When benefits and employee development are intrinsically linked

“If you were having a hard time in your family, would you consider firing one of your children?” asks Charlie Kim, founder and co-CEO of Next Jump. Next Jump is an employee discount platform used by over 70% of Fortune 1000 companies to help their employees save money. Next Jump also offers various apps and tools to measure and manage employee performance and organizational culture. And incredibly, it’s a company that offers employment for life.

Bottom line, Next Jump is a company that puts corporate culture and personal growth above all else. They are known for their famous lifetime employment policy (i.e. no firing for performance reasons). Founded in 1994 by Charlie Kim, Next Jump is headquartered in New York and today employs more than 200 people in offices in Boston, San Francisco and London.

Culture in a deliberately developmental organization, defined

In 2016, Next Jump was selected by Harvard Business Review as one of only three Deliberate Development Organizations (DDOs). DDOs are the rare companies that have built their culture to support the development of all their employees, on a daily basis. DDOs place great importance on corporate culture, personal development as well as professional goals, self-organization, lifelong learning and transparency. Companies like Next Jump understand that profits and employee development are intrinsically linked. The higher the level of employee expertise and commitment within the company, the higher the ratio of reliable profits.

The cultural formula of Next Jump

Next Jump believes that to become a better company, employees must work on themselves and, in turn, help others grow. At the heart of Next Jump’s culture and management philosophy is the following formula:

better me (improve) + you better (helping others with what you learned) = better us

At Next Jump, the employees who improve the culture reap the greatest financial rewards. Next Jump was featured in the book Everyone’s Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization by Andy Fleming. As the book shared, “At Next Jump, you could be a revenue-generating god and still get penalized in compensation if you don’t work on personal growth.” The biggest bonus and salary increase goes to those who improve the culture.

A business with no shiny jerks allowed

Next Jump does not want to be a company of “brilliant jerks”. Their #1 hiring criterion is humility, as they believe it is the single most important predictor of personal growth. Leadership, responsibility and the absence of a victim mentality are other key characteristics.

Next Jump has developed the Feedback Lab app, which allows every employee to give anonymous and public feedback to everyone. “Imagine what that does to transparency and open debate. Granted, in the corporate culture of most traditional organizations, it can be humiliating to be publicly criticized by your colleagues,” Kim explained in a blog featuring Next Jump. “And yes, you can have a troll that disparages everything you do. But the idea itself is fascinating because it puts the money where many companies (mouths) are.

Accountability is forced to unprecedented levels for all employees. In such an environment, criticizing someone higher on the ladder is now almost risk-free! Old-fashioned pep talks and cryptic instructions no longer fly when everyone in an entire organization, including top-level employees, is open to public evaluation.

No shooting for performance reasons

Next Jump introduced a no-layoff policy in 2012 – offering a lifetime employment commitment for its employees – “The ultimate job security,” says Tarun Gidoomal, Next Jump’s chief executive. “In addition to raising our hiring standards, it was a signal of intent for employees to show that you can expose vulnerabilities, weaknesses and flaws without fear of losing your job.” Such powerful words. This lifetime employment policy forces Next Jump to go to even greater lengths to find the right talent, as well as going to great lengths to support an employee when they’re in trouble. When employees feel supported by their employer, any attitude of unhappiness tends to go out the window. And as if that weren’t enough, when employees are treated with such empathy in the workplace, it naturally translates into the empathy they extend to customers, which tends to result in top-notch customer service. order. Everyone wins.

Gidoomal says the company’s sales have increased fivefold, more than $2.5 billion a year, since the launch of the lifetime employment policy in 2012. They have also seen the impact of this strategy business on other parameters such as profitability and maintaining leadership. The corporate example of a direct correlation between achieving personal goals and long-term career success has the US Air Force, CIA, and many corporations studying Next Jump cultural strategies.

John R. Di Julius IIIauthor of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies such as Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestlé, PwC, Lexus and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or [email protected].