Becoming the Best of the Best

Posted By: Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME on December 06, 2018

Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME

This week The Wall Street Journal published its Management Top 250, a ranking of the most effectively managed companies.

The players in the top 10 are consistent high performers such as Apple, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble. Companies are evaluated in five categories: innovation, financial strength, social responsibility, employment engagement and development, and customer satisfaction.

The Journal found that the top 50 companies distinguished themselves from the rest of the organizations on the list by consistently ranking above the others in each of the five evaluation areas.

For instance, these top 50 ranked 66.6% vs. 46% when it came to employee engagement and development overall. These “rock stars” ranked in the 69th percentile when it came to compensation and benefits compared with 45.4% of other companies. In terms of employee engagement, including whether he or she would recommend it as a place to work, these top companies ranked an average of 65.3% vs. 46.5%.

Clearly, the best of the best companies are investing in their employees. And they are excelling in all the other areas, too, from innovation to customer satisfaction to financial strength.

These pieces all work together. Well-trained, engaged employees bolster customer service. Well-trained, engaged employees are motivated to think in new ways, creating products, more efficient procedures and socially responsible approaches to business. All of this benefits the bottom line.

It’s an exciting time to be in manufacturing because it feels like anything is possible. Technology allows major leaps in progress. This possibility for innovation can be a big draw for the next generation.

In fact, for the first time in its evaluation, the Journal used data from Burning Glass Technologies to assess innovation. They looked at the number of “cutting-edge tech jobs” (e.g., artificial intelligence, augmented reality) posted at major U.S. companies.

It’s not surprising they found there is great competition for people to fill these tech roles—and not just from technology companies and other manufacturers.

For instance, automakers aren’t the only ones trying to hire autonomous-driving technicians. Insurance company Allstate is looking for experts in this field to help them prepare from a safety and financial-risk perspective as the industry moves into this eventuality.

There are two messages here that underline the urgency around recruiting, training and retaining employees:

  • The best of the best are already winning when it comes to developing engaged employees who are helping drive productivity and profitability.
  • The competition for employees to fill new roles associated with the digital transformation is only getting tighter.

Now is the time to invest in new employees through onboarding and mentoring programs that demonstrate clear career pathways. Remember, that first year of employment typically determines whether an employee will stay long-term with a company.

It’s also essential to build the skills of incumbent workers through continuous training and development. Let them see the opportunity that comes with learning new skills – and reward employees for learning them.

With this renewed focus on training and development, maybe we’ll see you on next year’s Management Top 250 list.



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