How Reward Gateway Opened the Door to Employee Engagement

As a global leader in employee engagement, my company, Reward Gateway, found one place where  we weren’t as engaged as I’d like: our Glassdoor profile. I’m happy to say that we’ve taken a better approach, leading to me (the CEO) responding to every single review – positive, negative or mixed – within 24 hours.

During this journey, there have been a few crazy days, but I’ve begun to prioritize responding to these reviews as a part of our employee engagement tactics. I’ve even set an alarm on my Apple Watch to notify me when new ones come in.

For me, it’s not about rebutting negative reviews. I’d rather understand what drove the employee to think that way, to take the time to sign on to Glassdoor and point out what very well could be wrong with our company. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but admitting, as leaders, that maybe we haven’t been listening as much as we should is vital to creating and retaining a truly engaged workforce.

When I first founded Reward Gateway, I set out to disrupt the employee engagement industry. Since then, our HR technology company has helped over 1,200 companies attract, engage, and retain their employees by providing them with employee benefits, social recognition and reward, and communications solutions. The guiding framework that has helped us support so many clients is the Engagement Bridge, a working model that defines the components that go into creating an engaged workforce that is innovative, productive, and makes better decisions.

How to foster an engaged workforce

To foster an engaged workforce, one of the key factors is open and honest communication – it’s pivotal to being a better leader and creating a company that truly engages its employees. One way I accomplish this is using our own employee engagement platform, SmartHubTM, where I can post videos, articles, and updates on need-to-know company information. One day my Director of Talent Attraction pointed out that I was missing something, Glassdoor, and it’s the CEO’s job to respond to Glassdoor reviews. Initially I pushed back. But then I realized, he was right. So, we’ve put into place a few guidelines to help CEOs and senior management use Glassdoor as an invaluable tool to pinpoint where your staff is feeling disengaged – and how to fix it. A few things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Assign a point person to respond. Having a point person for Glassdoor reviews is important, but really, this should fall on the CEO’s shoulders. If not your CEO, the responder should be someone who can take action in his or her company to drive change.
  2. Be thorough. If you’re not already having this Glassdoor conversation, you need to start it today. With every review that goes unanswered, it’s a lost opportunity to engage your current workforce with lessons learned from that review. I recently responded to a review that was over two years old. Leave no stone unturned.
  3. Imagine you’re replying to each review in person. What I mean by this is that you need to treat each reviewer as they are – a real person, a human being that someone in your company selected and hired, that you have or have had on your payroll. Because the reviews are anonymous, it can feel like there’s no real person behind them. I encourage you to think of these reviews as if an email was being sent to you. Would you ignore it, or give a canned response?

Two of our key values are “Be Human” and “Speak Up.” Glassdoor is a great way to bring these values to life. I’m looking forward to continuing on our journey to better engagement.

For more guidance on how to navigate Glassdoor, download my eBookThe Ultimate C-suite Guide to Engaging Employees with Glassdoor.” In it, I’ve got loads of advice from my journey with Glassdoor on how to use it to engage your workforce, as well as potential clients and investors.



Reward Gateway is the only employee engagement technology that delivers employee benefits, recognition and communication solutions. Over 1,200 clients including American Express, Groupon, Yahoo!, IBM and McDonald’s use the company’s products to attract, engage and retain their best employees.