Random House: The Best Book Publishing Company to Work For
Such an approach “creates an environment committed to meeting the financial objectives of our collective businesses while concurrently honoring and celebrating the contribution of the individual,” Gibson says.
Town hall-style meetings conducted by Olson allow the CEO to communicate the financial, strategic and publishing “big picture” while providing a forum for employee feedback. Olson also hosts a monthly New Hire Breakfast, where he encourages new employees to ask questions about the company.
The spirit of collaboration and open communication trickles down through the company’s management structure, according to Van Der Laan.
“Generally, employees at Random House trust and respect their management,” he says, meaning they come to their supervisors to discuss work performance, personal matters and ideas for improvements, knowing that these will be considered seriously and kept confidential, if desired.
“Employees feel empowered at Random House primarily because they have the freedom to exercise immediate influence over the success of their business,” Volini agrees. “A core principle of our operating philosophy is decentralization: Each of our six U.S. publishing divisions operates very independently with their own publishing programs, their own working style and their own individual character.”
Random House publishers are able to make individual bids on new titles and “take an entrepreneurial approach,” Steilberg points out. Olson, he says, strictly refrains from getting involved in daily editorial and marketing decisions, believing “employees perform best when they are empowered to take responsibility for their work.”
According to Van Der Laan, this level of autonomy “gives people the freedom to strive and create, while preserving the support mechanisms of a larger company.”
While executives are given plenty of independence, Palladino notes, “Teamwork is encouraged; open communications are valued. The business runs with a most definite emphasis on collaboration. ... Our feedback is encouraged and often implemented.”
Related story: A Closer Look at the Top Companies