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The Leaders of Leadership: Companies with the Best Management in 2017

When you think about what makes a company appealing to prospective employees, you might point to benefit packages, salary ranges, workplace perks and company culture. But there’s something that can be still more impactful than free lunches, generous PTO and — yes — even those foosball tables in the break room: the company’s management style.

Not only can a manager’s approach potentially shape an employee’s career trajectory, but it plays a huge role in whether that person dreads coming to work each day or looks forward to it.

Humans and human organizations are complex, and so are approaches to management. According to consulting firm Hay/McBer there are six different management styles, although others have narrowed the possibilities down to two broad approaches. And new trends are always emerging.

But whether it’s Steve Jobs’ sky-high expectations and demands for perfection or Warren Buffet’s more democratic, “laissez-faire” approach, management styles — especially those of an influential company leader — tend to trickle down to all levels of leadership and shape the culture of the organization.

We wanted to learn which companies have the very best management approaches, according to the people being managed. So our data science team examined the 15 million employee reviews in our database and crunched the numbers on management to find out the answers. Here’s what we found.

Finance and Real Estate Rule the Top Fifteen

So who places first for management? In fact, it’s tax preparation giant H&R Block—no doubt reassuring news for those who trust the firm to calculate their tax returns for the IRS each year.

Indeed's top rated companies for management

Companies associated with finance, tax preparation and real estate have a strong presence in top ten. H&R Block is not the only firm that helps guide Americans through their regular check-in with the IRS: Liberty Tax Service places #6 and Jackson Hewitt places #8.

For many people, their home is their biggest investment and we see firms associated with buying and selling property also perform strongly when it comes to management. Mortgage lender Network Capital places second, while real estate firms Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and RE/MAX hold the third, fourth and tenth spots respectively.

In fact, our results affirm the classic image of firms handling investments and large sums of money: that they should be (and are) well-organized and well-managed.

However, we also see some non-profits giving the worlds of finance, loans and tax returns a run for their money. Just like companies that answer to shareholders and investors, nonprofits today can be large, complex organizations. Quality of management is critical to success or failure, and it matters to employees. And so we see Indeed’s overall best reviewed nonprofit Habitat for Humanity placing seventh, while Boys + Girls Club of America ranks even higher, landing at #5.

Interestingly, glamorous tech firms are largely absent from the top 10, although Apple lands at #9. Meanwhile, we see healthcare employer Kaiser Permanente, consumer goods firms NIKE and VANS, finance firm Northwestern Mutual and the YMCA landing just outside the top 10.

While it’s helpful to understand which companies are leading the way in management ratings, it’s even more useful to take a look at the management styles and approaches these leading organizations use.

So let’s take a deeper dive and into our employee reviews to understand how managers of the top five companies stand out from the competition.

The Best of the Best: What They’re Doing Right

1. H&R Block

Founded: 1955

HQ: Kansas City, Missouri

No. of employees: 10,000+

Offering services like business consulting, tax software and more, H&R Block draws from its experience of preparing more than 500 million tax returns to help its customers get through tax season each year.

So how did the company earn the number one spot in our management ratings? By fostering a management style that’s accessible, hands-on and accommodating to various employee schedules.

Senior management and culture is good at listening,” says one employee.

Another employee notes how easy it is to form relationships with her more seasoned colleagues.

“We typically ordered lunch every day around the same time and the office manager would frequently buy lunch for everyone on Fridays,” she says, pointing out that upper management is involved with employees at various levels.

And this level of interaction and accessibility makes a difference.

“I can’t express enough how much I love this company,” the employee adds.

2. Network Capital Funding Corporation

Founded: 2002

HQ: Irvine, California

No. of employees: 501 -1,000

Providing mortgages with competitive rates and low costs, all while delivering exceptional customer service, Network Capital Funding Corporation strives to make the mortgage process simple for its customers.

“Being a mortgage banker is the definition of grinding and working hard,” one employee notes. “The management and the team culture make it fun to put in the work though, and you are recognized for putting in the effort and producing effectively.”

Just what is the management doing to give its employees that added motivation? Employees say it’s a combination of tough love and positivity.

“[The] management is very supportive and consistently driving to make you feel comfortable while pushing you to always be better,” another employee says.

3. Coldwell Banker

Founded: 1906

HQ: Madison, New Jersey

No. of employees: 10,000+

Coldwell Banker has the distinction of being the oldest residential real estate franchise system in the nation. And with the depth of knowledge and experience that comes with being around for so long, it’s no surprise that this company’s management is committed to sharing that knowledge with employees.

Management was eager to teach and direct you to any information you might need,” says an employee.

Another employee echos that sentiment, saying “management has been extremely motivating and enjoys teaching new agents how to be successful. I have really enjoyed my time with this company.”

4. Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Founded: 1906

HQ: Atlanta, Georgia

The Boys and Girls Clubs of America work to help young people – especially those at-risk – reach their full potential. Likewise, the company’s managers – which one employee calls “impeccable, professional and agreeable to work with” – are known for helping their employees learn, grow, develop in their careers.

“[They] are helpful and want you to learn from your mistakes,” says one employee, who appreciated having managers that were easy to talk to and flexible with scheduling.

“The management of BGC is very good and they set rules that are fair and achievable,” another employee adds.

5. Century 21

Founded: 1971

HQ: Madison, New Jersey

No. of employees: 10,000+

Century 21 is a real estate franchise company that operates in more than 74 countries around the world. And while the company has tens of thousands of independently owned and operated offices, managers across the company’s many locations are focused on helping employees find balance.

“The hardest part of the job can be juggling multiple priorities, but management is always available to help manage workloads,” an employee says.

Another employee appreciates the way team members and leadership work together to find strategies for managing their busy schedules.

“There is a great group of Realtors and everyone is willing to help one another. I would not call it management, but rather refer to it as exceptional leadership.”

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About Mildred Blankson

I am a Human Resource Professional with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I have several years of experience in Human Resources and i hope this blog will be a great resource in helping you find the perfect job or candidate that you seek.

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5 Ways to Control Your Job Search (and Accept What You Can’t Control)

It’s exciting when you get the call from a potential employer about an interview for next Tuesday. You spend the weekend preparing for it, ensuring you have extra copies of your resume, going over key interview questions, and picking out the perfect professional attire.

Finally, Tuesday comes, and you head into the interviewer’s office, make eye contact, smile, and speak with confidence. You offer distinct examples of your expertise and how you are the solution to their problems.

Then, it’s over. You breathe a sigh of relief and walk away confident that you’ve made the best impression and you feel confident that you’ll get the job.

But then you receive the call -- they’ve gone with another candidate. You’re devastated. You start by thinking back, replaying every moment of the interview in your mind, and trying to discover what you did wrong. Did you over embellish an example? Were you too forthcoming with information? What could’ve gone wrong?

Would you be surprised if the problem was never really you? Actually, most of the time you’ll find employers don’t hire you not because you weren’t suited, but because there was someone who was better suited for the job.

Stings, doesn’t it? However, this is an example of an element of the job search that you cannot control. Instead of focusing on those factors outside your control, spend your time working on those elements you can control.

Here are 5 things within your control to improve on to ensure you’re well prepared for those future interviews.

#1 Refine your job-hunting efforts

You have to be prepared for all areas of the job search, which requires refining your efforts. Beyond checking job boards daily or looking at the classified ads in the paper, there are ways to make your job search more effective and efficient. Since 70% of recruiters use social media to determine an applicant’s candidacy, your online presence has to match your efforts.

What to do:

  • Update your social profiles: Remove anything that is less than professional, and update your status regularly. Share content that matches the potential employer you’re trying to impress.
  • Look at your network: Networking has become a key part of the job search now, it’s important to have a strong network of contacts in industries where you’d like to work.
  • Improve your personal branding: Are you consistent across all your social platforms with branding that represents your professional offerings? Use keywords that attract the right employers and share relevant content that engages such employers.

Non-controlling element: Remember, you can’t control which companies are hiring or why there isn’t enough availability for the job you want. Employers hire for positions based on need and budget. If their budget can’t cover a specific job, they won’t hire for it. Instead, they’ll probably lump it into another employee’s job responsibilities. Don’t wait for a company to open a job position, keep searching other companies for a similar position.

#2 Search for employers that need your skills/talents

Companies can hire for any position they need, and they may not always hire for your specific skills. If that’s the case, why are you waiting around for them to hire you? It can be tiring, wading through hundreds of job postings only to be disappointed by the current offerings.

What to do:

  • Try creating a list of employers you want to work for that need your skillset. Start with companies you’re familiar with and with places you’d like to work.
  • Research target companies using online resources (LinkedIn) and learn about their immediate needs, problems, and where your skills can make a difference.
  • Gather strong examples of your work and present yourself as the solution to their problems. Figure out what makes you unique and run with it. Don’t falter.

Non-controlling element: Not all jobs will be listed, and some companies only hire for a few major positions at a time. Sometimes, they don’t realize they need your expertise until you present it to them. Keep looking for companies within your industry/career, and reach out when you see an opportunity become available.

#3 Improve your performance and be prepared to sell yourself

The point of an interview is to sell yourself. You want to show ideal employers that you’re the solution to their problems, and that you have the knowledge and skills to make it happen. Before you go into your interview, you need to prepare yourself to make a good impression and to demonstrate your value.

What to do:

  • Understand the company:
    • Do you know the company? The industry?
    • Can you name their culture, brand style, or latest news?
    • Do you know their primary clients and what they offer?

All of this is key to selling yourself correctly by knowing the company to which you are applying.

  • Tell a story: The best marketers use storytelling to sell a product to a potential prospect. Try to imagine yourself as a marketer, selling yourself to a potential employer. When you use storytelling in your interview examples, you have a better chance of holding the interviewer’s interest. And more than that, over 60% of people are likely to remember a story better, especially if it has a major emotional impact on them.
  • Show don’t tell: Go beyond the normal phrases when giving examples of your background or talents. Instead of saying, “I’m a leader,” tell a story about a time you have lead a team to gain attention and show that you are a leader.
    • Try something like, “Successfully led two cross-functional sales and marketing teams to gain an ROI of $25M in less than six months.” This sounds stronger, more interesting, and detailed.

Non-controlling element: It’s a hard truth, but it is impossible to control candidate competition. Sometimes another person will make a better impression than you, or someone else may just be a better fit. But often, you can improve your impact on the interviewer by being enthusiastic, animated, and using storytelling to gain an advantage.

#4 Make yourself visible online

While you want to improve upon your personal brand through your social media profiles, it’s also important to make sure you’re visible online. This doesn’t mean having a Facebook page where you consistently post about your personal life. Your online presence should be visible so that it attracts the eyes of recruiters or hiring managers from companies you’re eager to work for.

What to do:

  • Stay active and engaged online: Say you’re looking for a job in Aerospace Engineering. You should be sharing content related to this job and industry.
  • Track top companies in your target industry: Share content from their blogs or look at their social media profiles to find relevant information to like and share on your own page.
  • Be active in online groups: Demonstrate your expertise by making relevant comments.

Non-controlling element: Because there is so much noise online, it’s not easy to stand out. And more to the point, no one is actively looking for you. You’ve got to stand out and gain the attention of recruiters by any means possible. Get their attention by tagging them in your social media posts.

#5 Don’t let rejection discourage you

Unfortunately, it’s easier to tell someone to not be discouraged than it is to feel it. Rejection hurts, and it’s especially true in the workforce. You need a job to make money to support yourself and perhaps a family. So, when you’re denied for a position, it can be the among worst feelings in the world.

But think of it like this: for every average job posting, there are 250 applicants. No joke. There are hundreds of people in need of work, and many will jump onto a single job posting with the hopes that they’ll be picked.

What you can do:

  • Apply to as many jobs as are available requiring your skillset. Use your research about companies to identify areas where your skills can be applied, and look for jobs targeting those skills. 
  • Always keep applying and networking; even when you get an interview. It’s a never-ending journey, and it takes about six weeks of hard, dedicated work before you’re even offered a job. The goal is to continue moving forward even when you’ve been rejected.

Non-controlling element: Ultimately, the final decision rests with the employer. You can’t control their decision to go with another candidate instead of you. Often, it’s not you that failed to interest them. Sometimes, they just clicked with the other candidate. Or, the other candidate knew just a little bit more about a topic than you did. And most often, you’ll never be told why you weren’t chosen.

Finding and securing a job you want is tough, but it can be done. When you take control of the right elements in your job search, you’ll be in a much better position to land the job of your dreams.

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