How Glassdoor Can Help Managers Know What Workers Are Saying

Transparency is at the root of employer branding; when transparency is part of a workplace’s DNA, businesses run better, managers build stronger teams and work cultures thrive. But how do you, as an HR professional, help managers who don’t receive feedback from their teams? Honest feedback from their team is one of the only ways to ensure they’re doing a good job as a boss.

Managers give feedback every day, but they rarely receive unfiltered feedback from employees about their own performance. Of course, this makes perfect sense as most employees shy away from confrontation with the boss when things are less than perfect. Managers on your team need feedback, so how can you help them to get unfiltered feedback so they can do their job better?

One area of Glassdoor reviews that perhaps gets less attention, but is nonetheless extremely valuable, is the feedback within the “Advice To Management” section.

Advice To Management is an open text box where people write their opinions, good or bad, as long as it adheres to our community guidelines, of how management can do a better job. A quick visit to your company’s Glassdoor profile reveals a window into the unfiltered feedback your employees have for your leadership team.

I encourage you to have a look at your own data; you’ll likely learn quite a bit about your management team. To help employers understand what they can expect to find, we analyzed all approved reviews submitted in the UK over a 12-month period. (Based on 50,168 approved reviews including Advice to Management from UK employees between 03/15 to 03/16.) While the data is specific to the UK, the results are fascinating. This data provides an insight into how many employees want to help; and we believe the results are relevant worldwide.

There were three clear unfiltered management feedback trends:

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1. Managers are not so bad after all

Once we filtered out ‘noise’ and random words from the results, we found that the most common advice is to ”keep up the good work.” This overwhelmingly positive sentiment is both heartwarming and constructive. It shows that many UK employees are satisfied with their job and company and that management of these employees is on the right track. What a fantastic thing for senior management to read! If I was a company founder this is exactly the sort of feedback that I would hope for. Have a look at these reviews for your company on Glassdoor and share with your management team.

2. Managers need to listen up

The second most common sentiment is “listen to staff.” While there are minor variations on this theme, essentially a large proportion of employees are simply telling management to either keep listening to staff or to listen to them more. Sometimes this is said with a negative tone, sometimes neutral, sometimes positive, but the common theme is that there is a huge amount of value in simply listening to employees and being in touch with what they are saying.

3. Managers need to treat staff better

The third sentiment to emerge from this analysis was to “treat staff” in a certain way – either “treat staff better,” “treat staff with respect,” “treat people fairly” or something along those lines. Think about how workers are treated in your organization – Do they feel like they are treated well? What about those of you in retail, banking, hospitality and entertainment, all with large numbers of workers on the front line and paid by the hour. How do they really feel? Are they treated well? Are all staff treated the same?

We know that job seekers read around a half dozen reviews before they form an opinion of a company. What are the trends that emerge from your company reviews and what can you learn from them to improve even further? How can you use this information to help your management team be better? As a member of the HR organization, you should take advantage of all this free advice, especially if you’re looking to strengthen your employer brand.

 
Kirsten Davidson is head of employer brand at Glassdoor. She is responsible for sustaining and growing Glassdoor's vibrant employer brand while navigating the challenges that come with hyper growth. Her work includes leveraging Glassdoor's powerful data to provide insight and learnings that help global employers navigate a new world where the lines between recruiting, marketing, brand, and culture are increasingly blurred. Prior to Glassdoor, she helped build and lead global employment brand for industry leaders including Visa, and eBay Inc. Her teams' efforts helped Visa exceed aggressive hiring goals by bringing the best and brightest in the payments industry to Visa with authentic yet cut-through brand, marketing, and communications efforts and established Visa as a leader in employer brand. During her tenure with eBay Inc., she was responsible for helping drive employee engagement and creating a defined and differentiated employee value proposition.Before directing her focus on transforming the many aspects of the employee experience, she led the global branding efforts for a division of Autodesk. She began her career in public relations at Horn Group and later, Fleishman Hillard.

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