Five Lessons You Can Learn From the World’s Most Admired Companies

Here is a brief excerpt from an article co-authored by Mel Stark and Mark Royal for the Hay Group. To read the complete arrticle, please click here.

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Experts from Hay Group, which partnered with Fortune magazine to release the 14th annual World’s Most Admired Companies list, break down analysis on practices that have helped the top companies such as Apple and Google sustain their success.

Apple, Google, Southwest Airlines and Procter & Gamble are just some of the companies that topped Fortune magazine and Hay Group’s annual list of the World’s Most Admired Companies (WMAC).

Hay Group has performed supplemental research to uncover the business practices that make these and the other top companies both highly regarded and highly successful. A hallmark of the WMAC is consistently strong performance and reputations amid changing business conditions. ?

The 2010 study confirmed that many organizations drew heavily on the “reservoir of goodwill” associated with engaged workforces to manage through difficult economic times and position their organizations for future growth. Looking ahead, leaders will need to revisit strategies, systems and processes to ensure they are setting their organizations up for sustained performance and success.

Accordingly, this year Hay Group studied the approaches the WMAC are taking to sustain performance and has identified five things that make these companies stand out and how managers can put them into practice in their organizations.

1. Involving employees at all levels in promoting efficiency and innovation. While 76 percent of peer firms regularly reach out to employees for ideas on how to increase efficiency, this is standard practice for 91 percent of the WMAC. These companies are also much more likely to encourage managers and employees to take reasonable risks to increase organizational effectiveness.

Managers should realize that those closest to the action are most aware of and best suited to recognize what could be working more effectively. Management by “walking around” is more critical than ever.

2. Recognizing that work/life balance is about more than employee comfort. The WMAC recognize that taking work/life balance seriously is essential to avoid burning out and losing key people. Half of these companies view this issue as a top priority over the next two years, as compared to only 30 percent of peers.

Managers should recognize that people’s lives are more holistic – being respectful of this and accommodating it is a winning strategy.

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To read the complete article, please click here.

To download a report on the past 15 years of ranking the WMA companies, please click here.

Mel Stark is Vice president and regional reward practice leader, Hay Group.  Mark Royal is Senior consultant, Hay Group Insight. Contact either/both here.

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