Satya Nadella Has your CEO joined the culture club?

Has your CEO joined the culture club?

Even if you happen to be an awards cynic, when employees are the anonymous judges of who the best CEOs are, the list has to be worth a second look. Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites, this week announced the winners of its annual Employees’ Choice Awards, honouring the top CEOs in 2018 across North America and parts of Europe.

Awards are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback by completing a company review about their CEO’s leadership, along with insight into their job, work environment and employer over the past year.

In the UK list, Richard Flint of Sky Betting and Gaming, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Richard D Fairbank of Capital One, Marc Benioff of Salesforce and Tim Kidd of Kantar Worldpanel take the top five spots in that order, so well done to them. Nadella also has the honour of being the only CEO who has made five separate country lists (US, Canada, UK, France and Germany).

Glassdoor explains that employees are asked to rate several factors tied to their employment experience, including sentiment around their CEO’s leadership, in addition to rating workplace attributes like senior management, among others. They are also asked to report whether they approve, disapprove or are neutral about the performance of their CEO. Among the more than 770,000 employers reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 69 per cent.

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When it comes to what makes a great CEO, a study from Glassdoor Economic Research found that highly rated CEOs are statistically linked to companies with great cultures. It points out that among measures of company culture, the biggest driver of high CEO approval ratings is employee satisfaction with their senior leadership. The study also reveals a strong link between CEO approval rating and financial performance.

Glassdoor has brought some welcome transparency to the corporate world and sites like this mean poor leadership will be found out. It should serve as a reminder to all leaders to regularly take a step back and assess their own standing and performance. This is an inherently difficult exercise though.

At Rialto, we would like to think that we’ve help to make the process easier by creating the Rialto Accelerated Leadership Index (RALI) which enables leaders to benchmark themselves against the very best. It is based on insights and trends gleaned from five years’ extensive global research and backed up by interviews with executives in leading organisations across different industries and functions.

We’d really like to hear what you think of the new tool and to what extent it has assisted you in discovering how you fare as a leader. You can try it for free at


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