The following blog post was written by Dale Jakins, Human Resource Business Partner at 1-800 CONTACTS.
1-800 CONTACTS has always been a top rated employer on Glassdoor in reviews by our current and former associates. Responders usually had nothing but a glowing report with minimal negative call outs. 1-800 CONTACTS strategy was simply let the comments stand for themselves and just “let our light shine”.
In May 2014, the largest division at 1-800 CONTACTS went through a strategic reorganization with the objective of utilizing the strengths of our associates to continue to give an outstanding customer service experience. All was quiet on the home front for a few weeks… then negative comments started appearing. We quickly discovered that the “let your light shine” strategy was being overshadowed by gray clouds. It was during this time of change we understood we needed a new strategy that fit more with our company culture. We would never ignore a compliment or a complaint from a customer, so why would we from an associate?
We chose to merge our new strategy with 3 of our top company pillars; Communication & Teamwork, Customer Focus & Satisfaction, and Leadership.
Communication and Teamwork:
The strategy for the organizational change was well understood and agreed upon at the highest levels of the organization but it became obvious through posted reviews, that we had not communicated clearly enough about the purpose of the reorganization to front line associates. Thankfully, Glassdoor gave us insight into how our Associates were handling the change and how they now felt about their jobs. As a result we held more than 20 town hall meetings over the span of four weeks.
Customer Focus and Satisfaction:
Another concern that was casting a shadow was around pay and future growth opportunities, in other words, job satisfaction. Our realignment efforts had actually improved the financial and growth prospects for our highest performers; which made them very happy. However, this left some lower performers very concerned about their future. This lead the HR team to make changes to job descriptions and internal job posting to help associates understand career mapping and career growth.
Receiving negative feedback is not pleasant and responding by addressing the concern in a non-defensive manner is not easy but our leaders took the time and responded without passing harsh judgment. We were reminded, yet again, that our associates have some of the greatest ideas on making our company better.
By utilizing the Glassdoor suggested strategy for responding to comments, we were able to address specific concerns in a timely manner which resulted in a noticeable improvement in the overall morale and wellbeing of our associates. In fact, 1-800 CONTACTS was recently highlighted as a Top 10 Company to Work for based on a Glassdoor survey of the “Top 50 Companies to Work for in Utah
Note: To learn more about the art of handling critical reviews, join Glassdoor for “How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Glassdoor” on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.