The invite for the Boston Best Places to Work Roadshow somehow squirmed its way into my inbox, and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. We didn’t lose just one great employee this week to a different opportunity; we lost two. That might not sound like much, but there are only 17 people in our location.
I will add that this is an anomaly. Our retention rate is actually quite good for our industry, and our Glassdoor rating is above average. Even so, this situation still makes you wonder how the company can do better. Enter: Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work Roadshow.
Most people dread these types of sales-y seminars (my boss was even a little hesitant to let me skip work for a morning), but I knew it was going to be worth it. Glassdoor didn’t disappoint.
You know that super jazzed feeling you get after listening to a motivational speaker? Same thing happened to me here. I love the company I work for and I know I’m not the only one. I also know that we can still improve because not everyone feels this way. Do you know the feeling? Then this Roadshow is exactly what you need. The insight and ideas are applicable to any company looking to do better.
It’s no surprise that people want companies to be transparent. However, what surprised me was learning that 62% of Glassdoor users agree that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to reviews, even if those reviews are negative! This is such an easy way to help improve an outsider’s impression of the company and attract top talent to your open opportunities.
It’s not just about transparency with the outside world; you need to apply this concept within the company walls as well. We have close to 40 offices across the U.S. and Caribbean, and having everyone feel connected can be challenging. Listening to Steve Degnan from Nestle Purina was enlightening. Employees like to know what’s happening and to feel empowered. Every Monday, each Nestle Purina employee gets to work with an email from their Chairman with news, updates, or highlights concerning the company. They don’t ever feel like they’re left in the dark. It’s another easy way to be transparent.
Culture as a competitive advantage
Did you know that by 2020, Millennials are going to make up 40% of the workforce? Job expectations of a Millennial are drastically different than those of a boomer. Times are changing and companies need to change with it. This group wants meaningful work, coaches/mentors, and a good company culture. This makes culture and employee engagement a business priority, not just an HR priority (a common message throughout the Roadshow).
All the speakers discussed embracing the changes and the benefits of doing so. Job seekers aren’t choosing positions based on pay alone; the top priorities are culture, value, career opportunities and leadership. If you want to attract the best talent to your company and have happy employees, you need to give them an atmosphere where they feel valued and inspired. Every company has a culture, so you might as well invest in making it a good one!
Tell us how you really feel
One of my favorite ideas I took from the Roadshow came from Katie Burke at HubSpot, and not just because it’s a Boston area company. Employee surveys are nothing new, but I really like their simple approach. It has three questions:
- Would you recommend working here to a friend?
- How are we helping you to grow in your career?
- What advice do you have for Senior Management?
Yep, that’s it. And honestly, I don’t think you need any more. People want to be heard, and this gives them the opportunity to anonymously give their feedback directly to the people responsible for making changes. It’s a very quick and simple way to give employees a voice. So simple yet so effective.
Bring it home
I’ll be honest, I was a bit nervous to go back to the office with all the information and new ideas buzzing around in my head. Not because I didn’t agree with the presentations from the Roadshow, but change isn’t always welcomed with open arms. Lucky for me, this time it was. The management I work with knows that our people are our biggest asset, and if we can implement ways to improve our culture than we need to do that. Every company needs to have that same mentality.
I’m really happy Glassdoor picked Boston as one of the cities to host the Roadshow. We’re a proud city - we live and breathe for everything Boston. Out of top 10 Best Places to Work, three are based here, which is incredibly impressive. I bet very few (if any) in attendance work for one of those companies, but the 200+ people there couldn’t be happier for each of those winners.
This Roadshow wasn’t just about sharing insight on how your company can be a Best Place to Work. Honestly, it was about making Boston the Best Place to Work. For that, thank you to everyone at Glassdoor. You’ll be seeing a lot more Boston companies on that list!