employee engagementrecruitment marketing

What the Glassdoor Best Places to Work winners can teach you about engaging employees

By March 26, 2015 No Comments

Last week, the Glassdoor Best Places to Work Roadshow came to London, both to celebrate some of the companies ranking in the website’s top 50 places to work, and to let them tell us how they got there.

So what is Glassdoor and why should you care about the companies rated highly on it? As we explained in a previous post, in simplest terms it’s like TripAdvisor for HR. It gathers user-generated anonymous reviews of companies and company culture from the people from whom it matters most: the employees.

You should care what those companies in the Glassdoor top 50 best places to work have to say because it’s a sign of a two things:

  • A strong company culture and happy employees
  • An engaged workforce

And while these two things are great for boosting morale and productivity, they’re also incredibly powerful tools for recruitment marketing and attracting new talent.

So, now you’re interested. But, what did they have to say?

Your employees are your ambassadors

As you’re likely well aware, it’s a booming job market. To attract the best candidates you need to be able to market your employer brand and attract job seekers – you have to be the active party in their search.

One of the most powerful tools you have in doing this is your employees. When getting across your employer-branding message, they’re your secret weapon.

Glassdoor has stats to prove it. One employee sharing your content gets the same click-through activity as 100 followers added to your feed, according to research presented at the event. Further to that, the engagement lifespan (the amount of time readers are liking and re-sharing your content after it’s first posted) is extended by 4,200% when shared by an employee rather than a brand channel.

When communicating your employer brand, you need your staff involved. It’s why sites like Glassdoor, where an employer’s reputation is built on the opinions of those working there, are so incredibly powerful in drawing new talent.

After all, jobseekers are spending more time research companies and weighing up their options. An Allegis Group Services Study from last year found that 69% of US jobseekers wouldn’t take a job from an employer that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed.

Transparency

To get your employees spreading your message, you’re going to need them engaged, and they’ll have to be knowledgeable on what they’re talking about. They won’t want to feel like they’re being taken for a ride.

69% of US jobseekers wouldn’t take a job from an employer that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed

Employees want to feel like they’re in on the grand plan. And if they are, then other people will want to be part of that too.

In a Glassdoor whitepaper produced for the event it was reported that 96% of jobseekers believe it’s important for companies to embrace transparency.

Mark Turner, SVP for MENA at Gensys summed it up, calling his company’s approach the “antithesis of mushroom management”; the “keep employees in the dark and feed them shit” approach. Like the ethos he endorsed, he is not a man of hidden agendas. Nor should you be in your internal comms.

Authenticity

It should go without saying that if you’re being transparent you should also be authentic. And this goes beyond just speaking to your own employees. You want them to share the message of how great a workplace you can provide, and so you need to show that through them.

Show the real people that work there. You don’t need to rely on stock photography to show your workplace – be authentic and show what is actually happening behind your office doors. It’s also a big no-no to flood sites like Glassdoor with fake positive reviews. It’s an age-old trick for open review sites, and it’s one that doesn’t fly.

Being authentic is a top-level way of encouraging authenticity further down. If you’re authentic, you can let your employees know that you want them to be authentic too. You want them to help you spread your message, after all.

Encourage your staff to share your content, but don’t control it. Give people autonomy and it brings about much better results.

Listen and be honest

For John Wilson, CEO of company WilsonHCG, another of the Best Place to Work Winners, what kicked off their success on Glassdoor was a negative review. Someone in management saw it appear, and, shocked, they sent it around to their staff. Was this the perception that everyone had? They wanted to find out. If it was, something needed to change. It turned out it wasn’t – within a few weeks employees had taken to the site to leave their own, more positive reviews.

It’s proof that if you’re honest – it’s no crime in being shocked or upset to find out that you’re not held in high esteem by all your employees – it often translates into better engagement with staff as they feel closer to the business.

Employee engagement has long been an important part of ensuring productivity (research by the Workplace Research Foundation found that highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity). But with sites like Glassdoor quickly becoming indispensable tools for any employer hoping to attract top quality staff, keeping your employees engaged and enabling them to engage with the outside world is more important than ever.

If there’s one thing to take away from those in the Best Places to Work list, it’s that.

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