Earlier this year, fresh track canada It had a 2.1 (out of 5) rating on the anonymous review site Glassdoor, meaning a majority of employees felt “dissatisfied” with working at the company. By the end of November, the Vancouver-based tour operator had improved this to 4.6, becoming the top-rated Canadian travel company on the employer-ratings platform.
How did they do it? Their Glassdoor rating needs to be tackled by being treated not as an isolated problem, but as a symptom of deeper issues. “For me, it was more than a cultural change needed,” says Sushant Trivedi, CEO of Fresh Tracks Canada. “The Glassdoor rating was a reflection of that.”
Trivedi, who came onboard in January, first learned about the negative reviews when she visited the company’s Glassdoor page herself, which many of us do when we’re entertaining a job offer. A post dated June 2021 said, “Even after being severely furloughed, nothing has been done to support the people who have worked so hard to keep the company alive in the pandemic.” (It was accompanied by a 1 star rating, the lowest you can give.) Another, posted a month earlier, warned to “stay away” and to “make the company non-existent by December.” Blamed the management for doing a good job for sure.”
“Travel is inherently a human business, and FreshTracks prides itself on being a human-centric company – but it was clear that what was being served to the outside world was not being served inside the organization,” says Trivedi. Employees were feeling overworked and unhappy.
When Trivedi joined the company, Fresh Tracks was emerging from what he calls a “Covid existential crisis”. The ban and closure meant a 50 percent drop in bookings, and as a result Fresh Books had to reduce its workforce by almost 40 percent. Trivedi helped turn things around in the aftermath of the pandemic and knew that Glassdoor ratings and comments would be important data points as she worked to transform the company’s culture into one where every employee felt the company was valued. They have an impact on success.
This was no small task. One of the first changes was simple but meaningful: He renamed the “people and culture” department to “people operations” to create a greater sense of collective responsibility for culture within the company. “I don’t believe culture should be in the hands of any one person or team,” says Trivedi. So he flattened the leadership structure, and transferred autonomy over decisions and budgets to individual teams for management. done. “Instead of top-down, I made it a bottom-up company,” he says. “Everyone now has more empowerment and a greater sense of ownership.” This, he says, has helped bridge the perceived distance between leadership and employees on the ground — reflected in the fact that “management” hasn’t been called out negatively on Glassdoor since the change was made.
The key to all of this is what Trivedi calls “creating an environment of psychological safety,” which means creating the kind of space where an employee can call out the good and the bad without fear, and with the sense that it can actually be done. is to be taken seriously. Summer was a chaotic time to travel—suppressed by demand, delays everywhereacute labor shortage—and it was challenging for the Fresh Tracks teams to navigate. So Trivedi made sure each meeting included time for them to ask, “What does help look like?” So that he can give a practical solution to any employee who is facing problems. “Every Thursday, the operations team and I sat down together to have lunch, taking the time to connect and talk about pain points,” he says. “And that collaboration actually contributed to double-digit growth in repeat business compared to pre-pandemic levels.”
While there are all kinds of guides on the internet on how to improve your Glassdoor rating, to hacks like asking your employees to leave good reviews to rebalance the rating algorithm, Trivedi never entertained them. did. He says, “The amount of effort it takes to persuade someone to write a review can save you that time, energy and resources to understand the problems and collectively find solutions.” “You’ll really drive organizational results, and Glassdoor numbers will follow.”
And while negative reviews may feel like they’re the most important, Trivedi believes positive reviews can be just as useful. “Sometimes finding what you’re good at, and doubling down on it, makes a far greater impact than obsessing over solving problems,” he says. “Since we were able to monitor, learn and act, it really helped us start a positive flywheel.”
And it was this forward momentum that benefited most from their Glassdoor rating. This year, Fresh Tracks grew its workforce from 50 to 100 and, thanks to its culture of open communication and collaborative teamwork, hasn’t struggled with recruiting like many other companies. They have booked the most passengers ever this year, and are on track to achieve record revenue in 2022.
Trivedi concluded, “Anyone who views employee health and happiness as an independent part of the business will never see sustainable growth.” “Making Fresh Tracks a rewarding place to work is part of our corporate strategy. It’s naturally baked into everything.