If you compare Fortune’s 2012 “100 Best Companies to Work For” against their list of 100 Most Admired Companies,” you’ll see that some pretty popular brand names including Google, Intel, Accenture, American Express, Nordstrom and Starbucks share a spot on both lists.
Earning a spot on two of the most prestigious lists in one of the most respected business publications was no accident. Nor was it by coincidence or luck.
There is something magical happening at these companies that goes far beyond profit and growth. There are leaders at the helm who understand how vital it is to create and foster a culture conducive to peak performance. Employees don’t rank their company as the best to work for unless they have passion for what they do and are working for superior leaders they admire and respect.
These are the leaders who are interviewed by Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, and Harvard Business Review for the purposes of sharing their leadership insights and secrets with salivating entrepreneurs and CEOs. They have developed a knack for inspiring their people to give their best day after day, month after month, and year after year. They know how to retain top talent and keep them engaged. They lead by example.
In times of growth, they also enjoy the luxury of handpicking and hiring only the best candidates for their culture as everyone, yes; everyone wants to be a part of their brand. It’s a very fortunate place to be especially when other company’s gripe that they can’t find good people.
These are also the leaders who have created brands that lead their respective categories, and in a very nice way are arrogant about it. After all, who does Intel really compete with? When most people think of management consulting, they think of Accenture. And Google, which is a verb (Google it!), continues to dominate not only search, but also the entire Internet.
If you’re wondering what other explanation there could be for earning a spot on these lists, ask yourself if employees would give their companies such high rankings if they had little respect or felt disdain for their managers. Everything, yes, everything is tied directly to the quality and effectiveness of leadership.
The fact is, your company could be nominated as the best company to work for by your employees, and it could also earn the reputation of being an admired company as well. Once that reputation is earned, you’ll begin to see top talent knocking on your door. And most importantly, your customers will feel the passion and the energy of your brand through your people.
It starts with leadership. And a good leadership training program teaches managers the skills they need to become better communicators, better listeners and better facilitators to help their employees grow personally and professionally. It may be all that is needed to get your employees to rank your company as the best to work for. There is no better compliment.