In 2014, Inc Magazine published an article with an interesting headline, “The Most Successful Company You’ve Never Heard of.” It was about Charlie Kim and his company, Next Jump. As the title of the article suggests, Next Jump is not a widely known company to the public.
Headquartered in New York, Next Jump is an e-commerce company, which has over 28,000 merchant partners, both retailers and manufacturers. For HR departments, Next Jump manages exclusive perks, benefits, rewards and recognition for over 70% of the Fortune 1000, while also provides access over 100,000 corporate networks, reaching over 70 million members to merchants.
Kim’s business journey started at Tufts University as a student to pay for his long distance phone bill with his girlfriend at the time as a paper advertising directory service. Upon graduation, he pivoted the business to go online and launched a loyalty program business, marking the beginning of the global e-commerce company – Next Jump.
The company grew rapidly to become a company with 150 employees, but the “Dot-com bubble” hit right after the boom. The number of employees went down to four, and lawsuits against Charlie Kim were filed due to the company’s debt insolvency. Despite the challenges, Kim was able to stay in the game because of the last four members of his company who stayed with him even though they were not paid as well. With the trust of those team members, Next Jump was able to overcome the hurdle, successfully turning adversity into opportunity by absorbing the competitors.
Kim’s story is always centered around human capital. His philosophy of “Human Capital Engineering” can be witnessed through many aspects of Next Jump’s management. Next Jump has an impressive “No-fire policy,” which stems from Charlie Kim’s belief that firing a struggling or underperforming employee is an inhumane action that can affect his or her future career. When an employee is struggling, Next Jump actively engages with the employee through workshops and mentoring program to bring him/her back onto the normal track. If everything fails, Next Jump pays the salary until the employee finds a new job.
With these policies, Next Jump focuses on creating a positive company culture. Its perks include: mentorship to help new employee adapt to Next Jump, free gym, free food, and numerous other corporate events to make employees happy – among others. Employees’ favorite event is its annual dance battle event and the one who dances most passionately is Charlie Kim himself.
From Next Jump to blog posts by Charlie Kim, his effort towards “Human Capital Engineering” is omnipresent. Thanks to his effort, Next Jump is now one of the most wanted companies by IT engineers. Stellar statistics such as 90% employee satisfaction and 0% turnover demonstrate Kim’s success of “Human Capital Engineering” philosophy. I am looking forward to hearing his experience in creating the right company culture to make a happy and capable company.
Thanks to Yong Hyun for the original article