Neil Morrison: A great place to work gives employees room to grow

In my time in the retail sector, I saw too many destination employers come and go to believe that somehow being the biggest makes you the best.


Certainly when it comes to careers, every employee will have their own reason for wanting to change employers, to move on and experience something new.

It could be the location, the job opportunity, the pay and conditions or something completely personal. I don’t think any one employer can provide every employee with everything they need throughout their employment life.

At Penguin Random House, we’re trying to create the workplace that simply allows employees to do the best work of their lives. That means we need to think about their needs on multiple levels, their pay and reward, their learning and development, their wellbeing and their career progression.

We’re incredibly privileged to do the work that we do, connecting readers with the best thoughts, ideas and writing, but that doesn’t mean we can rely on that to be enough for employees.

Since we merged Penguin and Random House in 2013, we’ve had a great opportunity to look at our entire employee value proposition, bit by bit, and tackle the areas that have needed improvement.

So far that’s included building and developing a flexible benefits offering for all employees, looking at variable compensation and now fixed pay. We’ve relaunched and extended our learning academy, amplified our wellbeing and health programmes and improved transparency of career opportunities.

Whatever we do, however, some people will always choose to move on and, in many cases, that is absolutely the right thing for their development.

What I hope we’re starting to do is create a real benchmark for them, so that they look back fondly and compare us positively with their next employer. That way, when the time is right, they’re more likely to get in contact and see what opportunities there are to come back.

Neil Morrison is group HR director at Penguin Random House