Study: Aussies Think Richard Branson’s The World’s Best Boss (Then Jobs, Zuckerberg & Alan Joyce)

Branson said the public can expect rock bottom fares if there were vacant seats on a V Australia plane prior to takeoff.
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Specialist tech PR firm Hotwire has commissioned research by The Leading Edge which highlights Australians’ desire to work with innovative, international, and visionary CEOs.

The leading CEO Australians would like to work for was Richard Branson from Virgin Group, and the two key areas highlighted where their own bosses could improve were speaking more with staff (37 per cent) and offering more support and flexibility in the workplace (35 per cent).

Overall, the most favoured CEOs among Australians are associated with technology and innovation, with the late Steve Jobs from Apple, and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook tying for second place. Both Jobs and Zuckerberg were also among the top five CEOs that half of 18-24 year olds would want to work with. Richard Branson, on the other hand, was significantly more popular with those aged over 35.

Qantas’ Alan Joyce was fourth most popular to work for at 21 per cent, though Australian leaders overall ranked much lower on the list of ideal CEOs in comparison to their international counterparts. Despite winning various workplace-related awards, Canva and Atlassian CEOs attracted just three per cent and two per cent respectively. 

Interestingly, Elon Musk from SpaceX and Satya Nadella from Microsoft had significantly higher popularity among males, at 27 per cent and 22 per cent respectively, than among females at nine per cent and 13 per cent respectively. Male respondents were also more likely to want to see more innovation and vision (28 per cent each) from their bosses and CEOs, than female respondents (17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively).

According to recent research from ManpowerGroup Solutions, over half of Australian Millennials are actively looking for their next job opportunity, emphasising the need among today’s local business leaders to recognise how to attract and retain the best talent.

Hotwire Australia country manager, Mylan Vu, commented, “The results highlight how closely the personal brand of a CEO is impacting people’s actions regarding where they work and their motivations in the workplace. The current and next generations of workers will be looking to Australian business leaders for innovative and tech-driven ideas, and there’s a huge opportunity to engage with the workforce through simple communication and by listening to employees’ desires for flexible work environments.”

Logan Merrick, co-founder and director of Buzinga App Development, a Melbourne-based mobile and innovation consultancy that has won several awards for company culture, commented, “As the mobile app development space grew, so did the competitiveness for talent. In order to keep our leaders inspired, we took a big backward step to really look at our reason for doing what we do – our why. The more Australian business leaders can do to explain and get employees to understand their ‘why’, the more they can create a team that is striving in one direction, towards achieving a vision they are passionate about.”

Andrew Korecki, client services director at strategic communications consultancy, Precinct, commented, “Brand image has enabled some of the world’s best brands to accelerate a shift in category positioning, driving influence, loyalty, spend, as well as ultimately creating incredible workplace desire. Brands like Google, Tesla and Apple have become by virtue true celebrity brands. Celebrity brands are unmistakably magnetic, employers of choice, and allow employees to be pioneers of their own brand purpose, values and mission – all perfectly aligned.”

Lee Naylor, managing director at The Leading Edge, said, “We see a lot of parallels with work we are conducting around the idea that the strongest brands are the ones that inspire greatness in their consumers. It seems that is magnified when tied to inspiring leaders.”

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