By Hayley Spencer
Not all companies are great to work for. Not all companies produce great leaders. In general, if you find a company with good perks and strong growth, that company will produce excellent leaders. Excellent leaders means two thing
s: job security for you and potential raises and promotions in the future. Here are the top 10 companies that consistently produce good leadership from the ground up using a sound strategy of bolstering employee morale.
- Zappos – This online retailer cultivates leadership in its employees by creating and maintaining passion in a call-center culture. Employees enjoy free lunches, no-charge vending machines and a full-time life coach. What spurs leadership here? The company encourages its employees to “create fun and a little weirdness.” With all the employee perks and nurturing that goes on here, Zappos is one of the most well-loved places to work that also churns out good leaders from the bottom up.
- GE – Former CEO, Jack Welch, made GE famous for being one of the few conglomerates that survived and thrived after the 1960s. His leadership skills naturally cultivate an environment that’s rich with only the best of the best. In fact, it was Welch’s philosophy to cut the bottom 10 percent of his staff. Rather than viewing this as cruel and unusual punishment for under-performers, he viewed it as the only way to make the company thrive. That means only the top performers stay at the company. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
- REI – After 15 years of service, employees of Recreational Equipment get a four-week paid sabbatical. Beyond that, they can take one every five years. Employees also receive hefty discounts on full-priced, REI-branded apparel and equipment. REI promotes growth and leadership from the bottom up and encourages employees to aspire to join the management team.
- Google – Google is famous for the creativity it allows in its employees. The company actively encourages engineers and computer designers to “think outside the box” and develop new and interesting products and services. There are a lot of projects that employees can take part in. With its unique “peer spot bonus” program, employees can reward each other. The atmosphere naturally lends itself to churning out creative thinkers and leaders in the tech industry.
- Wegmans Food Markets – Wegmans is a grocery store chain headquartered in Rochester, NY. This chain emphasizes growth from the bottom up, often promoting from within the company rather than hiring outside management.
- Nugget Market – Located in northern California, Nugget Market pumps up the employees and delivers important announcements via large flat-screen TVs placed throughout the store. Employees that watch diligently can be rewarded with bonuses ranging from $20 to $1,500. This company naturally encourages employees to be their best. If you’re looking for a company that will motivate you and support your managerial aspirations, this company is worth a look.
- SAS – Employees and managers at this company often say they feel regarded and appreciated. The perks are awesome: on-site healthcare, childcare services at $410 per month, a summer camp for your children, car cleaning and even a beauty salon. The company even boasts a 66,000-square-foot gym. Moving up in this company is difficult, but the company offers more incentives to “move up” than most other companies.
- Boston Consulting Group – You can’t have leaders if you’re laying people off. This is exactly what BCG did not do during the 2007-2008 economic downturn. In fact, it hired its largest class of recruits ever in 2010. The firm offers generous pay, even for those starting out. Cultivating happy employees makes for even better management once you get the promotion you’ve earned through extremely hard work and dedication to the company.
- NetApp – Hourly executive assistants here make just a shade over $76,000 per year. That’s impressive. It’s also supplemented by a nearly $22,000 per year bonus. With a pay scale like this, it’s easy to see that NetApp keeps its employees happy. That moral has translated into growth for the company. Boasting a 33 percent increase in revenues, the company is obviously good at cultivating leaders at the top.
- Dreamworks – CEO Jefferey Katzenberg still takes time to call job candidates to encourage them to join the company. Just because he’s a CEO doesn’t mean that he’s “too good” for the rank and file employees. Dreamworks has had steady average growth of about 5.44 percent annually for the last 10 years. Management is strong with this company to produce profits during a recession. That speaks volumes about leadership at DWA.
Regardless of where you work, or how excellent the benefits are, realize that leadership is necessary for long-term survival of the company. Good 10-year track records are something you should look for. A company that’s produced consistent earnings for the last 50 years is a company you should be willing to do anything to work for.
Guest post contributed by Hayley Spencer, on behalf of Easy Finance – Home Loans and Advice Center.