Three Pieces of Unfiltered Feedback for Managers you Need to Hear

Three Pieces of Unfiltered Feedback for Managers you Need to Hear

Transparency is at the root of employer branding; when transparency is part of a workplace’s DNA, businesses run better, managers build stronger teams and work cultures thrive. But what do you do as a manager if you have little insight into how your team thinks you’re doing? After all, honest feedback from your team is one of the only ways to ensure you’re doing a good job as their boss.

As a manager, you give feedback every day, but if you're like most managers, you rarely receive unfiltered feedback from your employees about your own performance. Of course, this makes perfect sense as most employees shy away from providing feedback for managers. After all, who really wants to confront the boss when things are less than perfect? So how do you get unfiltered feedback to help you do your job better?

One area of Glassdoor reviews that perhaps gets less attention, but is nonetheless extremely valuable, is the feedback within the “Advice To Management” section.

Advice To Management is an open text box where people write their opinions, good or bad, as long as it adheres to our community guidelines, of how management can do a better job. A quick visit to your company’s Glassdoor profile reveals a window into the unfiltered feedback your employees have for your leadership team.

I encourage you to have a look at your own data; you’ll likely learn quite a bit. To help employers understand what they can expect to find, we analyzed all approved reviews submitted in the UK over a 12-month period*. While the data is specific to the UK, the results are fascinating. This data provides an insight into how many employees want to help, and are relevant worldwide. And, interestingly, there were three clear trends when it came to feedback for managers:

You’re not so bad after all

Once we filtered out ‘noise’ and random words from the results, we found that the most common advice is to ”keep up the good work.” This overwhelmingly positive sentiment is both heartwarming and constructive. It shows that many UK employees are satisfied with their job and company and that management of these employees is on the right track. What a fantastic thing for senior management to read! If I was a company founder this is exactly the sort of feedback that I would hope for.

You need to listen up

The second most common sentiment is “listen to staff.” While there are minor variations on this theme, essentially a large proportion of employees are giving feedback to management to either keep listening to staff or to listen to them more. Sometimes this is wrapped up in negative tone, sometimes neutral, sometimes positive, but the common theme is generally that there is a huge amount of value in simply listening to employees and being in touch with what they are saying. Glassdoor is a great way of listening to staff, and in order to do that effectively, employers need to claim their profiles, register for a Free Employer Account and start monitoring (and hopefully responding) to reviews.

You need to treat staff better

The third sentiment to emerge from this analysis was to “treat staff” in a certain way – either “treat staff better,” “treat staff with respect,” “treat people fairly” or something along those lines. Think about how staff are treated in your organization – do they feel like they are treated well? What about those of you in retail, banking, hospitality and entertainment, all with large numbers of staff on the front line and paid by the hour. How do they really feel? Are they treated well? Are all staff treated the same?

We know that job seekers read around a half dozen reviews before they form an opinion of a company2. What are the trends that emerge from your company reviews and what can you learn from them to improve even further? If you are part of the Senior Management Team, then take this feedback seriously, especially if you’re looking to strengthen your employer brand.

Wondering how else you can leverage the feedback left for managers on Glassdoor? Download our free eBook “5 Steps to Leverage Employee Reviews.” You’ll learn how to use feedback to improve your employer brand, better engage employees, and more!


*Based on 50,168 approved reviews including Advice to Management from UK employees between 22/03/15 to 22/03/16. Source: Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, January 2016.