By Melissa J. Anderson (New York City)

Fortune Magazine and Hay Group, a global management consultancy released today their annual list of

the World’s Most Admired Companies. And, this should come as no surprise, the top companies on the list are the ones rated best for employee engagement as well.

Mel Stark, vice president in Hay Group’s Reward Practice, explained, “Equally important, the WMAC communicate their objectives to all employees, connecting the goals and objectives of every employee to the overall business strategy, and as a result, were able to come out of the downturn with motivated and loyal employees.”

According to a report published by the Hay Group in conjunction with the WMAC list, 90 percent of WMAC respondents marked their company as “very effective” or “effective” at fostering high levels of employee engagement. In comparison, only 71 percent of employees at companies not on the list ranked their companies “very effective” or “effective.”

Firms recognized for high employee engagement also reported a better talent pipeline – according to 73 percent of WMAC respondents reported “ease of recruiting talent to fill key positions is much greater/greater than two years ago.” Compare this to 57 percent of respondents at other companies.

Additionally, 69 percent WMAC respondents report “employee loyalty to the organization is much greater/greater than two years ago” Only 49 percent of respondents peer companies reported the same. Another interesting finding is that employees themselves (84 percent of WMAC respondents) identified that high levels of employee engagement have led to better relationships with customers.

Overall, the top firms are the ones known for being great employers and innovators with solid financials. The Top 5 World’s Most Admired Companies include:

1. Apple

2. Google

3. Berkshire Hathaway

4. Johnson & Johnson


The Top 5 firms for People Management are:

1. Goldman Sachs Group

2. Apple

3. Nike

3. UPS

5. Polo Ralph Lauren

The Top 5 firms for Social Responsibility are:

1. UPS

2. Starbucks

3. Marriott International

4. Walt Disney

5. Statoil

The Top 5 firms for Innovation are:

1. Apple

2. Google

3. Nike


5. Goldman Sachs Group

The World’s Most Admired Company list has been compiled by Fortune Magazine and the Hay Group since 1997. You can see all 346 top companies here.