It's no secret that listening to and acting on employee feedback are must-haves for boosting your employer brand. Workers want to share their opinions, they value transparency, and they need to see that leaders are open to their ideas.
But many companies set their sights on accomplishing all of these goals through just one or two employer surveys per year. Those aren't enough to diagnose and remedy any core employee pain points within an organization. Instead, leaning into ongoing conversations and building a sense of community among employees through tools like Glassdoor's Company Bowls™ is key to increasing employee engagement.
Why annual surveys miss the mark
Employee surveys should be the first step in gathering feedback - not the only step. According to Gallup, surveys alone are inadequate; companies have to use that information as a starting point to increase employee engagement and evolve their employer brand. But relying on just one survey to gauge employee satisfaction can be a costly error.
For example, UPS workers went on strike for 15 days in 1997, less than a year after giving the company high marks on its annual worker morale survey. Though the survey found that employee satisfaction was very high, it had failed to reveal concerns about part-time jobs within the company, which were a central issue during the dispute. The strike cost UPS an estimated $600 million in lost revenue.
Employee engagement as a business strategy
Employees want open, honest, two-way dialogue with leadership. Often, employers think they're achieving that goal, but workers disagree. Glassdoor research found that 80% of employers believe they're on top of employee feedback, but only 65% of workers are satisfied with their employers' responses.
Ongoing, anonymous conversation - beyond employee surveys - is critical to a company's success. Glassdoor's Company Bowls offer a safe space for those ongoing conversations.
Emilie McLaughlin, chief people officer of Forcepoint, said confidential conversations are necessary to completing the feedback cycle and enacting real change.
"The most important thing for employees to know is that they do not need to worry about retaliation or 'getting in trouble' for providing feedback to the very people who are asking for that information. We want to know what employees really think and feel about their experience."
For leaders, Company Bowls offer a real-time feedback loop. For employees, they're a stress-free sounding board - and an excellent resource for connecting with coworkers, sharing ideas, and problem-solving.
How Company Bowls can enhance your employer brand
Many communities (bowls) are accessible through Glassdoor's homepage. Managers are welcome to initiate new conversations within a Company Bowl or jump into ongoing conversations.
To get the most actionable feedback from a Company Bowl, create conversations around efforts that your organization launched in response to employee feedback. Let's say, for example, employee survey results showed that workers wanted more flexibility in their work schedules and locations, and the company responded by offering hybrid work options. Rather than waiting for the next employee survey to determine the popularity of the hybrid program, managers could ask for feedback in the Company Bowl and fine-tune the program accordingly.
"Employee engagement is not just a two-way conversation," said McLaughlin. "It's a multi-way conversation."
The connection between employers and employees is often rocky or misunderstood. Regularly prioritizing discussion and feedback can improve the employee experience and your employer brand.
Embedding transparency into your business strategy
From recruiting to retention, the community experience on Glassdoor drives deeper connections between employers and employees and gives managers insight into how to support their teams. When leaders actively engage in their Company Bowls, Glassdoor data shows that positive feelings toward the company are 25% higher.
"We didn't focus on building a workplace community as a brand strategy. Building a workplace community is the foundation of our entire business strategy," said Asher Raphael, Co-CEO of Power Home Remodeling
If you're ready to take your employer branding strategy to the next level, add Glassdoor Bowls to your communication plan to boost your efforts through always-on dialogue. Curious about how to find your company bowl, or start one? Visit our Help Center to learn more.