Hay Group: 20 Best global Companies for Leadership

12 November 2014 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

When it comes to great leadership, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Coca-Cola, IBM and Unilever lead the pack, reveals a new study from Hay Group. An analysis on the key characteristics of the top 20 best companies for leaders shows that leadership selection, development and progression, combined with best-in-class HR execution, separates the wheat from the chaff.

For the ninth year in a row Hay Group has asked managers across all industries to identify the companies that excel in leadership practices. This year more than 17,000 people from roughly 2,100 organisations worldwide responded to the survey. The 20 organisations with the highest overall score were included in the so-called ‘Best Companies for Leadership’ ranking.

The results reveal that Procter & Gamble once again is regarded as the globe’s hotspot for leaders, reconfirming the firm’s remarkable track record in the field: since the establishment of the research in 2005 the FMCG giant has consistently been ranked in the top-5. Runner-up is General Electric, followed by retailer Coca-Cola and technology conglomerate IBM. P&G’s largest rival, Unilever, finds itself in fifth place. An overview of the 10 Best Companies for Leadership:

The 20 Best global Companies for Leadership_1

New firms in the list include Pfizer, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo and Accenture, the only representative from the consulting industry in the list. Among others Oracle, Facebook and Nestlé have been displaced. An overview of the companies placed 10 to 20:


According to firm’s study, the Best Companies for Leadership take a determined and disciplined approach to helping leaders develop and rise within their organisations. Selection of candidates is a clear example: 90% of the Top 20 companies use a formal talent review and planning process to fill leadership positions, compared to only 56% of all other companies. Similarly, 84% of the Top 20 are well ahead of their peer groups by providing career development experiences for their organisation’s highest potentials, ensuring the company has the right people with the right skills when needed to fill their most critical roles. Thirdly, 93% of the Top 20 companies have a talent management strategy in place that differentiates high potentials early in their career path, enabling them to actively retain and develop them to become successful leaders.

“This year’s research shows that the world’s leading companies are purposefully developing leaders who will be able to drive innovation and transform their organisations,” says Ruth Malloy, co-leader of the Best Companies for Leadership Study. “These best-in-class organisations are providing non-traditional, more diverse, career paths and training high-potential employees to meet specific business challenges and develop the skills required to help their organisations succeed in today's increasingly volatile, global environment.”

Best Companies for Leadership

An overview of the Best Companies for Leadership between 2007 and 2013:

An overview of the Best Companies for Leadership between 2007 and 2013

* More specifically, the survey looked at two dimensions. Firstly, employees were asked to assess the leadership development practices at their own organisation on a series of descriptive items. Separately, respondents were requested to nominate three global organisations that they believe are best at developing leadership at all levels. The Top 20 list was subsequently compiled using both peer nominations and self-scoring.