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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How To Avoid Procrastination

procrastination2I just completed the procrastination survey and according to the outcome I rank in the bottom 10% of the population in terms of my level of procrastination. According to the procrastination equation website, (at least) 95% of each one of us sometimes procrastinate and for 15-20% of us it is consistent and problematic. These figures have significantly gone up since the 70’s, where there were only 5% of self-proclaimed procrastinators.

Despite the low survey score (explains how anyone can cheat with personality tests) of course I also do procrastinate and sometimes finish a movie, play that game on my phone, check my emails, go for lunch with my wife; postponing all my work to the latest possible moment. The excuse that I always use is that I work better under pressure and an even better excuse I tell myself is that I am subconsciously preparing myself the whole time. So far it has worked and I have (almost) never missed a client deadline!

According to Dr. Ferrari in Psychology Today “Procrastination: 10 Things To Know”, procrastination is not a problem of time management or of planning. Procrastinators are not different in their ability to estimate time…”Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up.”

So how are the people who have been studying the topic of motivation and procrastination and are self-proclaimed sufferers dealing with it? Professor John Perry, an emeritus professor of philosophy from Stanford University, has written a wonderful essay on how he deals with procrastination. He calls it Structured Procrastination and it “requires a certain amount of self-deception, because one is (in effect) constantly perpetrating a pyramid scheme on oneself,” he writes. “One needs to be able to recognize and commit oneself to tasks with inflated importance and unreal deadlines while making oneself feel that these tasks are important and urgent.”

While reading 59 Seconds: Think A Little, Change A Lot, I came across the topic of procrastination once again and found the “just a few minutes” rule to be helpful. According to psychology graduate Bluma Zeigarnik, who first experimented with this idea in the 1920’s, this rule is a highly effective way of overcoming procrastination. The idea here is to work on an activity for “just a few minutes” which leaves the procrastinator with the urge to see it through to completion. This creates an “anxious brain” which makes you want to see the job finished!

I am trying to deal with my procrastination bouts by trying to create new habits, habits in which I force myself to do things and hope that over time they become automatic. Luckily for me my guilt kicks in if I am not able to do stuff as planned (must be the Dutch work ethic that my parents have pumped into me) and this pushes me to get things done.

How do you deal with procrastination?

– Paul Keijzer

If You Want People To Collaborate – Put Them Next To Each Other!

collaboration“Change is the only constant” is a mantra that has been engrained in almost every professional I have met. However, when you ask a leader how to help employees change, the response is often pin drop silence, but after some time, people often refer to the tested ‘carrot or stick’ approach. Reward the people that change and ignore or kick out the people that don’t. Philip Kotler, the change management guru, famously stated that only 30% of all change initiatives succeed. Few betting men would take these odds…

Almost all change initiatives require people to alter their behaviors. Taking action is the most difficult as we all know from our experience in trying to lose weight, exercise regularly, influence our teenagers to clean their rooms or even change the shopping habits of our spouse. Research into people trying to quit smoking, shows that only 17% are successful and never smoke again. And to prove that old habits die hard: even if people are confronted with a major physical crisis (e.g. a heart attack) less than one out of two are able to kick the habit.

We are creatures of habit. It gives us comfort, confidence and much needed stability to make sense of this fast changing world. Two books I recently read have helped me become better in advising companies on how to change behaviors. The most recent book “The Power of Habit” is written by New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg. He helps you understand how habits work and how you can change them, not only at an individual level but also on an organizational and societal level. So far, it is Amazon’s book of the year, so check it out.

However, my current favorite read is “Influencer: The Power To Change Anything” from Kerry Patterson. In this Patterson shares a very simple model on how you can influence behavior. Firstly. Patterson distinguishes two components that stop people from changing. They either don’t want it (motivation) or they don’t know how to (ability). Through powerful real life examples, Patterson helps you understand how you can influence behavior on a personal, social and structural level.

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My personal favorite insight is the impact of distance on collaboration and where by changing the environment in which people operate you ‘force’ them to change their behavior. Bell Labs was interested in understanding what was the best predictor for scientist to work effectively and collectively, smash ideas together and build on each others concepts. The answer? Distance. Scientist who worked next to each other where 3 times more likely to discuss technical topics that lead to collaboration versus scientists sitting only 30 feet from one another. With a distance of only 90 feet, the collaboration dropped to levels similar as if they were working several miles away.

Many clients often complain about different functions within the company that don’t work well enough together. Using Patterson’s example I always advise them to make people, who need to accomplish something together, simply sit together. Companies like P&G and Unilever have taken this concept even further by making their cross-functional teams sit at their client premises. If you want to change behavior, don’t forget to think about changing your physical environment.

– Paul Keijzer

3 Reasons Why You Can Get Things Done Faster In Asia Than Anywhere Else

FastBizmanOne of the things I love about working in Asia is the speed at which you get things done. Of course, there are many situations in which the bureaucracies and intricacies of doing business in Asia is daunting for the first timer, but when you know your way around you can get things done in no-time and significantly faster than many other parts of the world.

Over the past few weeks I was involved in an initiative to pro-actively identify and develop Myanmar’s Talent as part of an organizations bid to obtain a telecom license and enter Myanmar (see also Myanmar Talent Gold Rush.) Within 7 days this team was ready to launch a press conference, advertising campaign, and build a social media presence and job portal from scratch. This was all in a country that has been isolated from the international business world for the last decade. I would say that is a high achievement!

Speed is Asia’s salient feature. Why, I ask myself, is it possible to get things done here in 7 days that would take 3 months in many other parts of the world? Over the past 15 years having worked everywhere from China to Riyadh and everything in between I have realized that 3 specific features drive the ability to get things done fast in Asia:

1. Hunger for Success
Asia is hungry for success. The continent wants to move and move fast. They realize its their time to take the center stage in the world and they don’t want to waste this opportunity. They are willing to make the extra efforts, sacrifice and still have that zeal to work and push themselves hard, because they want to create a better life for their children. Asians are self-reliant and know that they can’t depend on the government to bail them out (there is no social safety net other than your extended family). They have to do it themselves and will find any way to create a better future for their families, their communities and at the end their countries.

2. It’s All About People
In the developed world, work is organized around processes and systems. The advantage of this is that you can get things done no matter who you are or who you know. Everything is standardized and delivered against certain parameters. Speed, flexibility and customization however are not something that go hand-in-hand easily with a process and systems driven approach. In Asia work is organized around people. Things get done because of who you know and if you have built the right relationship with the right people, things can move faster than anywhere else in the world.

3. Driven From The Top
The last reason is that the power in Asian organizations still reside solidly at the top of the organizational pyramid. The acceptance of power and authority allows the entrepreneurial business owner to push decisions through and ensure implementation with lightening speed.

Of course all of these elements have their downside and I am sure that as the Asian economies and businesses develop the call to transform from people to process driven / regulated societies will increase. However, for the time being, if you want to get things done fast, get it done in Asia.

– 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

Change From The Inside Out

Mind-Set-Pieces1The Women@Work Study aims to understand what would help enhance female participation in the Pakistani workforce. Apart from the survey, in which we will ask female employees of participating companies to fill in a questionnaire as well as HR departments to share their best practices, we will also conduct one-on-one interviews with working women. The power of these interviews is to understand real life scenarios that you can’t always capture through surveys and focus groups.

I have come to understand that all the following things are important to working women: commitment from the top, supporting gender diversity, organizational support in the form of specific facilities, coaching and networking, ability to manage your work timings and support from family and the society. However, one thing has also become clear and that is the importance of the mindset and bias that leaders, line managers and colleagues have. All the policy papers and communication material can look fantastic, but if the person you work with is not able to understand and empathize with what is required for a woman to work in Pakistan, then you will still end up with the shorter end of the stick.

A woman who recently left a ‘what we thought was a progressive and female friendly workplace’ shared with us that although all the facilities were there and she really needed to work, she could not take her working environment anymore. Ever since she had become a mother, her line manager had taken away all the ‘exciting assignments’ and given it to young and upcoming trainees. She was given mundane tasks far below her capability as a line manager and after two years she has decided to resign.

It is one thing to have a biased male boss but it is even worse if, as a woman, you have a biased female boss. An example of this is a woman, who in line with the company policies, has reduced her work timings but her female line manager is not agreeing to this stating that “I have been able to do it, so you should be able to do it as well.”

Improving the gender balance and retaining women in the workforce will require more than good intentions, a few role models, beautiful statements and the right policies. At the end it requires people to change from the inside out, men and women alike.

What is your story? Have you seen the need for change?

– Paul Keijzer

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Help Us Pull Unilever Over The Line

tug_of_warTwo weeks ago, Engage Women (an initiative of Engage Consulting) launched the Women@Work Study. We invited 20 companies to participate, in hopes to get better understandings and insights into what enables the participation of working women in Pakistan. To date; Pepsi, Engro, GSK, Nestle, Shell, Phillip Morris, Mobilink, Ufone, PTC, Novartis, ICI, Reckitt Benckiser and Telenor have all confirmed their participation. That’s a pretty good result! 6 companies still have to come back to us and only one company has declined…

Strangely, Unilever was the one that decided not to participate. I am surprised as I was always under the impression that gender diversity is really important to them. They were role models and pioneers, with Musharaf Hai being the first female CEO and Chairman of a multinational company in Pakistan. Even now, they have two high potential female leaders in their management team.

I know from their HR Director, Ali Zia, that they have implemented a number of work-life balance initiatives in order to support female participation and career progression within the company. Not only do they promote gender diversity in the boardroom, but are also constantly working to find a gender balance internally. They provide security-guard staffed housing for female engineers that work near their remote facilities, promote flexible working hours to benefit all managers and even have a day care center to help working mothers.

So, I am not sure what their reason is, but maybe with your help I can pull them over the line! If you are interested in understanding Unilever’s position and best practices on enhancing gender diversity in Pakistan then email me at paulkeijzer@engageconsulting.biz to sign my petition. I will collect all the responses and present them to Ehsan Malik, Unilever’s highly successful Chairman and CEO. I will try my best to convince him of Unilever’s social responsibility in this matter and to share their experience and heritage in driving the participation of women in leadership positions.

– Paul Keijzer

When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

7189397708_72402c108a_zI was always a big fan of the old Emirates Airlines ‘Keep Discovering’ campaign. The most memorable ad for me was the one where two African men check into a hotel during winter and were over the moon to see snow for the first time. I love it when I can create the same “first time” sensation for my clients.

This week I spent three days in the north of Pakistan with the top team of a pharmaceutical company. Their aim was to forge personal bonds, allowing them to collaborate better as a team and lead their organization through a number of exciting challenges coming up. From my previous blogs you know that the Leadership Outbreak Journeys are my favorite interventions and this one was no exception.

These journeys combine taking people out of their comfort zone, creating experiences together, having conversations that matter and embracing first time experiences. The Leadership Outbreaks are always such a success because they combine all these 4 elements in an exciting cocktail, transforming the team in the process.

The ‘First Time Experience’ is a key component as it forces people to do things that they haven’t done before and often allow people to confront their fears. There is nothing more powerful for me (as a facilitator) to see people overcoming their fears. This Outbreak was no exception. On the contrary, it was even more exciting as we created experiences that were also new for me; we went paragliding!

Picture taken of my paragliding shadow
Picture taken of my paragliding shadow

One of the activities I did this time was climbing a 60 foot rock (of course fully secured and safe) and subsequently then repelling down the same rock face. One participant was particularly fearful of coming down the rock face, as the top had a bit of an overhang that made it quite difficult for beginners to start. He was unable to overcome his fears, despite coaching and guidance from the instructor that was with him at the top. He finally amassed enough courage when his colleague, who went down before him, told him “Zahid, do you trust me? You can do it, you just have to let go.” Can you imagine the power? Not only of the person overcoming his fears, but also of the bond that was created between these two team members. 

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Rock Climbing

Similarly at the end of the three days the most senior team member, who had been awesome in completing all the activities, despite his age, physical conditions and vertigo, said that it was an “unbelievable” experience. He shared that he would never have done any of these activities on his own, but as he was part of the team he completed each task and was rightly so very proud of his achievements.

This drives me. Pushing people’s boundaries, letting them do things they thought were not possible and in the process enjoying the experience to the full. Thanks team for a wonderful outbreak. I know for sure that together you will achieve your dreams! So next time you are faced with a new task, a scary yet thrilling experience – ask yourself the same question; “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

– Paul Keijzer

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Women @ Work

womenLast year I wrote a blog in which I confessed “I Am a Feminist“. Since then, Engage Consulting has launched Engage Women and has approached a number of companies to partner with us in conducting a study to identify what drives female talent in the workplace.

I am now happy to announce that we have found that partner in PepsiCo. International. Pepsi has been one of the trailblazers in Pakistan and together with a few other leading companies has been taking the lead in driving the gender and diversity agenda in the country. According to Pepsi, they have the highest female participation rate in the Pakistani FMCG industry and most likely within the corporate world.

The purpose of the study is to establish how organizations can enhance the female workforce, identify what practices others have introduced that have had an impact, to get a benchmark on the number of females working in organizations and how women rate their own company on efforts to enable female workforce participation. As part of the study, we will also interview a number of female role models that have made it to the top of the corporate world and ask them to share their insights into what made them successful.

I am really excited, as I am not aware of any other study currently being conducted in Pakistan on this topic and as a self-proclaimed feminist this study is something that is close to my heart and which my team and I really want to drive forward. We will use the launch of the Women @ Work Study to introduce a number of other initiatives from our Engage Women platform. We plan to share data, build connections, introduce career advice forums and develop a network for working women in Pakistan.

At the moment we will focus our study specifically on a number of leading companies in Pakistan to establish what works and what doesn’t work for talented women in moving their career forward.

I know of one female CEO of a multinational in Pakistan and she, Musharaf Hai, is an exciting example for many aspiring Pakistani women out there. We need to make sure that more and more women will follow in her example. Join us, participate and help women succeed in the workplace.

I would love you to help. Join our Facebook Page, keep connected through Twitter or reach out to Anushey Matri (anushey@engageconsulting.biz) if you are interested in more information, would like to identify female role models to share their experiences, or if you have ideas (and maybe want to help put them in action) to move the female participation agenda forward.

– Paul Keijzer