January 15, 2006

The 100 Best Places to Work

The latest issue of Fortune includes it’s annual ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

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.


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