Goal: 15 Percent Turnover Every Year

August 14, 2014

Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.:

I know of one gaming company in Los Angeles that had a stated goal of turning over 15 percent of its workforce every year. The reasoning behind such a policy was that productivity shoots up when you hire smart, hungry kids fresh out of school and work them to death. Attrition was inevitable under such conditions, but that was okay, because the company’s needs outweighed those of the worker. Did it work? Sure, maybe. To a point. But if you ask me, that kind of thinking is not just misguided, it is immoral. At Pixar, I have made it known that we must always have the flexibility to recognize and support the need for balance in all of our employees’ lives. While all of us believed in that principle—and had from the beginning—Toy Story 2 helped me see how those beliefs could get pushed aside in the face of immediate pressures.