HR Summit 2018: Facebook's values-driven culture

Through all its ups and downs, Facebook's corporate values is the one thing that has kept it on the right path.

Ken Hoskin, HR Business Partner, Emerging Markets, Facebook, recalls a time when being agile allowed the social media giant to become one of the first platforms to roll out a live video application. That application, is what we now know as Facebook Live.

“It started out as a hackathon sometime ago, where a project team was building a streaming service, and successfully piloted it in front of Mark (Zuckerberg),” Hoskin tells a packed crowd on day two of the HR Summit & Expo Asia 2018.

“So we quickly put it into 'lockdown stage', which means we allocate all our resources to develop it into a final product. Two months later, we launched Facebook Live.”

“Moving fast” is one of the social media network's five company values, with the others being “building social value”, “being bold”, “being open”, and “focusing on impact”. Hoskin says these values not only drive the culture across the organisation, but are at the heart of everything that Facebook does. And HR is no exception.

Today, those values are deeply ingrained in all of Facebook's people practices.

For example, in terms of career development, the company takes a very unique, individualised approach, rather than being overly structured.

“As a strengths-based organisation, we look at what people's strengths are, then match them to the right role and career path,” says Hoskin.

Facebook also allows its people to grow and stretch beyond their primary roles. In addition to being part of a greater team, individuals who showcase the right capabilities are also allowed to take on individual projects and contribute indepdendently. They can then alternate between both roles as needed.

The performance review process also reflects those same cultural values.

At Facebook, there are two performance reviews every year. While many companies have removed performance ratings, the company has discovered that people do like ratings. However, Facebook makes its ratings formulaic so that all manager biases are removed. The ratings are then linked to bonuses and compensation.

Hoskin adds that Facebook is now focusing on encouraging people to seek feedback.

“This desire to want feedback and want to improve will trickle down throughout the rest of the organisation,” he says.

Furthermore, despite the company's recent data privacy breaches, Hoskin says the company is still standing strong and staying true to its values. 


HR Summit & Expo Asia 2018 is taking place at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 9 and 10. Check out the full list of coverage here.


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