Study: Workplace Factors Influence CEO Effectiveness
Leadership StrategiesSuccession PlanningCulture RiskBoard and CEO AdvisoryCEO SuccessionTeam Effectiveness
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June 28, 2019
Leadership StrategiesSuccession PlanningCulture RiskBoard and CEO AdvisoryCEO SuccessionTeam Effectiveness
The Agenda article, “Study: Workplace Factors Influence CEO Effectiveness," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Anthony Abbatiello on the role of company culture and employee satisfaction in CEO effectiveness.


Several workplace factors, such as the senior leadership team and company culture, can influence how employees view their CEO, according to a recent survey by workplace review site Glassdoor. 

Experts say that, as the market for talent grows tighter and as high-profile incidents of employee protest or collective action — such as those at Alphabet, Amazon or, most recently, Wayfair — grow more frequent, boards should consider employee sentiment as well as workplace factors in CEO evaluation and succession planning. 


Similarly, corporate culture is a major factor to consider with overall CEO performance, says Anthony Abbatiello, leader of Russell Reynolds Associates’ global leadership and succession business. Using workplace surveys, boards can analyze the behavior of the organization and also what trouble-spots there might be. 

"Culture is not placards and mugs with sayings. It is how the work is getting done in the organization," Abbatiello says. 


“The ability for the CEO to be the face of the organization to represent employees of the company, and the ability to be transparent and authentic in who they are as a leader, will drive the employee engagement level,” says Abbatiello. “There is a much higher degree of weight put on employee engagement when looking at what is driving the performance and productivity of the CEO.” 


Abbatiello says this piece is challenging to evaluate in a CEO candidate, particularly external ones, but it comes into play “almost every time.” 

“In the succession planning process, it is important to gather a broader set of input, which includes employee sentiment, how inclusive of a leader they are, how they can adapt in the future context employees might need to be led in, and the impact they had or may have on the employee community,” Abbatiello says. 

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