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Thoughts on Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies To Work For"

I love the annual Fortune Magazine issue that celebrates the "100 Best Companies To Work For." I always learn new ideas about excellence, service, leadership, and success when I read the article. Year in and year out, I find that there are a few enduring lessons that emerge from these companies... Here are some:

1) Great customer service starts with motivated and positive employees. You simply can’t have excellent customer service if your employees feel disempowered and discouraged. Moreover, it is very difficult to deliver consistent service when you have a high turnover rate. As Herb Kelleher used to say, "Pay attention to your people and the customers will be happy... and ultimately the shareholders will benefit."

2) These companies all work hard at internal communication. One of the critical components of a "Best Company To Work For" is communication. Senior leadership knows this and works hard at it.

3) Listening is a critical skill for leadership. The corollary to communication is listening. This skill is critical for successful leaders, managers, and supervisors. Listening is a skill that can be developed and improved and all of these organizations work on listening skills.

4) The Leaders at these companies seem to understand that it’s not all about them. These days we seem to be barraged by leaders who receive huge bonuses. Some leaders seem to feel that they are the only people that count. At the best companies, the opposite is true. Leaders know that it is the success of the entire organization that matters. These leaders are for the most part more responsive, engaged, and more humble.

5) Low turnover, loyal employees, and an open organization are good for the bottom line, which is why these companies are so successful. Even in a tough economic environment they are able to outperform their competitors. How? The investment in their people pays off in higher productivity, willingness to work on creative solutions, and commitment.

As many of you know, we have filmed at a number of these companies over the years, profiling different aspects of excellence. You can learn about the success strategies at The Container Store and Deloitte in the program Re-imagine. USAA and Whole Foods Market are featured in The Excellence Files. Tom Peters speaks about Deloitte, Stew Leonard’s, FedEx and others in a number of his programs. And yes, it is still all about the people!

Posted under Corporate, Customer Service, Tom Peters, Corporate Strategy by Stewart on May 27, 2010 | Comments: 1 | Post a comment»

Comments (1)

  1. zahoor commented on Sep 23, 2010 #

    i think the Leader or manager of the company must have the following skills. 1. Effective people skills 2. Managing performance 3. Providing and receiving feedback 4. Effective communication If the leader of the company have the above mentioned abilities then it is very easy to get the goal of the company.

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