The 10 Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For: Fostering a Happy Workplace
What’s in a name? A lot actually, if you want to understand Richfield, Ohio-based GIE Media’s approach to its employees.
“The name could have easily been Foster Publishing,” says Chris Foster, who since 2005 has helmed the business-to-business media company founded by his father, Richard, in 1980. “He named the company GIE Media, meaning Group Interest Enterprises, because he wanted everyone to have some level of ownership, a stake in the company’s overall success.”
With nearly 20 publications in 17 national and international markets, GIE runs a bustling operation with offices in six cities out of a new headquarters that gained media recognition as one of the Cleveland area’s best work environments. Given the generous benefits offered by the company, it’s unlikely that many employees would find reasons to quibble with that commendation.
The new digs “brought us all together,” Foster says, a physical manifestation of what he describes as a loose, collegial and vertical workplace environment.
“We are very flat,” he says. “An organizational structure does not really ever come into play here, unless there is a real problem, in which case we follow [a hierarchy]. It creates a loose, fluid organization where people are driven to succeed and not worry about whose toes they are stepping on.”
Along with this comes an “open book” management policy, according to Dan Moreland, executive vice president. Financials are shared with employees on a weekly basis, as well as at more formal monthly meetings. During an annual meeting each January, employees are given detailed accountings of sales plans and strategies for the coming year.
“We try to share as much as we can with folks so they have a very honest understanding of where the business stands. We’ve been through difficult times as a company, and we’ve been true to that mission over the years,” Moreland says.