The 250 Best-Managed Companies in the U.S., and Why…


The Wall Street Journal announced the Drucker Institute’s annual list of the 250 best-managed companies in America today and, not surprisingly, technology companies faired well. (Microsoft, Apple, I.B.M. top 3 – see article for the complete list…)

What might surprise you, however, is the list of criteria that is used to compile the list, which consists of the following five components:

  1. Customer satisfaction
  2. Employee engagement and development
  3. Innovation
  4. Social responsibility
  5. Financial strength

If you’re one of the many who are surprised to see “employee engagement and development” as one of the keys to being named a “best-managed” company, you might consider data shared by Gallup earlier this year (pre-pandemic) when they announced that, for the first time in twenty years, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. had risen. Their report said a major reason for the increase (a rise of 16% from thirty to thirty-five percent) was improvement in how organizations were developing their people.

“There are several possible explanations for the changes in engagement over the past decade,” the article said. “Gallup has reviewed many of these previously, from changes in the economy to slight improvements in some employee benefits. But these factors are not the primary drivers of improved engagement. Gallup research indicates that changes in employee engagement are best attributed to changes in how organizations develop employees.”

For many years organizations such as the Enterprise Engagement Alliance have been sharing research and data on the benefits of engaged workers and on the return on investment organizations can realize by focusing on developing and engaging their people.

While the numbers have changed due to COVID-19, there is reason to expect, or at least hope, that the positive trend will continue in the “new normal.”

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