Guaranteed investment advice? Well that sounds fishy! Generally, I would agree with you. On the other hand, certain pieces of investment advice genuinely are guaranteed. For example, a timeless point of investing is never invest in a vehicle that you do not understand. Tragically, too many horror stories evolved from those who violated that point.

Speaking of investment advice, Fortune has published its annual “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” (Milton Moskowitz and Robert Levering, March 15, 2015, pp. 97–154). In addition to providing its momentous list, Fortune includes commentary on the investment aspects of these distinguished companies. As you might expect, being on the 100 best workplaces list bodes well for investment returns:

Analysis of the publicly traded firms in the rankings from 1984 through 2009 by Wharton’s Alex Edmans found that a portfolio of 100 Best Companies exceeded its expected risk-adjusted returns by 3.5% a year. . . . Edmans exhaustively investigated several hypotheses and concluded that investors just don’t get it—they simply don’t understand that great workplaces work better.” (p. 110)

So, are we saying that when we create great places to work, those companies become better investments too? Do the math. But there is more to the ongoing story and it puts a challenge squarely in front of every company:

A corollary is that most employers don’t get it either. Why do they let the 100 Best clean their clocks year after year, when the secret is no secret at all? The answer is a mystery. We know 100 companies that hope the others never figure it out.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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