A recent piece by 24/7 Wall Stranked the CEOs with the dishonorable distinction of having the worst reputations as determined by their own employees. At nine major companies, 40% or fewer employees gave positive reviews of their CEO, with some execs receiving as low as 20% positive feedback.

The worst ranking CEOs according to 24/7 Wall St. are as follows:

  1. Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings
  2. Bill Dillard II, Dillard’s
  3. Do Won Chang, Forever 21
  4. Ursula M. Burns, Xerox
  5. George Paz, Express Scripts
  6. Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch
  7. Bill Nuti, NCR
  8. Jeffrey Yabuki, Fiserv
  9. J. Paul Raines, GameStop

A number of factors reportedly played into employees’ negative feelings about their leading executives. These included lacking business performance, extravagant pay and taking bonuses while employee salaries remain stagnant, poor stewardship, negative representation of the company, and poor communication (some lacking and some too forceful.)

These findings underscore the fact that one of the major audiences companies should always be focused on is their own employees. Though internal, communication to these important stakeholders is extremely vital because these individuals can directly influence your company’s productivity, image and ultimately success.

24/7 Wall St.’s rankings and their underlying causes also illustrate the importance of cohesive communications. All companies should have established messaging, and all externally facing executives should be well-versed in this messaging and trained to properly communicate it to the public and the media.

When statements from the CEO are in-line with the company’s underlying mission and the communications that employees see and hear every day, potential pitfalls can be avoided and employees feel satisfied and well-represented. When these core messages are not established and CEOs speak off-the-cuff, employees often feel disconnected and discontent with the CEO’s representation of the company.