5 Steps to Get your Company Rated Highly on Glassdoor

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Glassdoor is an online employment portal that lets employees rate the companies they work for on multiple criteria like compensation, culture, CEO’s effectiveness and more. Its ratings model is unique because, unlike corporate research publications, Glassdoor’s company ratings are completely crowdsourced. This opens up a goldmine of opportunities for companies to get on Glassdoor’s radar as a great place to work. So how can you leverage this aspect of Glassdoor to get your company rated as a cool place to work?

Benefits of Glassdoor

  1. Glassdoor offers multiple awards and badges that add to a company’s prestige. Awards and publications by Glassdoor include: Best Places to Work, Highest Rated CEOs, Top Companies for Career Opportunities, Top Companies for Work-Life Balance, and more. Companies can, and do, showcase these badges on their website to build their credibility.
  2. Glassdoor’s reports are quoted in mainstream media outlets such as the Huffington Post, Forbes, Techcrunch and more. Such worldwide exposure affords companies free publicity.
  3. Companies featured on Glassdoor with positive reviews tend to attract top talent. Qualified candidates want to work for companies that existing employees speak well of in a public forum.
  4. Companies gain access to unbiased employee reviews and can see competitive insights which help them tweak their talent and recruitment strategies.

Glassdoor Badge

How to Get High Ratings on Glassdoor
Assuming that you have laid the ground work in establishing a great company culture and people enjoy coming in to work at your company, you can encourage your employees to participate on Glassdoor using the following steps:

Step 1: Sign Up For a Free Employer Account
You can sign up for a free employer account which will help you see who’s viewing your company’s profile, allow you to update your company information and recruit top talent.

Step 2: Ask Employees to Sign Up For Glassdoor Using Facebook
Ask your employees to sign up for Glassdoor’s Facebook app. Glassdoor integrates with Facebook to help people find out which friends are working in which company. Even though all reviews are anonymous – an important point to stress to your employees – Facebook activity may show up in users’ newsfeeds. This will help encourage more people to sign up since their peers are doing so.

Step 3: Ask Employees to Write an Honest and Balanced Review
Since Glassdoor allows “only one company review per employee a year”, do make it count! Encourage employees to voice their opinion on what it’s like to work at your company so that others may benefit from their years of experience. Help employees understand that you are building the company’s culture together, since what they write will shape the opinion of future employees. You can even convert this into an annual event, where all employees write or update their company’s review on Glassdoor every year. This way, your company’s reviews are always fresh and of value to prospective candidates.

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Step 4: Respond to All Reviews
When you respond to reviews – both positive and negative – you get a chance to showcase your company’s transparent approach and communicative nature. Future job candidates will see you as a company that actively listens to and responds to feedback. While responding to reviews, ensure your tone stays positive and that you remain transparent.

Step 5: Share Reviews on Social Networks and with Media Outlets
Once your reviews and responses are in place, it’s time to get promoting! Share the reviews on all your social networks and encourage your employees to do so too. Send your company ratings to your local media and write a press release to encourage them to find an angle on your company’s story. For example, if many of your employees say that the food/catering is awesome at your company, that could be a “hook” that journalists can use to write about your company as a great place to work.

Glassdoor won a webby award for the “best employment site 2012”. Its various reports continue to be highlighted publicly in the media and are fast becoming a resource for finding insider information about any company. Now is the time to claim your company profile on Glassdoor and take control of it. After all, which other mainstream job site offers you crowdsourced ratings that you can use to your advantage?

Is your company on Glassdoor? Do you think employees reviews can help your organization become known as a great place to work or would it open Pandora’s Box? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

– Paul Keijzer

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Myanmar’s Talent Gold Rush

title-Gold-RushI got to spend a fantastic couple of days in Myanmar last week and had a really wonderful experience. Having been isolated by economic sanctions for more than a decade, Myanmar is shaking off its shackles, focusing on the future and booming. The international business world is descending on Myanmar, as it is one of the last white spaces, and is hungry to capitalize on the desire of 55 million people who rightfully believe their time has come.

Infrastructure, FMCG, Automotive, Pharma, Energy Companies and recently, Telecom Operators, are all knocking on Myanmar’s door. Some companies had come prepared, moved in the moment the sanctions were removed and now have a significantly successful head start in running their businesses.

Setting up shop in Myanmar is not for the faint hearted. It has many challenges, but probably the most difficult is finding, developing and retaining Burmese talent. Myanmar’s underinvestment in education, its isolation and the brain drain of Burmese talent to other part of the world has created a super storm, almost wiping out the availability of Burmese talent capable of running an international business.

This high demand and low supply of talent has created a Talent Gold Rush (like the situation I witnessed in China in the 90’s and Vietnam in the early 00’s) where new entrants are going all out to spot talent and are trying to lure them away from existing companies. Existing businesses are introducing all kinds of golden handcuffs in order to retain their staff. The few Burmese who are lucky enough to have the required skill set, fare well by this situation, as their salaries are destined to multiply of the next years. But, an ever-increasing salary spiral for the happy few is not a solution for Myanmar and those companies that are trying to build a successful and sustainable business.

For companies to succeed and for the government to ensure the economic boom trickles down to other parts of the society, both need to design a creative and holistic talent strategy. This strategy should combine casting the recruitment net wide and far, an all out effort to bring people up the skill curve in the shortest possible time and creating a heartfelt connection that binds people with the company.

The companies that prevail in Myanmar will be those that make the achievements of the country and its people their success. That success needs to be earned “Inch-by-Inch” through hard work, being smart, moving fast and a long-term focus.

The enthusiasm, energy and excitement in Myanmar is palpable; It is their time and I am sure they will capitalize on this to the fullest. Lets hope it lifts as many boats as possible and that the past decade has not created a lost generation.

– Paul Keijzer

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Democratic Enterprise

ballot_box_my_vote_ssk_37571284There are two things that I love about elections. Firstly, everybody is equal. Everybody has one vote, no matter how rich, poor, educated or illiterate they are. Whether they are from the north or south, male or female, everybody has only one vote.

The second thing I love about elections is that it is an opportunity for people to vote for the person that they believe will help them build a better future. For people to believe in political leaders, the candidates have to rise tall in front of the nation, explain what they stand for and what they will do to make those changes happen. They are criticized, scrutinized, challenged and pushed to the limit. However, as a result of all this, people get to know the candidate and how he or she may or may not be their best representative.

Although I think there are some interesting similarities that you can draw with companies (one I have touched upon earlier in CEO Elections), one parallel that I wish leaders of companies would learn from is the communication aspect of elections. Can you imagine the engagement of the whole company, from senior managers to the peon, if leaders in the organization spent the same amount of time as political leaders, in explaining their vision and strategy of the company. If leaders were to allow themselves to be challenged and analyzed then they can come up with a blueprint of the future that everybody in the company strongly believes in and is committed towards.

I have only met a few leaders who actually do this. Safaraz Siddiqui, Managing Director of DHL Pakistan, has spent a lot of time discussing and jointly agreeing with colleagues the way forward for his company, and through this was able to transform DHL (and became the Best Place to Work in Pakistan in the process.) Lynda Gratton, the London Business School Professor wrote one of my favorite books called the Democratic Enterprise in which she “built a roadmap for companies to Liberate their Business with Freedom, Flexibility and Commitment. It delivers the blueprint for a business built on choice and commitment, a business people would choose to work for”.

What do you think? Can you set your company on the path of becoming a Democratic Enterprise?

– Paul Keijzer

Why Don’t I Praise People Enough?

trophyI had a funny realization recently. I have no problem heaping praise on my two-year-old son – every time he utters a new word, finishes his food or kicks the ball I am clapping, cheering and hugging him till he tells me in this funny two-year-old voice; ‘stop it papa’. So if I do it so eagerly for my son, why do I have such a problem doing the same for my team members? Is it that I don’t want to overdo it, or don’t want to look insincere? Is it that I want to hold out praise for special occasions or for specific mammoth achievements? Is it because I don’t see the things that go right and only focus on the things that go wrong?

Unfortunately, I am not alone. From our ‘Best Place to Work’ Studies we know that employees feeling recognized for what they do is a constant underachiever. In our 2012 editions of the BPTW survey, only half of the respondents agreed that ‘they had received praise in the last 7 days’, making “recognition” in the bottom 20% of all 40 engagement factors.

From our research and that of many other publications, one thing is clear; employees want to be praised more. I recently read Crucial Conversations by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler. A great book, not only for the suggestions on how to confront people in a way that they deliver on commitments, but also as it had a great section on ‘When Things Go Right’. From their book and from my own experience here are 4 ‘counter-intuitive’ suggestions to heap sincere praise on your team:

1. Praise Small Things
As employees, we expect to be honored and praised for exceptional achievements. We also expect comparable exceptional rewards. As a result, only recognizing breakthrough achievements, does not do anything to quench our appetite for praise. Focus instead on the small things with small momentos. For example, write a hand written Thank You note for a person handling a difficult customer call particularly well, staying out late even if they have parenting obligations, a person supporting an initiative quietly, or for solving a small problem that has been nagging the department for some time.

2. Praise Individuals in Private and Groups in Public
People love to bask in the admiration of their colleagues and friends. However, more often than not employees who attend the ‘annual company award ceremony’ leave the event questioning why others were selected and not them. I am aware of the arguments that indicate that by highlighting individual performance in a group setting gives employees an example / role model to emulate. This works when the achievement is something that sticks out as remarkable work practice. For all other instances, it is better to praise the individuals in private and teams in public.

3. Focus on more on Process and Less on Results
Being a believer in doing the ‘right things right will deliver you the results’ – I would focus my praise more on people doing the right things rather then the actual results. The potential side effect of just focusing on results might blow up in your face with people taking short cuts or by taking a Machiavellian approach. The positive side effect of focusing on process is that you can heap praise each and every team member, as everybody contributes in a small or large way. You don’t have to wait for the results and can do it as often as you want.

4. You Can’t Praise Enough
Praising people is similar to communicating a message. You can’t do it enough. So start praising more than you think you possibly can and then double it. I know your natural reaction will be that you don’t want to go overboard. But as long as you are sincere in your praise I don’t think that anybody can set a limit. Put yourself in the receivers shoes, when was the last time you told your boss to stop recognizing you for your work?

Team members feeling appreciated adds tremendously to their engagement level and in return to their commitment and output. So that should be reason enough for you to double your efforts. However it has also additional side effects. Sincere praise given also enhances your ‘respect-reserves’ something you can draw on when it is time to talk about the tough stuff.

Although I can’t remember the source, I remember reading somewhere that you need to praise an individual 7 times before they take your feedback seriously. (By the way for spouses this is 14 times, so gentleman before you ask your wife about that credit card statement make sure you have praised her 14 times about all kind of other things!)

Go on start writing these Thank You notes!

– Paul Keijzer

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The Engagement Flywheel

Last Friday, Engage Consulting recognized the winners of the Best Place to Work Awards during an intimate lunch at a local restaurant. Winners DHL and Runners up P&G and ICI were all in attendance to receive their awards. When getting leaders together from three companies that are recognized for their ability to create a great place to work, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to their work experiences in engaging people.

While sharing their success stories we learned that all three companies had one thing in common: engaging their people has been the most important factor in the recent success of their businesses.

Asif Malik, VP Life Sciences and HR from ICI, shared that when he was appointed as VP for Life Sciences he had no experience in the Pharma and animal healthcare trading business. He found himself part of a team that was not clear about the future, not connected with each other and had little confidence in their abilities. In his words: “I only focused on getting the team connected, use the expertise in the team to co-create a future strategy together and gave people the freedom to deliver on the commitments that they had made themselves. The results were astonishing as the company has doubled its size over the last few years.

Ahson Nasim, Head of HR at DHL, shared a similar experience. In 2008 when the new CEO of DHL Pakistan, Safaraz Siddiqui, was appointed, he made a commitment to all employees in the company: “if you look after the customer I will look after you”. This was not a hollow statement, as at the end of 2008 DHL Express globally was severely hit by the economic crisis. As a result of the crisis, DHL imposed a freeze, on any salary increase worldwide. However, Safaraz took initiative to fight to get his team in Pakistan the salary increase they deserved. His team had made a significant turnaround and delivered never-before-seen-results’. The salary increase was implemented and as they say, the rest is history. And the result are there for all to see, by 2011 DHL Pakistan rose from rank #207 (out of 220 territories where DHL is present) to #1 in employee engagement.

The biggest question we had to ask was, what comes first? Engaging employees that then drive business results or business results that drive employee engagement? Najia Amin, Head of HR of P&G, was very clear as she says it all starts with your people. Engaged employees drive improved business results, which in return enhance the motivating levels of your employees creating a flywheel that will feed on each other.

The one thing that I have learned from these Best Places to Work organizations is that every leader can create an Engagement Flywheel. It is a combination of an unwavering belief that your business results are all about your people, and translating that belief by consistently and credibly implementing a million small actions that help create a sense of belonging to the company, aligns team members behind the company’s direction and gives employees an opportunity to develop and grow. Business results will follow and when they do and you continue your people agenda and see that your engagement levels will keep on improving.

And who knows… maybe one day your company will be the Best Place to Work!

– Paul Keijzer

2012 Best Place to Work Highlights

Over the past three years, Engage Consulting has gained a tremendous amount of insight into what makes a company the ‘best place to work’ in Pakistan, and together with research done across the world we know that organizations whose employees are strongly engaged with the organization grow faster, earn more and have higher returns than their counterparts with low engagement levels.

From our 2012 research on Pakistan’s Best Places to Work we know that the best scoring companies have 50% more engaged employees than the bottom ranking companies. The return on investment on engaging employees is for all to see, where in top companies, 83% of employees feel their organization energizes them to go the extra mile, while only 42% of employees in bottom ranking companies feel the same way.

Pakistan’s Best Places to Work are aware that getting people to perform and stay with the organization requires that employees need to feel a sense of pride and belonging with the organization, ensure that all employees are aligned with and are empowered to deliver the organization’s objectives and are given opportunities to grow within the company.

The good news is that as leaders you don’t have to wait for an organization wide engagement drive. One of the highest impact levers in engaging employees is to genuinely care for your team members. 88% of employees in Top ranking companies believe that their leaders care deeply for their employees. As a result, employees are proud to be associated with the company as well as the people they work with. On the other hand, only 44% of employees in the bottom ranking companies have a sense of belonging, respect and pride in their leaders and company.

Direct performance enablers are responsible for 57% in performance improvements, where nearly 9 out of 10 employees in top ranking companies believe that they are strategically aligned with company objectives. They know what the company’s strategic drivers are and are stimulated by their work environment.

Supporting research shows that money is the number one reason (53%) for people to leave and to find ‘better opportunities ‘ whilst ‘challenging and interesting work’ is by far the leading reason why people choose to stay with their company.

Similarly we have found that 60% of employees who are considering leaving their company, do so because of limited career / growth opportunities or have no clarity on their career opportunities in their company. The survey results show that employees always score lowest on growth opportunities. Pakistan’s Best Places to Work out score their lower ranked counterpart with 8 out of 10 employees who believe that top ranking companies have sufficient growth opportunities, rewards and recognition measures (compared to only 5 out of 10 employees in bottom ranking companies).

The insights from our Best Place to Work research shows that investing in engaging your workforce effectively and consistently generates most likely the best return you can get to improve your business results.

– Paul Keijzer

Please visit our website engageconsulting.biz to read the full 2012 Best Place to Work Highlights Report