Remote workers—employees and contractors—are expanding in numbers and influence. With increased freedom and power, they feel more liberated to review their workplaces, good and bad. And it’s being felt.
Posted on worksites, their comments size up companies and sway job applicants. They influence customers to stay and new business to sign. As a service provider, we know clients factor in reviews when selecting partners.
Given these facts, companies can welcome or resist such candor. Either way, there’s no digital shade to becoming a more transparent—and in turn, viable—workplace in the 21st century.
Here are three reasons why:
Talk around the watercooler is digital thanks to Glassdoor, Indeed and other related sites, where employees and contractors evaluate workplaces. Job seekers, employers and those searching for business partners refer to them more and more.
And what gets shared gives a line of sight into a company’s culture. Workers’ opinions and experiences offer firsthand insight. Like it or not, corporations are being showcased or exposed, for better and worse.
Susan Adams writes in Forbes: “An increasing number of companies are realizing they can’t ignore Glassdoor reviews, especially negative ones.”
She points out that some CEOs personally respond to them. These chief executives also realize positive reviews can help attract—and keep—the workers they desire.
Fairygodboss even offers a list of online sites that give the lowdown on thousands of companies, based on workers’ reviews.
As workers weigh in with their opinions, their comments influence the business, from recruiting workers to attracting new clientele.
A study using Glassdoor reviews in the hotel industry found that guests and prospective customers do “care about the working conditions and job satisfaction of employees at the hotels they visit.”
Specifically, guests are swayed by employees reporting negative workplace experiences—leading to the often-heard conclusion that happy employees make for happy customers.
In the B2B world, prospective clients now expect disclosures from worker-review sites included in sales proposals. Not only do they read the comments, but also factor in rankings for corporate culture and CEO approval.
Among other things, they look for compatibility and competence. And if such information is missing, then a would-be client might go wanting—and wondering why it’s left out.
What’s more, postings can influence a job-seeker’s decision to join one company over another. Of course, no workplace is perfect. And the occasional low ranking or harsh words do appear.
Most telling, though, is detecting a pattern of problems. For example, repeated negatives posted from different workers. Such reviews should give anyone pause, alerting them to bigger issues.
To work well, a company has to earn respect from its workforce. That’s especially true in the world of on-demand talent and the gig economy. Such goodwill must be core to a culture that’s committed to workers.
Obviously, no one company can be all things to every worker. But its leaders can embody the culture they espouse. Being upfront and communicating what a company is all about keep things true and on track.
In the Harvard Business Review, Glassdoor chief economist Andrew Chamberlain states “the top predictor of workplace satisfaction is not pay: It is the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of senior leadership and the career opportunities at the company.”
And the best way to champion a culture is to live it—on purpose and with purpose.
That’s how leaders ensure a company’s beliefs and behaviors align. And how it can decrease the number of stinging reviews. And better yet, increase those that show a caring and committed culture.
Feedback posted on Glassdoor and other worksites help companies stay the course—and correct it, when necessary. Smart businesses will listen to and learn from workers, so they can lead and succeed.