Why Glassdoor is an Excellent Beacon for Seeing (and Improving) Employee Engagement

Posted by: in Corporate and Strategy, gary grates, Thought Leadership, twist, W2O Group on September 9, 2014

Glassdoor, the career and job site where people provide unvarnished opinions on their organizations and managers, has fast become both an HR nightmare and a Communicator’s best friend. To date, the site has a population of 25 million members, spanning 190 countries.

At last count, more than 500,000 company reviews were submitted to the site providing a unique window into the perceptions and beliefs of today’s workforce.  Given its anonymity, people tend to post more rich commentary than what is shared in either an exit interview or with a manager. This raw perspective is sometimes unnerving to an organization and an HR function tasked with ensuring that talent is both recruited and retained.

However, based on the multiple dimensions of the information posted on the site, communicators can glean an enormous amount of data and insight from which to strengthen employee engagement and understand effectiveness of their communications strategies.  Instead of viewing employee engagement as theoretical or ephemeral, Glassdoor provides a real and clear view of what’s taking place through an employee’s eyes.

It begins with a forensic analysis of what people are saying about the company.  In delving into the reviews for your company, communicators can determine important trends and characteristics from which to inform policy, internal communications, and management behaviors:

1.  What did they know about the company’s strategy and story?

2. What values of the company were identified and what was the context expressed?

3. How was someone managed?

4. What was the state of peer to peer relationships?

5.  How did they perceive career advancement and skills development?

6.  What did they signal as the most egregious issue?

7.  How did they reference the culture?

8. What behaviors were cited – positive and negative ?

9. Did they feel they were given the necessary tools to succeed?

10. Based on the reviews, are there regional differences in the posts?

11. Are there hidden meanings with the language? (i.e., Collaboration = Control; Voice = Respect)

Answers to the above provides crucial insight that can be utilized in designing a more effective employee communications and engagement strategy based on the following elements:

  • Content – what’s missing in terms of increasing confidence and knowledge of the business
  • Context –  how deep do you go to fully tell a story
  • Clarity – how employees are receiving, understanding and internalizing these communications
  • Cadence – how do you convey stories…is there a pattern
  • Platforms – how many are there and what are they used for
  • Frequency – is it creating noise or conversation
  • Tonality – employees respond better to more provocative discussions
  • Connectivity – where are internal networks forming
  • Manager and Leader Interaction – how often and how effective

In the end, instead of bemoaning the sometimes negative commentary that shows up on the site, savvy HR executives and Communications professionals would do well to treat such information as a treasure trove of new data that can lead to insight and potential new actions.  The ultimate outcome might even be more positive reviews as the effects of an improved communications system lead to stronger engagement and a more productive culture.

What are you waiting for?

 

Gary

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One Response

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  1. Gary – great summary of how Glassdoor can help ‘savvy’ companies. Another reason is that companies can no longer ignore Glassdoor because people (lots of people) are using it to research companies before applying or accepting jobs. For one of my projects, I looked at the unique visitor traffic for Glassdoor using Compete.com and it has nearly tripled in the last year. Unique visitors grew from around 2mm in July 2013 to over 6.5mm in July 2014!

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