Staff at Pearson are encouraged to pick up a Penguin — those who work for the famous paperback imprint are entitled to two free books a day.
The 158-year-old media giant and largest education company in the world, shares its success with staff. The company started building drainage ditches in Yorkshire in the 19th century and now specialises in teaching and business literature.
Its programmes teach more people in the world English as a second language than any other source and the Pearson-owned Financial Times has tripled its circulation in America from 1997 and now sells more than 450,000 copies worldwide; Penguin publishes in more than 100 countries.
Values at the firm are high-minded, as the firm's motto indicates: "In all we do, Pearson, and the people who work for it, aspire to be brave, imaginative and decent."
Helping staff to share in success is a key aim. There are sharesave schemes, and 96% of UK employees own stock — Pearson is aiming for 100%. The caring atmosphere is epitomised in the regular "Dear Everyone" emails sent by Marjorie Scardino, the chief executive.
She can get as many as 1,000 replies and responds to them all. Health insurance ranges from 50% to 100%, and there are 10 days' paternity leave at Penguin, the FT Group and Pearson.
The FT Group gives full paternity and maternity benefits (which include 20 to 25 weeks at full pay) while Penguin and Pearson also offer up to 365 days' job-protected leave for adoptive parents. Penguin has a childcare allowance of up to £83.50 a month.
Although only roughly 60% of staff thought management was approachable, four in five felt trusted to do a good job.
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