Americans, unlike their European or Japanese counterparts, are unusually wary of bureaucratic institutions. In fact, you might even say that the perception of a government office – flush with taxpayer dollars yet choked by inefficiency – is a distinctly American one. After all, who doesn't have a DMV horror story, or perhaps an account of how they lost an entire day in the pursuit of some sort of document, license, or passport which they were legally obligated acquire.
And yet some writers over at Slate are debunking the commonly-held notion that government workers are generally incompetent and slow-moving. In fact, they even found some management consultants who went on record as saying that they had found one of the most efficient working environments they had ever seen in a place they didn't expect: a passport office.
The article's author decided to follow up on the anecdotal evidence by checking out the evaluations that people had been posting on Yelp. The results are surprising, as New York City's passport office earns a 4.5 out of 5 rating – an outpouring of enthusiasm that equals user assessments of some of the city's most expensive and luxurious establishments. Reviews cited security guards who acted as samaritans, unexpectedly short wait-times, and an overall environment of unexpected efficiency.
The reason for this anomaly, according to Slate's report, is superior office management. Reporters were shocked to meet high-level bureaucrats who "knew the ins and outs of activity-based costing, balanced scorecards, and seemingly the entire contents of the Harvard Business Review."
As the article elaborates, the case of the New York City passport office is supported by a new study from the University College London of government offices in Nigeria. Researches found that manager autonomy was a better indicator of efficiency than funding or compensation. You heard that correctly. A more autonomous manager was more likely to run an efficient office than ones who were paid more – indicating that human incentives are far more complicated than one might expect.
At the end of the day, making passports isn't all that different from making anything else. So we decided to run a screen using information pulled from one of our partners, CSRHub, which measures corporate social responsibility. We found five companies that scored the highest with their employees on factors that included training and safety, diversity, compensation, and labor rights. CSRHub also takes into account "Special Factors", for instance, one of the companies on our list, Proctor and Gamble (PG), earned bonus points for its treatment of working mothers.
Will better management at these companies pay off? Use the list below to begin your own analysis.
Click on the image above to see sales data over time. Quarterly sales sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
1. Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A. (GGAL, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Operates as the holding company for Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S. Market cap at $676.57M, most recent closing price at $5.45.
CSRHub overall rating: 63 out of 100
CSRHub employees rating: 80 out of 100
2. Intel Corporation (INTC, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. Market cap at $116.39B, most recent closing price at $23.38.
CSRHub overall rating: 69 out of 100
CSRHub employees rating: 78 out of 100
3. Jones Lang Lasalle Inc. (JLL, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Provides integrated real estate and investment management services to owner, occupier, and investor clients worldwide. Market cap at $4.19B, most recent closing price at $95.07.
CSRHub overall rating: 68 out of 100
CSRHub employees rating: 72 out of 100
CSRHub overall rating: 63 out of 100
CSRHub employees rating: 71 out of 100
5. Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN, Earnings, Analysts, Financials): Engages in the design and sale of semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers worldwide. Market cap at $42.75B, most recent closing price at $38.76.
CSRHub overall rating: 65 out of 100
CSRHub employees rating: 74 out of 100
(List compiled by James Dennin. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. All other data sourced from Finviz.)
Analyze These Ideas: Getting Started
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Dig Deeper: Access Company Snapshots, Charts, Filings
- Grupo Financiero Galicia S.A.(GGAL, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Intel Corporation(INTC, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Jones Lang Lasalle Inc.(JLL, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Procter & Gamble Co.(PG, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
- Texas Instruments Inc.(TXN, Chart, Download SEC Filings)
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