Keeping Company Secrets Hidden


I’m old enough to remember when it was difficult to find out much about a company and their deep, dark secrets much before you started to work for them.  So well hidden in the closets of the company they were never discussed during interviews, let alone would the competition ever find out about some of the of things we are up to.  And before we go any further, I’m not talking about trade secrets, no, I am talking about the working climate and real culture of the company.  Things internal people don’t want to admit are happening.

Today, thanks to online communities and the freedom to post anonymously, former and even current employees can share what it really is like working for a given organization.  I stumbled upon a website called Glassdoor.com that invites pro and con comments from employees from their perspective, and even a space for suggestions to senior management.  Looking at 30+ comments about a company I am consulting with, I was floored to learn about several issues that are really serious challenges to their operations.  I am now trying to formulate a way to bring up these issues in a way that respects the possibility that they are completely unaware of the grievances.  None of these issues have anything to do with the current consulting work either.

Although my contact at this organization happens to be the HR Director, I would strongly encourage all employees to read up on what is happening in their company.  Truth or lies aside, these are comments that the world can access and form opinions about.  If you are treating your employees unfairly it may turn away future business, and if the quality of your product is in doubt because of what is said, can you hope to sway more customers to buy?  And if you are having trouble recruiting, this may be the reason why.

While websites like Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com are designed as sites to assist job seekers, they are also a source of learning some of the deep, dark secrets within your own walls.  What does it say when 50 comments are showing an overall approval rating of 22% for the CEO?  What does it say when employees talk about regular harassment, sweat shop conditions and greedy management?

Maybe not the best news, but at least you now have the ability to go fix things!

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