How Employee Review Sites Affect your Brand

Apr 17, 2019

“Extremely hostile and negative work environment.”

“So focused on micromanagement that I couldn’t do my job.”

“Position required so much more than was explained at my interview. Couldn’t leave fast enough.”

With more and more sites like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Kununu, employees can now leave honest, unfiltered reviews like these of your business. While it sounds promising and transparent to have this system, one bad review from a jilted employee could cost your company talented employees and a solid reputation.

The premise of these sites is good. Let potential employees know what past and current employees think of their workplaces. But a system that uses ratings and reviews is prone to attract negativity from someone who feels like they were mistreated.

I mean, let’s be honest, have you ever been tempted to leave a bad Yelp review?

And while Swiss Chalet and Chili’s wouldn’t notice an impact on their business from one bad review, that little mom & pop cafe could be significantly hurt by one or two negative online comments.

According to recent stats, the average company rating is a mundane 3.4 out of 5. Would you be okay with knowing that only 68% of your employees liked working for you? Taking it a step further, if you knew that only 68% of your employees were happy, wouldn’t it be time to have a transparent conversation?

Well - it doesn’t get more transparent than anonymous online reviews.

Protect Your Brand:  If the power exists for an employee to leave a bad review, it will happen. There is no preventing this,100%; however, you can take measures to avoid critical damage, catching negative notes on the net.

Be Proactive with Feedback: Employees use sites like Glassdoor and Indeed to express their feelings anonymously. If you can be proactive about receiving feedback from your employees, they won’t feel a big need to vent online.

One way you can do this: Invite honest feedback from people leaving your organization. Conducting exit interviews with your employees allows them to express, without judgment, how they felt about employment with you.

Then comes the most critical step: Use this feedback to improve

Encourage Transparent Communication: Would your employees say that you have an open door environment?  

If you make yourself available to your current employees, they may be more inclined to express their frustration before resorting to negative online ratings.

Hold regular ‘town hall’ style meetings where you allow current employees to express their feelings about the job and the overall workplace situation. Even knowing that you’re available and receptive can be enough to stave off hurtful online comments.

Acknowledge Every Review: The truth is, no matter how amazing your company is, you will not be able to make everyone happy. Look at Disneyland! Even they have the odd jilted employee who didn’t seem to appreciate the magic.

If you find negative reviews of your company online, many sites give you the option to respond. Reach out to the site’s help center to find ways to resolve or remove the review.

If you can respond to the review, keep it short and sweet. Avoid being defensive by simply saying ‘We are sorry to hear your experience with our company wasn’t what we strive for. We would be happy to speak with you further, on how we can improve if you’d like to contact us directly.’

Ask for Honest Reviews from Happy People: Have you ever tried asking for great (but honest!) reviews from your happy employees? Not only will you drown out the sound of any negative comments, but you’ll also attract better talent for your next potential hire.

Your company’s reputation is everything. Protect your brand with proactive steps rather than reactive energy. The harder you work at protecting your brand, the more attractive you’ll be as an employer. And, as a recruiter, I know that a solid attraction strategy is half the battle. If you need help creating a bulletproof attraction strategy, I am your gal!

Here’s to a positive employer brand,