Reputation means a lot – that can’t be overstated. You are what you are perceived to be. This can be an unfortunate thing in some cases. When a potential employee is interested in learning more about a company, they may visit online review sites like Glassdoor. But what happens when some of the reviews on your company are less than…um, desirable? It’s a tough situation. They can’t be deleted or edited – those reviews are there to stay. However, there are certainly things you can do to combat a bad reputation on Glassdoor – some of which can actually be used as an asset for your company – and none of which involve burying your head in the sand and ignoring the issue.
Assess without Emotion
Maybe you’ve worked really hard to build an awesome company culture – so how can you NOT take a bad review personal? Take a breath. You must have a clear mind and not respond with emotion. That will backfire and make it worse. Keep things professional and provide thoughtful responses. Don’t play the same game and criticize the individual leaving the comment -- “This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about, our company is a wonderful organization with tons of happy employees.” That just sounds defensive and won’t do anything to fix it. It’s also important not to overreact. Are you seeing a slew of the same types of negative feedback? If so – that’s a problem. But if you’re seeing a one off comment, it certainly may require some addressing, but it could be likely that only that one individual was effected by the issue and a company-wide change may not be necessary.
Address the Concern
Dealing with negative Glassdoor reviews can be an opportunity for some positive employer branding by showing that your company cares about improvement as well as the chance to make real beneficial changes by taking the feedback to heart. It’s critical to tackle it head on. According to a Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey in January of 2016, 62% of job seekers say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review. Aim to have a response posted from someone as high-level as possible. The high level executive should respond to negative reviews with something along the lines of “I am really sorry to hear that you experienced difficulty with ________ but I would like to see that problem change. I am going to discuss this with some other members of senior management.” Be sure to close the issue publicly as well after a legitimate discussion about the issues brought up occurs. Post a comment along the lines of “I am very happy I got the chance to read your comments to discuss some of your concerns you were having. After talking with other members of management we believe we are moving toward steps in the right direction by ______.” It illustrates that you want to do something about a concerning issue. A prospective candidate reading those comments, will feel as though they are looking at a company that listens to the feedback of employees and wants to make a change. And be sure to comment on the positive ones too. Thank them for their kind and encouraging words. But the PR is only second to the fact that you have been given feedback that can helpful to improve your company. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, and not every employee is going to be satisfied. But listening to them and attempting to make changes the first step in the right direction.
Get Support from Current Employees
You surely have a whole lot of people who love working for your company. So how can you leverage them? No, I am not recommending strong-arming your staff into “spamming” Glassdoor, but rather engage your employees and ask them to help make your company even better. By taking a few minutes to write a review, they have the chance to help attract even more great team members. Create an ongoing process where you have managers help encourage the practice. Explain to employees that you want them to be genuine, however, make the goal clear that you want the reputation of the company to improve. Let them know “we have seen the feedback, we have internalized it, and we are going to make improvements. But, we need to bring the right people into this organization in order to take a step in the direction of making changes. You can be part of that effort.” Again, it has to be transparent and honest. So while feedback for improvements are welcome, for the purpose of this exercise if an individual does not have positivity to bring to the table, then it may be best for them to keep it offline and bring up the larger issues in another capacity. The idea of adding more positive Glassdoor reviews is not a replacement of tackling the negative issues raised head on. It is a compliment of that practice. Try all of these tactics in order to make a real turnaround with your online reputation.
Make it Your Own
Some of the power is in your own hands. Conduct your own employee satisfaction surveys and promote collected statistics and information through your careers page and social media. Video testimonials are great as well. Don’t forget about the power of the picture – in those same places, display employees thriving at work, enjoying social time with their colleagues and doing anything else that helps the visualization of the great place you have helped to create.