In HR and management circles, Glassdoor is a polarizing topic. On the one hand there are folks that understand feedback from former and current employees is useful and by acting on it, can help improve employee experience, performance and the overall brand and culture of a firm. On the other are folks who understand that many of the awful reviews are often left by disgruntled employees who were usually upset at getting fired because they were awful at their jobs. In truth, both groups beliefs are true. I know specific teams where negative reviews also match internal feedback, performance reviews and engagement score ratings, and something needs to be done about it. I also remember specifically one review where an employee was fired for racially abusing a colleague and they left a review stating how unfair management was and how they looked after their favourite employees.
Glassdoor Feedback is Important
Now whichever one of these camps you sit in, the fact remains Glassdoor feedback is incredibly important. The reason for this is that roughly 70% of potential employees read the feedback, before deciding whether to join a company. This may be before they come in for an interview, it may be when an offer is made. But at some point, you should assume they are going to read it. So regardless of whether you believe it is important or not, your potential employees consider it to be a great way to get insights into your working culture. Therefore, it is something that an organisation must pay attention to.
Ask current employees to leave feedback
The aim of Glassdoor is to provide insights into the actual culture of an organisation. So, the easiest way to ensure your Glassdoor rating is a fair reflection of your organisation is to ask your current employees to leave their own reviews. This is both a great way to ensure balance, and test leaderships own views as to what the culture is genuinely like. Perhaps the only reviews left are by awful employees who are venting, or perhaps your culture is toxic, and you do not have enough self-awareness to realise this yourself.
Create a Glassdoor schedule
The easiest way to ensure more positive reviews to balance out the inevitable negative ones left by disgruntled employees, is to create a Glassdoor schedule aligned to key moments within your organisation. If you have an annual awards ceremony to recognise employees, you should ask those who were nominated if they are willing to leave a review. If you run an annual performance review, you should ask those who were promoted to share their experience on Glassdoor after the promotion announcements are made. Employees who hit key milestones such as 5 years or 10 years with the company, should be asked to leave a review as to why they have stayed with the company for so long. This way you ensure a consistent number of positive reviews to balance out the inevitable negative ones.
Listen to the feedback
Finally, it is incredibly important to listen to what the feedback is saying. I have lost count of how many times I have heard a manager or HR person say, “the employees just don’t understand”. If your past and current employees are consistently saying that you have a micromanagement problem or bias within the organisation its highly likely to be true. You may not feel that having your employees copy you in on all emails is micromanaging, but it is, whether you like to admit it or not. Likewise, if you are not consistently having performance conversations throughout the year, its highly likely your year end review process is subjective and filled with bias. It is important to listen to this feedback and act on it for the betterment of the organisation. No organisation can succeed over the longer term by refusing to listen to their employees.