned programme not only confirms the high standard of our education, but also that the course is designed to equip you with the core competencies and skills required to meet the strategic and increasingly global demands of the profession.  

Are you looking to lead HR strategy and help organisations better use their resources to address business issues? Find out more about our part-time, online MSc in Global Human Resource Management:

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