Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, and General Electric have topped the 2013 list of best companies for leadership.
The list, created by management consulting firm Hay Group, studies and ranks companies according to how they nurture talent and encourage innovation among employees.
So what are they doing that sets them apart?
Wendy Montague, head of leadership and talent practice at Hay Group Pacific, believes that many skills once required for senior leadership roles only are now critical at every level of an organisation.
“To excel in today’s highly complex and competitive business environment, the best companies are taking deliberate steps to develop and reward these competencies to enable their organisations to achieve operational excellence today, while driving innovation tomorrow,” Montague said.
According to Montague, many companies are struggling to adequately engage and enable their current workforce as they shift their focus to achieving short-term objectives.
“Those companies that simultaneously execute on immediate priorities while aligning their employees with a shared sense of purpose and develop leaders at all levels to contribute and act on innovative ideas have a better chance at financial success,” Montague said.
Almost three quarters of the top 20 companies on the list were found to give everyone at each level of the organisation the chance to develop and practice the capabilities necessary to lead others.
These skills are being developed through web-based leadership modules, classroom-based leadership training, and mentoring from a senior manager or executive, while companies are fostering innovation by rewarding collaboration across business units and encouraging learning outside an employee’s area of expertise.
Some 78 per cent of the top 20 companies on the list reported that they encourage employees to spend time discussing their customers’ future needs, compared to just 55 per cent of other companies.
The top companies are also emphasising environmental and social responsibility, and actively recruiting cultural minorities.