The Top 10 Most Common Employee Complaints on Glassdoor

By greytHR
4 minute read ● July 20, 2023
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The Top 10 Most Common Employee Complaints on Glassdoor

Did you know? As per Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. That's equal to 11% of the global GDP!

Driving all-around productivity and boosting engagement levels are crucial ingredients for growth. However, HR departments receive a range of employee complaints on review sites. This not only impacts the company’s market standing but also its bottom line. Many of these complaints stem from the absence of an employee-friendly work environment.

If you want to craft a friendly, efficient, and productive workplace environment, you must first understand the grievances employees have against their employers. Here are the top 10 most common employee complaints (globally) on Glassdoor.

1. Unfair Pay

Unfair pay is a huge deterrent that impacts employee productivity and efficiency. Yes, many employers do fail to live up to fair wage standards. Here's what an employee of a leading retail giant had to say about pay:

"Although my company has a great work culture and amazing people, the pay is extremely low compared to the current market rate for similar profiles.”

Not only do unfair wages and benefits impact employee experience, but they also impact business performance and reputation. That said, people also believe that complaints about unfair pay stem from poor communication during the hiring process or a lack of transparency about using the available compensation elements.

2. Lack of Transparency

The lack of transparency is cited as a common complaint among employees. This extends through the application process to performance appraisals, promotions, and bonuses. An employee of a professional services company recently commented on Glassdoor, "I turned down an offer with an equal salary, probably tempted by the bonus potential. What the company didn't broadcast is that the bonus is dependent on your being 100% utilized, which I was not".

Being transparent about policies and procedures can go a long way in reinforcing employees' trust and confidence, which eventually results in better loyalty and longer stints.

3. No Work-Life Balance

In today's hybrid workplace era, employees expect a fair level of work-life balance. Yet, when targets have to be met and goals have to be achieved, many employers overburden their workforce, leaving them frustrated and exhausted.

"Despite being hired for a remote position, I was asked to commute long distances to work onsite 3-5 days per week", said the employee of a leading multinational technology corporation. In the long run, such prolonged hours of travel can impact employees' physical and mental well-being.

Balancing employee performance and a healthy work life has become a top priority for today’s HR departments.

4. Poor Empathy

Companies that do not take a people-first approach tend to face the brunt of their employees' ire. One of the world's leading fast-food chains often finds its employees complaining about the lack of empathy.

"When my car broke down and I was stranded, I couldn't get hold of the manager on duty. Yet, it was considered a no-call no-show and they took me off the schedule for the rest of the week".

5. No Job Security

The fear of a recession has many employers downsizing their workforce in large numbers. Since the pressure to meet the bottom line is at an all-time high, job security has become a scarce commodity.

"There is no plan and no synergies. People are being laid off in huge numbers, without giving any consideration to families and dependencies", said the employee of a leading IT Services company.

6. Restricted Career Advancement

Employees who are not offered promising growth options are often the most dissatisfied. Despite the qualifications, if they are constantly passed over for promotions, companies are bound to face the wrath.

"There have not been any promotions for current Store Managers to any positions higher in the company in 7 years. There is a lot of experience and talent that is either stuck in a position or has left the company because of the high expectations and no reward system in place," proclaimed an employee of a leading coffee house.

7. Incompetent Bosses

When it comes to incompetent bosses, there are many in every company, which makes one wonder, "How in the world did they get this job?"

As unqualified bosses glide up the ranks and into positions they have no competence in, employee displeasure is bound to grow.

"You are just a number. You live every day waiting to get the call that you have been laid off. Managers don't care how good you are at your job. They have no idea about how things work. All they care about is shareholders and the bottom line", says an employee of a multinational investment bank on Glassdoor.

8. Micromanagement

Many employees find their managers breathing down their necks more than is warranted. Such micromanagement can be extremely harmful to employee health and well-being, as it demonstrates little trust and robs them of the ability to do their jobs.

"Long hours, less pay, 6 days a week with no off days, and extreme micromanagement by bosses", said one Glassdoor review by an employee of a financial services company.

9. Poorly Defined Roles

In many organizations, there is a lack of precise roles and responsibilities. The inability to draw clearer boundaries leads to severe ambiguity in how work needs to be done.

A review by a professional services firm employee stated, "The toxic environment is filled with insecure overachievers who will make you feel bad for not working 24/7, including the weekends. Most of your time will be spent playing ‘spot the difference’ between the current year and last year in poorly formatted, excessively dense spreadsheets".

10. Lack of Open Communication

Lack of open communication in the workplace is another major cause of frustration and resentment. Not making time for employees, not being open to feedback, and not offering support or guidance when needed can impact the employee experience in many ways.

An employee of an American multinational recently said, "There is an emphasis on feedback, but anytime legitimate concerns are raised by lower-level employees, it is turned back around on the employee".

Concluding Thoughts

Workers across the globe frequently find themselves working longer hours, getting less pay, and taking on higher levels of stress. If your company, too, is on the receiving end of such complaints, now is the time to take matters into your own hands.

See how greytHR can help improve your processes and make your workplace environment productive, conducive, and safe for all your employees.

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