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In the 1983 book by Robert Levering, entitled The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, the author pointed out the significance of ethics in relation to leadership and senior management development. After the success of the aforementioned manuscript, The Great Place to Work (GPTW) Institute was conceptualised and established, as a joint effort by Levering and colleague Amy Lymann.

Since its inception, The GPTW senior management development model has become the benchmark for two prestigious annual lists of organisations that are known to adhere to optimum business standards. These lists include HR magazine’s “Best Small & Medium Companies to Work for in America”, and Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”. From these elite catalogues of noteworthy businesses, the GPTW Institute determined the most commendable workplace practices which were eventually consolidated in a published text called “Best Practices of the Best Companies: Cultural Practices Report 2005”.

The GPTW Institute used a five-point model in their selection of prestigious organisations to be included in their impressive lists. It is important to note that the principles, which the institute zeroed in, are all directly related to the concepts of integrity and ethics, which should ideally emanate from senior management and leadership. A culture of trust, as far as Levering and Lyman’s group is concerned, is the exact building block for a productive and healthy workplace.

The five essential GPTW indicators are as follows:

1. Credibility- Senior management builds credibility through transparency—transparency in terms of the organisation’s future plans and current endeavours. Furthermore, competent workforce and resource supervision is crucial, as well as clear delegation of employees’ specific roles and functions.

2. Respect- The level of respect which senior management bestows upon employees can be determined through observable pointers such as the availability of resources, business technology, and professional growth opportunities. Senior management skills are recognised through constructive feedback, as well as due recognition.

3. Fairness- Achievements of the organisation, especially in terms of profit, should not be limited to senior management. Members from all tiers of the organisational hierarchy should be given impartial access to the financial successes of the business, through a competitive remuneration and benefit packages. Other human resource management procedures such as headhunting, promotion, and conflict resolution should also be done without bias and with utmost adherence to the principles of meritocracy.

4. Satisfaction- Senior management should strive to maintain the kind of organisation and workplace of which their employees can feel satisfied. Employees should find meaning and relevance in the work that they do and in the business to which they belong.

5. Camaraderie- A great place to work should allow the development of not only individuals, but of teams or groups. As much as it continuously upholds individual achievements, it also fosters collective triumphs. Through this, all members of the organisation are motivated to be one with the group despite their specific roles and responsibilities.

For the GPTW Institute, the abovementioned principles can adequately gauge whether a particular workplace is at par with the industry’s best. Good management training  can assure this. Furthermore, the achievement of these indicators heavily relies on the dedication and commitment from the senior management.

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