What are some proven ways to increase a company's Glassdoor rating?
Walmart is a very popular brand that has sought to improve company culture in order to raise Glassdoor ratings. Buffer and Asana are two startup tech companies that have paid special attention to employee reviews to achieve superior Glassdoor ratings. Helping Hands is a UK-based company that significantly raised its rating on Glassdoor. Adobe is a fifth company that has made marked efforts to increase employee satisfaction. Please find a deep dive of our research below.
RAISING GLASSDOOR RATINGS
Glassdoor is often the first place employees go to vent frustrations and where job seekers turn to garner information about future employers. Forbes outlined six steps businesses can take to improve Glassdoor ratings in a 2017 article:
1. Perform an honest assessment of how many negative reviews are posted and what employees are saying.
2. Create an employer account on Glassdoor to claim your page and manage reviews.
3. Disgruntled ex-employees are more likely to post on Glassdoor, so reach out to current happy employees asking them to write a review. (The key word here is “ask.” Don’t make this a requirement, or it could backfire.)
4. When hosting special employee events or giving a promotion, politely suggest that employees share the positive experience in a review.
5. Always answer reviews - positive and negative - with a personalized response.
6. Use negative feedback as a way to improve company culture.
A surefire way to ensure positive feedback on review sites like Glassdoor is to have the best possible company culture. There are many elements that employers should consider including “culture, resources, career path, management, and [employee] empowerment.” The results that come from improving employee feedback can be as far-reaching as a strengthened brand and soaring stocks.
Glassdoor offers its own advice to businesses seeking higher review ratings. While many factors play into a brand’s reputation, keeping turnover numbers low is a major tactic in raising positive reviews since most negative reviews come from former employees. Competitive pay, a healthy company culture, and a definitive career path all result in happier, more loyal employees. Glassdoor recommends that businesses always be aware of their online reputation. It is vital for companies to address negative feedback and avoid taking employees for granted at all costs.
CASE STUDY #1: WALMART
Walmart managed to raise its Glassdoor rating from 2.9 in 2014 to 3.2 in 2017. In February 2017, Walmart announced its decision to “invest $2.7 billion into its employees.” It raised its base pay from $10 per hour to $13.38 per hour for full-time staff and $10.58 per hour for part-time staff. Walmart revamped its training programs and created Walmart Academy, a place for employees to strengthen skills in order to climb the company ladder. To boost morale over the 2017 holiday season, Walmart opted not to bring on additional part-time labor and instead gave current employees the option of working more hours.
CASE STUDY #2: BUFFER
Buffer is a small tech startup company that has taken an interesting approach to raising its company rating on Glassdoor: eliminating the secrecy surrounded employee salaries. Buffer publicly posts all employee salaries on Glassdoor and includes the formula used to determine pay rates. The formula includes factors such as an employee’s role in the company, their loyalty, and experience. Buffer is currently rated 4.9 in “Culture and Values” and 4.7 overall with many employees noting their appreciation for the company’s transparency.
CASE STUDY #3: ASANA
Another tech startup company, Asana managed to raise its Glassdoor rating to a perfect 5.0 by the end of 2017 and is one of Glassdoor’s “Top 10 Best Places to Work in 2017.” Asana achieved this by focusing on developing a company culture that provides “[a] healthy work-life balance, inclusiveness… mindfulness and equanimity, [accountability],” and open channels of communication. Co-founder Justin Rosenstein says the secret is to “treat culture as a product.” Asana holds board meetings to discuss company values, rolls out new policies, and then requests honest feedback from staff to see what works and what needs improvement. Asana refers to problems as “culture bugs” and addresses them with urgency whenever they arise.
CASE STUDY #4: HELPING HANDS
Helping Hands is the only company on this list based in the UK. The company raised its rating to a 4.3 on Glassdoor by significantly increasing the volume of positive reviews. As of December 2017, “82% of [Helping Hands] employees would... recommend working for the company to a friend.” Helping Hands accomplished this by ensuring that employees felt they were performing work of value and helping the less fortunate in their community. The company’s focus has been making employees “feel part of a family” and that they are “complementing the team ethos.”
CASE STUDY #5: ADOBE
A fifth recent case study discussing a company raising its Glassdoor ratings specifically is not publicly available, but the Wall Street Journal states that Adobe has been taking special efforts to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of their employees. CareerBliss ranks Adobe the “fourth happiest company” to work for in 2018. The company has managed to rise in the employee-satisfaction ranks through an “atmosphere [that] is highly collaborative and energizing.” Management and employees are “friendly and helpful” as well as “highly professional.”
ETHICALLY QUESTIONABLE TACTICS
In terms of unethical Glassdoor review practices, the biggest offender is perhaps the federal government, which recently ruled that Glassdoor reviews can never truly be anonymous. Stripping employee reviews of their anonymity can deter disgruntled workers from openly voicing opinions. While this could discourage negative feedback for fear of retaliation, it could also prevent valid concerns from coming to the surface.
A way that employers themselves can keep workers from posting negative feedback is through non-disclosure agreements. Non-disclosure agreements can land employees in legal hot water if they decide to reveal anything deemed confidential. While this isn’t necessarily an unethical approach to silencing former employees, it is one way that companies could legally have some negative feedback on Glassdoor removed.
One outright unethical way that employers can raise Glassdoor ratings is by forcing employees to post positive reviews or suffer the consequences. This approach can backfire since many employees will go back and delete these reviews when they leave the toxic workplace. In addition, this opens businesses up to word-of-mouth criticism, which can be just as damaging to a company’s reputation.
Happy employees with a stable career and a sense of empowerment lead to more positive reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Four companies that have successfully raised their Glassdoor ratings are Walmart, Buffer, Asana, and Helping Hands. Adobe is a fifth company that has managed to increase staff happiness through a positive work environment. Negative reviews can be used to improve company culture. Personally responding to feedback can go a long way in improving a company’s brand. Forcing employees to leave positive feedback is unethical and can backfire in the long run.