Aon Hewitt, the global human resources and consulting company, ranked GE first on its annual Global Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders list. In 2011, the last time the company ran the survey, GE finished in 11th place.
Since Aon Hewitt launched the list in 2001, it has become the most comprehensive global leadership survey, analyzing links between leadership and financial performance.
The companies on the 2014 list were ranked by a panel of independent judges based on a number of criteria, including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, alignment of business and leadership strategy, company reputation, and business and financial performance.
The Aon Hewitt ranking is the latest in a string of recent honors received by GE. LinkedIn put the company on its World's 100 Most InDemand Employers list, and it was also one of the Hay Group's Best Companies for Leadership.
"We are immensely proud to be ranked first on the Aon Hewitt list," said Raghu Krishnamoorthy, vice president for executive development and GE's chief learning officer. "This global recognition affirms the strength of the GE leadership philosophy, which holds that when one person grows we all grow, and together, we all rise. We believe every GE employee is a leader. Every employee therefore has a hand in this accomplishment, and should feel a deep sense of pride."
GE invests $1 billion in employee development every year and the company says that building leadership has been integral to its culture since it was founded 130 years ago. GE's top leaders spend a third of their time on leadership development and the company's "corporate university" in Crotonville, N.Y. (top image and above), has become a global hub for developing new thinking about leadership, strategy, innovation and global performance.
The Beliefs are a set of principles like accountability and autonomy designed to change employee and management mindset and make everyone "focus on delivering results to customers, who determine GE's success," says Jeff Immelt, GE Chairman and CEO. "That's the only way we can move fast and grow at scale and at a lower cost. When we win, we win together."