Glassdoor’s Holding Up Its Big Mirror to Faces of the Workplace AND Campaign 2016?

Glassdoor's Holding Up Its Big Mirror to Faces of the Workplace?I have always believed the best place for executives to get an accurate read on workplace attitudes is to follow WWE storylines. Vince McMahon’s ability to master leading indicators and then launch heroes and villains with shifting plots, has shaped some very unique employee-to-employer viewpoints.  But even the prescient Mr. McMahon doesn’t have anything on the 2016 presidential campaign.

Not too long ago, a colleague told me about Glassdoor and I must admit that ever since I’ve been hooked spending free time randomly reading (former) employee reviews of companies on the site. Although not every Glassdoor review is negative and some companies actually draw rather high aggregate scores, the vast majority express anger and frustration amplified by leading candidates in both political parties.

It seems as if Glassdoor has become a sort of necessary outlet for people to vent about long hours, poor wages, clueless management and lazy co-workers. What once had been individual company grapevines has now gone viral in a most public way.  At the same time, leading candidates (from both parties) are no longer building momentum through ideas, but more so by expressing anger at every stop on the campaign trail.

Complexity is the one word best describing the world we live in and the conditions businesses compete in. When complexity enters, easy answers exit. These ambiguous circumstances only feed the anger and frustration leaders of all stripes are handling poorly.  Glassdoor reviews may not be designed for expressing big ideas or showing accountability, but what comes through is something more like a universal feeling of victimization and helplessness; sentiments loudly echoed by candidates ranging from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders. The lack of honest dialogue between executives and employees, elected officials and constituents, propels this race to the bottom!

Organizational effectiveness drives results! That said, Glassdoor is a more accurate indicator, of why too many companies are underperforming than any analyst report. Executives must simultaneously be more transparent and demanding. Employees also need to know what’s expected from them, managed to and perform to a result, with all levels of an organization being equally accountable. Ideas for executable innovation must command the day leaving no room for opinions, especially finger-pointing in the workplace.

Leaders can better move organizations forward with confident humility rather than pretending to have all the answers. Without these cornerstones, all we’re left with is inaction that breeds anger—because the competitive world doesn’t stand still. In my opinion, the status quo makes for boring WWE storylines, arguably the first real sign of Armageddon.

Leave a Reply