Cover Story: What's So Hot About Hachette?
When a company initiative spawns a big success, that becomes a reason to party—not that folks at Hachette have any trouble finding excuses to throw a bash.
The success of Meyers' books—which Young calls Hachette's "Harry Potter moment"—and a National Book Award for Sherman Alexie's "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" have both been occasions to celebrate this year. This comes in addition to a host of annual company events: Cinco de Mayo parties in Indiana, ice cream socials in Boston (where senior managers can be spotted wearing aprons and wielding scoops), and, in New York, an annual picnic in Central Park. Held indoors this year due to rain, the "picnic" nevertheless included a popcorn relay, Wii room, karaoke, poker and board-game championship.
"We were worried about it [being indoors], and it turned out to be such a blast," Weinzimer says.
It Pays to Listen
Celebrations tailored to each work site are only one element in an approach to employee well-being grounded in responsiveness. Listening and responding to employees resulted in the development of a comprehensive flex-time policy, which includes telecommuting and reduced work-schedule options in some circumstances. Schedules also can be temporarily changed to accommodate seasonal activities, and family leave and back-up childcare options are offered.
"It's not just for parents; it's for anyone who wants to do different things in their life," Weinzimer says of flex time. "It allows people to have lives outside of here. Obviously, the work has to happen, and we recognize that, but if we can work with you on that type of thing, we will."
Extensive job-development programs include tuition reimbursement and summer seminars offering networking options for junior staff. A highly regarded mentoring program exists alongside formal management training. When work is done, there's Pilates and yoga and on-site fitness centers at the New York and Indiana locations.