Here’s What You Missed at Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work Live Event

Over 900,000 organisations have a presence on Glassdoor, but only an elite few are named Best Places to Work each year. The companies who do make the cut have mastered the art and science of creating an outstanding company culture that attracts and retains top talent.

But what exactly are their secrets? How do they manage to hire the best, keep them engaged and retain them for the long haul? That’s exactly what Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work – Live from London event aimed to uncover. Through a series of presentations and panel discussions, winners of the Best Places to Work in 2019 shared their culture and recruiting secrets.

Didn’t make it? Don’t worry. Ahead, we’ll preview some of the top takeaways from the event — for more content, register to receive the full recordings here!

How Information Transparency Is Transforming Labour Markets

In this session, Dr. David Halpern, Behavioural Scientist and CEO of The Behavioural Insights Team discussed how the increased availability of information is changing the way people work as well as how people feel about work. Just as consumers turn to Yelp before they go to a restaurant, or look at a car’s safety ratings before purchasing it, jobseekers are turning to sites like Glassdoor to conduct research before making a commitment to work there.

Halpern’s team also conducted some interesting research into what exactly makes people happy at work. Contrary to what you might think, salary isn’t the most important factor in workplace happiness — even more important is being satisfied with your manager and having clear career opportunities. Traditionally, gauging metrics like these were difficult for firms to come by — but with sites like Glassdoor offering a real-time look into your employee satisfaction, leaders have visibility into how their employees feel, what the organisation is doing well and what needs to change.

[Related: Bridging the Trust Gap: 4 Ways to Build Transparency as a Leader]

Winner Keynote: Anglian Water

The number one organisation on Glassdoor’s list of Best Places to Work in the UK for 2019 wasn’t Google or Facebook — it was Anglian Water, a water and wastewater utility company that supply water and water recycling services to more than six million customers. So how did this utility company earn a spot on the Best Places to Work list? According to Susannah Clements, Director of Human Resources at Anglian Water, it all comes down to mission. Anglian regularly communicate their message of sustainability and customer care to their candidates, as well as express the impact that their 4,500+ employees are able to have on the lives of others. Another key to their success, Clements believes, is their strong management team helmed by their Chief Executive.

One of the key ways that Anglian broadcast their message is through Glassdoor. Clements suggests that employers using Glassdoor embrace a three-part strategy:

  • Don’t Ignore: With 6 million+ users in the UK, candidates are already going to Glassdoor. Best to meet them where they are versus brushing it off.
  • Be Brave: Share who you are as an organisation, and encourage employees to leave reviews.
  • Respond: Whether positive or negative, employees want to feel that their feedback is welcome. Acknowledge the good, and use the constructive criticism to improve your culture.

[Related: How to Respond to Reviews & Boost Your Brand]

Happy Employees Are Good for Business — and We Can Prove It

Nick Marks, CEO, founder, statistician and author, has spent his career studying happiness. Through his work, he’s learnt a great deal about what makes people happy and why happiness is imperative for organisations. In his research, Marks found that happy employees stayed at firms twice as long as unhappy employees, and that a half-point increase in happiness at a team level led to a 17 percent reduction in staff turnover the following quarter. Given how expensive it can be to hire and train new employees, it’s safe to say that employee happiness affects a company’s bottom line.

In order to drive employee happiness, Marks recommends setting up two feedback loops: one driven by the team with frequent manager check-ins, and one for the company overall, dedicated to gathering and analysing long-term data and making strategic recommendations for improving the company culture.

The Glassdoor Solution

Glassdoor Senior Customer Success Manager Lia Albers took the stage to talk about the Glassdoor solution. Using Glassdoor products, organisations are able to achieve three main objectives: telling their company story, driving brand visibility and attracting engaged, high-quality jobseekers.

One thing that makes Glassdoor different than other job sites: Glassdoor candidates are informed candidates. Using the information available on the site, they are highly engaged and well-researched, with the right expectations. And they won’t just apply to any job — they apply to the jobs that are a good fit. Using Glassdoor’s product offerings — sponsored job ads, enhanced profiles and brand advertising — you’re able to reach these highly desirable candidates at scale.

[Related: Learn More About Glassdoor Job Advertising]

Simple Ways to Change Your Company’s Culture for the Better

Most toxic workplaces have at least one thing in common: badmouthing, or backbiting. Although gossip about others might make you feel like you’re developing a closer bond with your colleague, in reality, it is detrimental to your organisation, says Glenn Rolfson, CEO, founder, statistician and author. In organisations where badmouthing is common, employees feel unsafe and unnecessarily stressed.

To combat it, Rolfson recommends gathering your team (or even the whole firm) to define badmouthing, discuss whether people believe it occurs and sign a pledge not to engage in it at work. It sounds simple, but Rolfson has seen it make a significant difference firsthand, creating safer work environments, minimising absenteeism and even increasing employee satisfaction.

Panel: Siemens, Rolls Royce, GlaxoSmithKline

Siemens, Rolls Royce and GlaxoSmithKline might be vastly different organisations, but they’re all united in their commitment to a great employee experience. To learn how they engage their employee base, author Perry Timms sat down to chat with representatives from each firm. A few key takeaways:

  • Transparency Is the Future: Simon Roberts, Head of Talent Acquisition at Siemens, shared that one of the key reasons they’ve embraced Glassdoor is to give candidates a window into the organisation. They’ve also embraced transparency in their job descriptions, getting more clear on the responsibilities and requirements.
  • Get Creative: Daniel Perkins, Global Employer Brand Manager at Rolls Royce, shared that one way they’ve been attracting candidates — especially technical candidates — is by holding competitions like a robot race and advertising them across channels.
  • Measure Early and Often: Glassdoor isn’t just for recruiters and HR personnel. Deborah Frutos, Senior Marketing Director for Global Recruitment at GSK, spends every Friday reading and responding to the latest Glassdoor reviews. She also presents quarterly reports on Glassdoor metrics to executives, and compares them to other employers in their space. Doing this, Frutos believes, is crucial to measuring employee satisfaction and ultimately, retaining staff.

[Related: Employee Engagement Checklist]

Winner Keynote: Bain & Company

It’s no coincidence that Bain & Company have been named to Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list over and over again. When your product is your people, making your employees happy is the key to your success, said Erika Serow, Chief Marketing Officer at Bain & Co. As a result, the company is positively obsessed with employee satisfaction and retention.

A few ways they’ve managed to engage and retain employees:

  • Model Behaviour: There’s a saying at Bain — “A Bainee never lets another Bainee fail.” Everyone, from CEOs to managers to entry-level employees, is expected to live by this motto, so that it is pervasive throughout the culture.
  • Training: Training at Bain is the single largest line item at Bain — that’s how seriously they take it! Every 18 months, employees go to a global training program to uplevel their skills and learn from their colleagues around the world.
  • Evolve: Bain have stayed on the cutting-edge of employee experience by listening to their employees and adapting accordingly throughout the years. A couple of changes they’ve made specifically as a result of employee feedback are creating more part-time roles and becoming carbon neutral.

The information above is only a brief overview of all of the great learnings that were shared at Best Places to Work Live — to experience the sessions in their entirety, register now for on-demand access to video recordings. And of course, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the next event so you can join us in person!

Learn More & Register:

Best Places to Work Live On-Demand Recordings