Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, today announced the winners of its annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honouring the Highest Rated CEOs in 2017 across North America and parts of Europe.
Unlike any other workplace awards, the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback, by completing a company review, about their CEOs leadership, along with insight into their job, work environment and employer over the past year.
Many of the worlds largest company CEOs feature highly on the list, with Elon Musk for SpaceX coming in at number 8 and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg number 10 on the U.S. list. From the U.K., Peter Simpson of Anglian Water, Marc Benioff of Salesforce and Martin Bennet from HomeServe UK make the top three highest ranked CEOs.
Sundar Pichai from Google, Joe Garner of Nationwide Building Society and Warren East who heads up Rolls Royce are close in behind the top three.
Philippa Jones of Bromford is the highest ranked woman in the top 29 CEOs, above Carolyn McCall for easyJet.
High salaries, staff benefits and welcoming company culture makes employees feel more appreciated in their work and the CEOs from this list are ahead of the curve in making their staff love their jobs.
But what makes a good business leader? Patrick Woodman, head of research for the Chartered Management Institute, thinks that trust and transparency are the key drivers in a successful leadership.
“A trusting working culture is a key building block for productivity and business growth. In fact, 85 per cent of managers agree that trust is vital to an organisation’s success, and 68 per cent of managers have high trust in leaders in rapidly growing organisations.
“There’s never been a more important time to build the bridge between leadership and middle management and get the heart of UK business pumping again especially during these turbulent times. And in post-Brexit Britain, we need build trust more than ever if the UK economy is to succeed.
Five things middle management would like to see from their leaders
1. Prioritising communication as the lifeblood of the organisation
Effective communication targets peoples’ hearts as well as their minds by defining how they too can play a part in the future of the organisation. Try to make your communications as personally relevant to the audience, do not use management jargon and use simple, clear words wherever possible.
2. Hold bespoke events for middle managers
Leaders should take more time to talk to their middle managers, face to face, in both a formal and informal way. Well planned bespoke middle manager events require an investment of (leadership) time but can be extremely effective. These cannot be plenary only sessions and will have a mix of plenary and breakouts where the interaction and two-way debate will happen.
3. Remember the power of MBWA
Informal communication with middle managers is vital. The importance of MBWA – management by walking around – cannot be under-estimated. For the middle manager, even one meaningful face to face interaction with the business leader is incredibly valuable. Getting out from behind the desk and into the teams should be prioritised.
4. Implement a trust measurement system
Trust is a crucial metric in business. How much a business leader and leadership is trusted is a vital measure against which the communication efforts of that leader should be assessed. Business leaders and senior management teams should use staff surveys to measure and monitor the proportion of “high-trust managers” in their organisation – and aim to increase them.
5. Adapt for your organisational needs
The practicality of meaningful face to face interactions is of course challenging for leaders in larger companies or those that are geographically dispersed. Using tactics such as focus groups, featuring a cross section of middle managers, and intranet surveys to engage with focus group output, starts the “listening” process. Use outputs and insights from this to design roadshows or events. Leaders can then tailor the message by audience.
There is still a problem with diversity and inclusion at this level of management as, according to Chris Roberts, practice director at Accelerating Experience, there is a distinct lack of women at the top.
“The lack of female CEOs in the top ten rated CEOs is an indictment of UK companies’ culture, rather than any reflection on the ability of female leaders. There are simply not enough female CEOs, and their underrepresentation at the highest level highlights that gender discrimination within businesses is an underlying and fundamental issue – one that goes beyond government initiatives and ratios.
“We need to see companies support the diversification of their workforce – and importantly – establish more female role models within business. A diverse workforce and leadership team creates a high performing team, delivering value to an organisation, boosting productivity and the bottom line. Resolving UK plc’s issue with gender equality, and deepening the pool of female leaders, is not something that can be done quickly. But it cannot be neglected. It requires full-scale organisational change led from the top, and a people strategy embraced by the executive board.”