In my office, we’ve been recently going through a series of “surveys” and having one-on-one meetings with Management, in order to help provide feedback. While I think that this is a great way to get information on your organization, how the Manager chooses to take that information says a lot about that particular person. Is he or she open to your feedback? Or do they go on the defensive? That is one aspect of rating a Manager, but there are many others. Like the culture within your department? Or the organization as a whole. In my organization, there is a very strict chain of command. This was a new thing for me, and as a result, I felt like I was (unintentionally) stepping on people’s toes when I first started.
Why am I telling you all of this? Glassdoor recently released their report on the 100 Highest-Rated CEOs. The surprising news is that Tim Cook has dropped from 53 to 96! That’s a decline in 43 ranking spaces. Which makes you wonder just what the problem is? While this might be explainable in terms of this year, it should be noted that Cook dropped from the #8 spot the year before. Which brings his total demise almost 90 ranking spaces. This is the biggest drop of any CEO on the list. Should he be concerned? I mean, probably not. He’s Tim Cook, but it’s not the best place to be.
This rating is also interesting to me because you would think that everyone and anyone would want to work for Apple. Not only do the jobs sound interesting and cool, the work perks sound like they would be worth it as well. But that’s not what’s coming out. Employees of companies are asked to state whether or not they approve of their CEO as part of reviews of their company as a place of work. Which means, maybe people don’t see him being involved in any of these kinds of decisions. The other thing to note is that while he’s fallen dramatically over the last couple of years, 91% of employees approve of him as a leader. The average CEO approval rating across all companies was just 67%.
So what’s the problem? Glassdoor told Business Insider the reason for employee dissatisfaction which includes – the culture of secrecy, high stress and a strict chain of command. I think that the first two should be explicitly addressed. While I don’t work in a place of business where everything is a secret, and I could understand how that could weigh on a person, what is Apple to do? They don’t want their technology or their plans leaked to someone else, so they need to protect themselves. And honestly, high stress comes with the territory. I’m not trying to be hard on Apple employees, but again – what do you expect? If you want a low-stress job, perhaps Apple isn’t the place to find it.
On the plus side, employees cited great people, good benefits, and a fun environment as the main benefits for working at Apple. The interesting part about this is that most of the respondents in the survey were retail employees. So I guess this kind of makes sense? They wouldn’t know about the products and aren’t being told anything, so there is some secrecy. But it would be a higher stress environment because they’re dealing with unhappy customers. Again, I don’t think this is Tim Cook’s doing necessarily, I think that’s just what happens in some of these organizations. Maybe there is an opportunity for change, but I don’t think throwing your CEO under the bus is the way to do it.