Who’s Looking Through Your Glass Door?


glassdoorWe often work with companies who are experiencing operating difficulties and organizational inefficiencies.

One of our first tasks in evaluating the company is to gain an understanding from employee’s relating to how they feel about the company, their jobs and to get their ideas for improvement.

As part of this process we frequently turn to a web site called “Glassdoor” to read the reviews that are posted by current and former employees. If you are not familiar with “Glassdoor“, we believe you should be.

Glassdoor is the fastest growing career website in the US and has surpasses CareerBuilder.com in US traffic.  Glassdoor features information on over 400,000 US companies and is growing rapidly.  

Any company featured on Glassdoor can be easily accessed by typing in the name and city/state.   A significant amount of information can be accessed including a brief overview of the company, job postings, salary information and employee reviews.

The Most Interesting Part …

rating-system-overview_small1The most interesting part of the site is the segment related to employee reviews.

This section allows any former or current employee to anonymously post comments related to their job experience.

There is a rating system that can be used to rank the company, in the employee’s opinion, from best to worst.

The ratings are aggregated to give the company an overall rating based on the reviews. One of the more interesting segments of the site is to allow for employees to rate the Company’s CEO and to provide comments regarding their rating.

Glassdoor is also often used by prospective employees to assess a company prior to making a decision to apply for a position or accept a job offer.


We Use Glassdoor To …

3487cceWe use “Glassdoor” as a tool to gauge the attitude and mood of employees that have posted comments. As with any website that features reviews and comments, the information has to be viewed as somewhat biased.   Remember given the reviews are from anonymous posters, they might and probably will write comments that may not be truly representative of the broad employee group. 

Reviews are typically written after having a bad experience at work and/or after someone has been let go.  The true value of reviewing comments is to look at the common themes. First of all there has to be enough posts to be somewhat representative. Posts that are extremely positive or negative may not represent the common belief and should be discarded.

The remaining posts can be valuable to start to develop an understanding of what is going on inside of a company.


How Can “You” Best Use Glassdoor?

So, as an executive, manager or human resource director how can you best use “Glassdoor” to your advantage? 

reviewFirst of all, you, or someone from human resources should periodically review Glassdoor and the comments that are posted.  Gauging the trend, whether positive or negative can be used as a tool in assessing the mood of the organization.

In addition, look for underlying themes in the reviews.  For example, if a significant number of comments relate to a particular department or a company policy, you can start to further define the issues that are of concern. It is important to use the information as a basis to start to investigate the issues.  

If there are significant concerns, an informal process could be initiated to query key managers and employees to understand the underlying feelings of the group.

130623-Tough-Conversations-Employees-275x275Most HR people have relationships and an open line of communication with a number of people within an organization.

Asking questions, during the normal process of interacting with these individuals, will provide a forum to assess the mood within the company and gauge whether or not the issues should be of concern.

If they are, further discovery should be conducted.


In Our Experience …

In our experience, if there are a significant number of employees in an organization that have legitimate problems or issues that are not timely resolved, the company mostly likely will be negatively impacted. This will show up in increased work force turnover and inefficiency.

Remember, the best employees are usually the first to leave.  Using Glassdoor along with other tools to understand human resource issues inside of a company is an important element in maintaining the company’s efficiency and profitability.

It is very important to know: “Who is looking through your glass door“?!