How to respond to a Glassdoor review and the growth of Rateocracy

Managing your reputation will be critical to company success.
Managing your reputation will be critical to company success.

I went out to dinner the other night with friends. In deciding where we were going to go every option was first run through Yelp, the rating site for restaurants. Many people do the same thing. Today many employees go through the same kind of process when deciding where they may want to work. Glassdoor, founded in 2007 provides ratings of companies and jobs that are heavily referred to by candidates and increasingly employees. They rate the jobs, the pay, the experience and increasingly the people involved. It is a movement. I wrote about this “Rateocracy” movement in Future Friday: How will you handle your public reputation?. Recently I had the opportunity to investigate this in an interview with Matt Brosseau, the Director Information Technology at Instant Alliance.

Responding to reviews

Matt Brosseau, in addition to handling IT for Instant Alliance, is also charged with responding to the reviews of the company that appear on Glassdoor. He says that more and more people, especially tech employees, are using Glassdoor and the company that is not aware of this may find their reputations tarnished. Brosseau sees the reviews as a learning tool. Rated companies can learn what they are good at and what they are bad at doing.
Fortunately Glassdoor provides companies the opportunity to respond to reviews. Brosseau says he uses that opportunity to create a dialog with the reviewers, which he says is important in order to understand the reviewer’s point of view. The response also creates an explanation that may help defuse the critique for later readers. Naturally, positive reviews showcase the companies and lend credence to a company’s reputation.

Lessons in Rateocracy

Instant Alliance, Brosseau’s employer, is in the Human Capital consulting business, which means they help companies find talent. They teach their clients the value of monitoring and responding to reviews of their company. They find that company executives are generally unaware of Glassdoor. They help their clients understand the value of an open dialogue in the review process.
Rateocracy was a term created by Robert Moran, a futurist with Brunswick Insight. He writes that there is going to be a new balance of power where consumers, suppliers and employees will be able to control the fortunes of companies by controlling the reputations of those companies. As I wrote in my post “He says that CEO’s in particular will be under the gun to ‘work harder to align the corporation, its employees, and stakeholders around a shared vision. It will be increasingly difficult to sweep customer service and employee morale problems under the rug. CEOs of the Rateocratic era will have nowhere to hide, so they will have to be strong communicators and even better listeners. They will have to be as transparent as the new era.’ My guess is that much of the stress the CEO feels will be transferred to HR as the CEO looks to HR to manage the company reputation.”
As I learned from my discussion with Matt Brosseau, managing the company reputation is critical. The concept of “Rateocracy” is not going to go away. I think we will see this movement, led by Glassdoor, expand to include not only the company’s reputation but the reputations of individual managers and employees as well. Are you ready to be rated?

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