January 15, 2006
The listing is complied by Robert Levering, who, like Maria Otero (see Jan 14 post) is one of the non-corporate growers profiled in Bigger Isn’t Always Better. Levering choose to work on companies, not within them. By setting up and maintaining a ranking system for positive workplaces he does what Rev. Leon Sullivan did with the Sullivan Principles in the 1980 - helps promote progress (what I like to call “real growth”) by creating incentives for it to happen. It’s the grower’s approach to dealing with what is wrong – drive out the bad with the good. This strategy tries to expand the number of things that are right in a situation by putting a spotlight on them, rather than devoting equivalent energy to trying to eliminate what is wrong.
In Levering’s case, it’s the do-gooders who come out ahead. Shareholder returns of the public companies on the 100 Best Places to Work list trump those of the S&P 500 average – over the past year, the last 5 years, and even the past 10. The Levering list is consistently about 33% ahead of the pack. Delivering above average employee satisfaction correlates with delivering above average stockholder satisfaction.