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What companies can learn from Yahoo employees’ feedback

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Free meals, subsidized gym memberships, and community service leave are just some of the perks Yahoo offers its employees in pursuit of creating a dream workplace. Unfortunately, all the perks in the world don’t make up for bad management, say Yahoo employees.

An analysis by Glassdoor of over 2,800 Yahoo company reviews shared on the website shows a change in Yahoo employee sentiment over the past few years. Despite the company’s efforts to keep staff happy, the number of employees with positive views of CEO Marissa Mayer and the company outlook is steadily declining.

Mayer’s current CEO approval rating comes in at 67%. Although it still beats a number of her predecessors’ lowest scores, her current rating is worse than in previous years.

The data suggests staff are more than capable of looking beyond perks like free food, new phones, and extravagant holiday parties and consider what’s really important when running a business.

Although the reviewers on Glassdoor appreciated short term benefits like the work environment, smart colleagues and the free food, they don’t necessarily lead to a good overall review. On the other hand, topics likely to have a more long term impact on the company, like senior management, upper management and lack of direction, were most often referred to as negative points.

Furthermore, the Glassdoor numbers seem to suggest a correlation between employees’ opinions of their CEO and how they view the company outlook. As the CEO approval rating goes down, so does the number of employees reporting that they feel business will get better in the next six months.

A final insight emerging from the data is a steady decline in CEO approval rating from the moment they take office. Immediately after their appointment, hopes are high and so are the approval ratings. But according to the numbers, it’s all downhill from there, Mayer being no exception. Back in 2012, she started off with an impressive approval rating of 99%. Now, four years later, she has lost 32% of that.

Whether they prefer perks or a good CEO, with the close of Yahoo’s sale to Verizon planned for early next year, Yahoo employees now risk losing both. Whether Mayer will remain at the helm much longer is uncertain, and the two companies have made no promises with regards to maintaining employee benefits.

Perhaps a lesson for other companies is not to underestimate your employees. Perks are appreciated, but they cannot take the place of good overall management. Employees unhappy with the management or the company direction won’t be happy employees – no matter how much free food you offer them.

ALSO READ: Is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s leadership style really effective?

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