In Their Own Words: Top HR & Recruiting Leadership Lessons from Top CEOs.

 

ipMahNRaO3MwLast week, Glassdoor released our annual report on the Highest Rated CEOs, now in five categories including U.S. large, U.S. SMB, UK, Canada and Germany.

This report is designed to honor CEOs who have truly gained the trust and admiration of their employees and are proven leaders in their fields. But why does a top CEOs report matter for HR and recruiting?

Because today’s job candidates are not just looking at a job listing, they’re actively researching what the company culture and work environment is like, along with how promising, or not, the outlook is for business – all factors that are heavily influenced by the CEO.

Since this report is based entirely on employee feedback, it’s a true testament to these CEOs and their ability to gain the trust and support of an entire workforce.

So we asked them to share advice to the rest of us on what it takes to be a great leader, run a company and get employees onboard to help move their vision forward; below are their unedited responses.

In Their Own Words: Leadership Lessons From the World’s Top Leaders.safe_image

Since this report is based entirely on employee feedback, it’s a true testament to these CEOs and their ability to gain the trust and support of an entire workforce.

So we asked them to share advice to the rest of us on what it takes to be a great leader, run a company and get employees onboard to help move their vision forward; below are their unedited responses.

1. Be Honest, Transparent and Help Others.

 

 “We have faith in people’s ability to hear the truth, whatever it might be. Support from our workforce is not something we expect, but something we hope to earn in time. We work to serve everyone the business touches in a positive way- that begins with honesty and good intentions.”

Corey Schiller, CEO of Power Home Remodeling Group, #25 with 91% approval rating on the U.S. Large Company list.

“I know that our people value our culture of transparent communication and access to our leadership team – it’s one of the things that’s regularly praised in our employee feedback surveys. As a result, I visit virtually every one of our employee training sessions for the opportunity to talk with them in person.”

Joseph A. Tarantino, CEO of Protiviti, #40 with 90% approval rating on the U.S. Large Company list.

“Help others find and live their purpose.”

Brad Jackson, CEO of Slalom Consulting, #45 with 89% approval rating on the U.S. Large Company list.

2. Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions.

“Everyone needs to believe we are truly in this together. Everything we do here, from the exec team having the same desks and no offices like everyone else, to talking to everyone we can to on a daily basis, reinforces that we are all one team. Each with distinct roles, but a team working together.”

Tobias A. Dengel, CEO of WillowTree, #2 with 98% approval rating on the SMB U.S. list.

 “Trust and support starts with open communication and listening to what matters most to your employees. Be transparent and unified on company goals, solicit feedback regularly, and make decisions that evolve your company culture based on input from your employees.”

Renaud Laplanche, Founder and CEO of Lending Club, #3 with 98% approval rating on the SMB U.S. list. 

“If an environment is created, at work, for people to become the best version of themselves, they will often choose it… and be grateful.”

Dave Durand, CEO of Best Version Media, #5 with 98% approval rating on the SMB U.S. list.

“I believe that it is the job of the CEO to build an infrastructure that supports the companies core values, core purpose and to create an environment that creates engagement in the TEAM. Combined these create what is called the culture of the business. The CEO owns this function and in order to create trust, the company must live up to these values and not compromise these values at any expense. That is the only way I know of to create trust and support in the workplace.”

Darius John Mirshahzadeh, CEO of Endeavor America Loan Services, #9 with 95% approval rating on the U.S. SMB list.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions, and the sooner CEOs and companies embrace candid feedback from employees and candidates, the faster you’ll earn their trust and support. What employees and candidates say and post on Glassdoor mirrors what they tell their friends about their experience with your company, so it’s a great opportunity to hear directly what’s working, what isn’t, and where you can continue to improve–the “advice to senior management” section is one of my favorite parts of any Glassdoor review for that reason.”

Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, #10 with 94% approval rating on the U.S. SMB list.

“We value a flat organizational culture at Signpost and of our five company tenants…”acting like an owner” is what we look for most as far as culture fit. Working at a startup can be hard, and I’m glad to see that current and past employees know my door is always open to help.”

Stuart Wall, CEO of Signpost, #16 with 92% approval rating on the U.S. SMB list.

“Ask for help improving your work. Ask your co-workers, your supervisor, or anyone who might be able to help. Don’t ask “Is this good enough?” or “Do you like it?” Ask, “How can this be better?” Even if you think it’s perfect already. This simple change in phrasing gives others permission to help you improve your work without criticizing you. It doesn’t assume there’s something wrong with the work. It is just an invitation for suggestions on how to make it better. And that’s no criticism at all, because everything can always be better.”

Bob Pritchett, CEO of Faithlife Corporation, #22 with 89% approval rating on the U.S. SMB list.

50-Highest-Rated-CEOs-2015

3. Begin With Goals, Invest the Time, Encourage & Repeat.

“First, have a clear strategy, goals and values that inspire your people and are relevant to their work and their aspirations. Second, invest time in regularly talking with your people about your strategy, making it a two-way conversation and creating joint ownership. Build a culture of mutual support and trust where people understand the value of their contribution to the goals, and are encouraged to recognise a job well done. And finally, continue to invest the time to keep the conversation going; be engaged, be real and be there for them. It’s an investment that pays dividends.”

Martin Bennett, CEO of HomeServe UK, #4 with 97% approval rating on the UK list

“Regularly, honestly and very openly share with all colleagues how the business is doing, what is on your mind – good and bad – and what needs to be done next. Tell them this in plain, authentic language and do it yourself, not via a communications department or via middle management.”

Alistair Cox, CEO of Hays plc, #15 with 88% approval rating on the UK list.

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Transparency & Integrity.

 

“The trust and support of the workforce is built on a foundation of transparency and integrity. Leaders who communicate openly and honestly create an opportunity to develop trust. By listening, understanding and then acting on what is heard from the workforce, the leader builds trust and support. Not all employees will agree with every decision; however, when a leader is trusted, you will find that they are supported even amidst disagreement.”

David Ossip, CEO of Ceridian, #3 with 93% approval rating on the Canada list.

See the complete report of Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEOs in 2015. For questions about the report’s methodology or how to get your CEO in the running next year, email [email protected].

glassdoor logoAbout Glassdoor: Glassdoor is the world’s most transparent career community that is changing the way people find jobs, and companies recruit top talent. Glassdoor holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reportsinterview reviews and questions, office photos and more.

Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees.

For employers, Glassdoor offers effective recruiting and employer branding solutions via Glassdoor Talent Solutions. We help more than 1,500 employers promote their employer brand to candidates researching them and advertise their jobs to ideal candidates who may not be aware of them. What differentiates Glassdoor from other recruiting channels is the quality of job candidates we deliver and our influence on candidates’ decisions as they research jobs and companies.

 

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