Managers Getting Bad Reviews? 3 Steps to Improve Employee Sentiment - Glassdoor for Employers

Managers Getting Bad Reviews? 3 Steps to Improve Employee Sentiment

No one wants to refresh their company's Glassdoor page to see a negative review of a manager. But, let's be honest, even the most forward-thinking, productive, and professional company can experience a bad review sometimes. The problem is not always that there's a bad review - it's that a bad review may be a symptom of a bigger problem you need to identify.

Of course, sometimes the problem is just bad management. We see this reflected in employee statistics where 57% of employees cited their manager as the primary reason for leaving a job, an increase of 7% from an earlier Gallup study. Fourteen percent report leaving multiple jobs because of their managers, and an additional 32% of employees stated they have seriously considered leaving because of their manager.

But whether it's bad management, a disgruntled employee, or just a fluke, you need to do something about it! Here are three ways you can get to the bottom of what's happening within your organization, improve management sentiment, and positively influence employee retention:

1. Survey employees to get a sense of manager strengths and weaknesses

Conducting an employee satisfaction survey is a great way to get an overall sense of the strengths and weaknesses of your management team. The most effective survey will ask questions about the following aspect of the employee's relationship with the direct manager:

  • Overall Relationship
  • Mentorship
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Satisfaction

Leveraging manager feedback in Glassdoor reviews is a valuable resource for getting a sense of manager strengths and weaknesses, too. Create a custom, automated report or use the Review Intelligence™ sentiment analysis tool to quickly filter and aggregate the data you need to determine what's working well and what needs improvement.

[Keep reading: Employee Satisfaction Survey to Help Manage Your Managers]

2. Identify ways to support your managers

Management is a tough job, and a lot of the work takes place under pressure and in the spotlight. In fact, last year, managers reported feeling less positive than their employees. Sometimes negative reviews or employee sentiment can be a result of managers trying hard to do their job but not receiving the support and professional development opportunities they need to succeed.

Before you look for deeper systemic issues, make sure you're providing managers with the resources they need to excel in their role. That might take the form of tools and resources for engaging their team and tracking performance, or it might take the form of targeted professional development and leadership training to help them continue to develop as leaders. Every investment you make in your managers is really an investment in their direct reports, too.

[Keep reading: Burnout is on the rise. Here's what all employers can do without sacrificing productivity.]

3. Look for opportunities to build trust and transparency between managers and employees

Most managers know that the key to managing people effectively is building rapport, but it can be hard to do in practice. Part of the training and encouragement you can offer your managers is permission to show their human side and connect with employees on a professionally personable level. Here are a few important ways managers can build trust and transparency with employees and become known as more than just "the boss":

  • Be approachable. It's important for managers to stay in touch and accessible to their reports, no matter how busy they are. By making time for them, managers send the message that their ideas and experiences are valued.
  • Be transparent. Consistently open communication is one of the most effective ways to improve manager sentiment because it directly contributes to higher levels of trust. Support your managers by helping them to have ongoing open and honest conversations with their employees about what's happening within their department, and how that relates to the company's overall goals and objectives.
  • Show an interest. Employees will notice when their manager takes the time to ask questions, listen to the answers, and remember the details. It's often the little things that make the biggest impact, so even something as small as asking about upcoming weekend plans, then following up on Monday morning will go a long way to building a relationship.
  • Have some fun. While managing is a serious responsibility, it's still entirely possible to have fun in the process. Especially during stressful times, managers who smile and laugh with employees can help ease tensions and build camaraderie among their team.
  • Don't be perfect. Part of being human is making mistakes, and a manager who can admit to their mistakes is likely one their employees will feel comfortable confiding in.

Shining a spotlight on the power of a good manager

Manager performance has a direct effect on company culture, employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention. If you're seeing an increase in bad reviews or negative sentiment about management, don't ignore it. Lean into it and use Glassdoor's tools to better understand the situation. Only then can you identify the root cause, take action, and create an environment where both managers and employees can thrive.

How managers at your organization actively support and develop their direct reports matters and will show up in company reviews. To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.