Neil Blumenthal of Warby Parker says there are two reasons why people leave their jobs: 1) They don’t like their boss or 2) they aren’t learning and growing.
To make sure people are happy and prevent turnover, Warby Parker’s culture is rooted in open and honest feedback.
“So, we spend a lot of time developing leaders internally and creating learning opportunities,” Blumenthal tells Adam Bryant at The New York Times.
When Blumenthal started the
online eyewear phenemenon with three of his former classmates, they decided they would have a “360 review” of one another every month. This involves going back to the bar where they had the original idea and take turns putting someone in the “hot seat,” meaning they would get open and honest feedback — even if it’s harsh.
“We have quarterly 360 reviews for every employee, which is very time-consuming,” said Blumenthal. “But as a manager, it’s your highest priority to be developing your people. The promise we make to our employees is that you’ll always know how you’re doing and that there will never, ever be surprises.”
At Warby Parker, employees are asked to share their happiness rating (on a scale of zero to 10) with their managers every week. Blumenthal says this forces a conversation to happen and managers are also able to see the trends going on in their company.
The company also asks everyone for an innovative idea weekly. This reinforces the idea that everyone is responsible for the success of the company.
“The question is, How do you remain a disruptive company? How do you create a culture of innovation? The first way is actually asking for innovation. A lot of companies don’t expect or ask their team members to come up with ideas, but we demand it. It’s just everybody’s responsibility.”
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