There’s no doubt that a company’s CEO has a direct impact on employee satisfaction. Great leaders set the tone for success at companies large and small, inspiring their people to new heights and contributing to a healthy culture.
Every year, Glassdoor celebrates the best of the best with our annual list of Highest Rated CEOs. Based on employee ratings from Glassdoor reviews, these top company leaders have been nominated by the people who know them best: their employees.
Get inside the minds of 2017’s Highest Rated CEOs with this roundup of their expert advice.
Hold executives accountable for employee engagement
“We do read the Glassdoor reviews and that helps us get better. We also do an annual engagement survey. In fact my own pay incentives and that of the broader leadership team depend on how well we engaged our employees. I think we do that pretty well as a company and we hold ourselves accountable for it.” - Benno Dorer, CEO, The Clorox Company, U.S. Highest Rated CEO, Large Companies, 2017 (#1)
Create open channels of communication
“Above all else, this has been my leadership philosophy: to have open relationships and open channels of communication with every level of your workforce. Employees know the struggles of the business, they want to be heard, they want to be validated in what they face day in and out. I try to encourage these open relationships by having an open weekly President’s book club, by visiting offices in person, in calling random employees to introduce myself and to congratulate on strong performance, and by forming committees with employees at all levels and departments. This ultimately breeds trust and confidence between executives and employees.” - Brady Harris, CEO, Eliot Management Group, U.S. Highest Rated CEO, Small and Medium Companies, 2017 (#3)
Invest in people with your trust
“For me leadership begins with the ability to assess people and then being willing to invest a high level of trust in them so that they’re empowered to achieve their maximum potential. As a leader, it’s my job to create an environment where people feel valued, engaged, motivated and energised. Where they can see and buy into a clear vision and purpose for the business — and have some fun!” - Steve Ingham, CEO, PageGroup, UK Highest Rated CEO, Large Companies, 2017 (#7)
Err on the side of transparency
“We err on the side of transparency and give as much information as we can, because people, if they don’t have information, will imagine something or make something up to fill in the gaps, which can be far more negative than the actual facts. Even if you have a negative message, the fact that you are being straightforward and transparent with your employees will be respected.” - Kerry Bessey, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Memorial Sloan Kettering
Look for people you would want to work for — even when you’re the boss
“Generally if I’m hiring senior leaders I’m looking for curious, energetic, quick witted, intelligent people, who can get on with others, and define their own goals and milestones to achieve those. Ideally also people for whom I would be happy to work.” - Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, UK Highest Rated CEO, Large Companies, 2017 (#6)
Promote diversity of thought
“About a year ago at Deloitte, we introduced the concept of a ‘culture of courage.’ It’s a concept that resonates with a multi-generational workforce. It’s about driving a culture of innovation that gives us the freedom to experiment, try new things, or take a different approach to solving a challenge. This promotes diversity of thought and perspective, and creates an atmosphere where we try to shift to where bold thinking is the norm, not the rarity or one-off.” - Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte, U.S. Highest Rated CEO, Large Companies, 2017 (#40)
Want more insights on how 2017’s Highest Rated CEOs empower and inspire their people to do their best work? Check out our eBook, Actionable Advice from Top Company Leaders.