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.

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…

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