Many employees fear criticizing their peers and managers to their face - but at Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund, you could get fired if you don't.
Bridgewater Associates, run by billionaire Ray Dalio, has a well documented culture of "radical transparency," where employees routinely judge each other's performance. The corporate culture isn't for the faint of heart - Dalio says about 30% of new employees leave the firm within their first 18 months.
Dalio even says Bridgewater has a reputation for being the "intellectual Navy SEALs" for its approach to pushing employees.
While Dalio says he avoids lengthy interviews and bringing cameras into his company, CBS' "60 Minutes" journalist Bill Whitaker got an exclusive view into the day-to-day operations at Bridgewater.
Here's an inside look at what it's like to work Bridgewater:
Billionaire Ray Dalio runs Bridgewater, the top-performing hedge fund of all time based on returns since inception.
Dalio says his organization carries the nickname the 'intellectual Navy SEALS,' and that 30% of new hires leave within the first 18 months.
Dalio avoided public interviews inside Bridgewater, but CBS' '60 Minutes' got an exclusive look into what it's like to work there.
The hedge fund is located in the woods of Westport, Connecticut, between two fishing rivers.
Employees don't follow day-to-day market trends. Instead, they quietly study policy and history to find patterns that could help predict winning investments.
One of Dalio's biggest principles for running his company is "radical transparency." Employees cannot talk behind each other's backs — and doing so three times results in firing.
Instead, employees constantly judge and give employees "grades" during meetings. The employees receive feedback in real time about the quality of their analysis, whether the presentation of findings was clear enough, and more.
Meetings are also recorded and scrutinized. An employee told The New York Times that new staff once watched a video of Dalio challenging a manager to the point of tears.
Dalio also isn't afraid to fire an underperforming employee. He bluntly refers to this principle as "Shoot people you love."
"At the end of the day, people have got to have two things," Dalio said. "They’ve got to have great character and they’ve got to have great capability to make a great organization. What that means is, there are times you have to let someone you love go."
Dalio also believes in paying for the person, not the job. Titles do not have specified salaries, and he does not keep employees within the confines of a job description.
Whitaker said while he didn't know if you need thick skin to work at Bridgewater, you certainly "can't have a thin skin to go through that."
Yet while Whitaker expected employees to constantly be afraid and on edge due to the surveillance, he found most employees value the criticism and see it as a way to improve at their careers.