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3M Receives Top Honors for Continued Investment in Leadership

Business Wire
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There’s a reason 3M expects to make thousands of new hires over the next five years, and it has much to do with who is already with the company.

Some of the sharpest minds in the world now work for 3M, and they have an unyielding commitment to career development and leadership. They believe that if they can grow, the company will grow. And 3M believes it will only grow as fast as it can grow its leaders.

It’s this long-standing dedication to leadership that has earned 3M recognition as one of the “Top Companies for Leaders” and one of the “Best Companies for Leadership” by two well-known organizations that closely study the practices of cutting-edge firms around the world.

“We have a winning combination: employees who are passionate about their development and a company that invests in its people,” said Marlene McGrath, 3M’s senior vice president of human resources. “These honors show that we are challenging ourselves to stay on the forefront of leadership development.”

The Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders, which recognizes employers who foster resilient, engaging leaders, ranked 3M No. 8 globally out of 25 companies (up from No. 15 in 2013) and ranked it No. 6 in North America out of 25 major businesses (up from No. 11 in 2011).

And in Hay Group’s Best Companies for Leadership, which assesses leadership development practices, 3M was No. 9 out of 20 firms globally. (That’s up from No. 13 in 2013.)

Aon Hewitt’s analysis found that top companies shared five key characteristics in their leadership approach, including:

  • Assessment: Evaluating leaders’ experiences, competencies, values and organizational fit to understand the needs of the talent pipeline.
  • Awareness: Having leaders who demonstrate tremendous self-awareness by understanding their personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Resilience: Building resilience into leaders by creating inclusive cultures where diverse personalities and ideas are fostered to help the organization meet continued business challenges.
  • Engaging leadership: Identifying and building engaging leaders who are stabilizers, demonstrate versatility and stay connected.
  • Sustainability: Building talent programs nimble enough to respond quickly to market demands, yet sustainable in delivering superior business outcomes.

“In today’s complex and unpredictable business landscape, top companies for leaders are passionate about cultivating resilient and engaging leaders who take the time to know and develop their talent and understand what experiences they need to rise above the rest,” said Pete Sanborn, global talent practice leader. “We congratulate 3M on being among a select group of organizations that excel at building and growing a strong leadership environment.”

Conducted since 2001, the 2014 Aon Hewitt survey includes more than 300 executive interviews and nearly 180 participating organizations. The study explores how organizations assess, select, develop and reward leaders, and examines the execution of leadership practices.

In the Hay Group survey, the global management consulting firm looked at what makes a great leader in a globalized, unpredictable world, what skills do companies need now and in the future, and what leading-edge companies are doing to accelerate their leaders’ development so they can compete and succeed.

Started in 2005, the 2014 Hay Group report included 17,000 people from more than 2,100 organizations worldwide. The survey is open to all employees of any organization.

“Our jump in the rankings for both awards reflects our commitment to developing workers at all levels,” McGrath said. “It also shows that growing as a leader should never stop. There is so much to learn if we are to continue to lead.”

About 3M
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $31 billion in sales, 3M employs 89,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3M News on Twitter.

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