Best Companies for Leadership | Europe
Europe’s tough economic climate could be the reason its top companies place a high value on leaders with an international outlook and inspirational qualities. Georg Vielmetter
Regional director, Europe, leadership and talent, Hay Group
Go global and inspire your people. This year’s results reveal how Europe’s top 10 best companies use leadership to cope with tough conditions.
In Europe, our survey participation almost doubled again in 2011, to 2,420 responses. And while Unilever topped the list again and many of 2010’s top ten stayed there, it was notable this time that only Santander remains out of 2010’s three banks. And with ABB, Daimler and Siemens joining the top players, manufacturing is more prominent this year.
Overall, the trends in Europe’s top Best Companies for Leadership reflect the global findings for this year. However for European companies, a notable difference in the survey results is their emphasis on international opportunities as a focus for attracting and developing future leaders. European Best Companies for Leadership are more than twice as likely than peers (78 percent vs 37 percent) to take this approach.
It’s possibly because European multinationals are becoming more globalized. Faced with stagnant or declining local markets, they are looking to faster-growing emerging economies for growth, and this means their leaders must be able to work in different cultures and lead teams that are truly diverse. This is ‘Globalization 2.0’ – a megatrend Hay Group identified in our recent Leadership 2030 research – in action.
The other significant variation in European top 10 companies can be found in the qualities that organizations value most in their leaders. Inspiring leadership matters much more to them than to their European peers (39 percent vs 18 percent) or to the global top 20, only 15 percent of who prioritize it.
Why should inspiration be so important in Europe’s Best Companies for Leadership? Again, Europe’s tough economic conditions could be behind this trend. Hay Group research consistently confirms that inspiring leadership has the biggest impact on team climate, and can impact variations in bottom-line performance by up to 30 percent. So when conditions are difficult and resources constrained, it’s a proven, cost-effective way to drive results. Our surveys help organizations to assess the climate their leaders have created and Hay Group’s leadership services help leaders build climates that drive performance.