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What to do when you get your first bad Glassdoor Review

In the age of information, job candidates have many touchpoints for vetting a prospective employer, with the first port-of-call often being review site Glassdoor.

Hawkwood enlisted the expertise of Alana Christensen; a Freelance Employer Branding Specialist to help advise businesses on how to prevent their employer reputation from shattering after they receive their first negative review.

Now, we’ll hand over to her:

One bad review is all it takes to impact your talent pool of eligible hires. 

There it is. Staring you in the face like a big fat pimple for everyone to see. Though this blemish is on your business — and it isn’t going away any time soon. 

It’s a damning Glassdoor review on your company’s profile.

What now? How do you come back from this? 

There’s not much you can do to make it go away, but there are steps you can take to improve the situation. And burying your head in the sand isn’t one of them. 

In fact, inaction could do more harm than good. 

A Glassdoor survey showed that 90% of job seekers find an employer’s response useful, and 62% say their opinion of a company improves when they see an employer respond to a review.

What people say about you as an employer impacts your reputation and your overall employer brand. Even so, how you tackle feedback also speaks volumes about your reputation, meaning strategic action is crucial.

Here’s how to get your company reputation back on track when you’ve received a bad review from employees – present or past.

#1 View this an opportunity to improve

No one likes negative feedback. But without it, you have no way of knowing how you’re doing. So view this as a valuable learning exercise. 

Here’s an opportunity for you, as an employer, to show you’re ready – and willing – to take onboard criticisms and make positive changes. 

The sooner you get on top of things, the better it will be for your company in the long run.

#2 Involve senior management and strategise

Start off by getting senior management involved in the discussion. Together, qualitatively assess the review. Understand what’s behind the negative feedback. 

If the bad review is a one off, you’ll probably deal with it differently to a sleuth of reviews saying the same thing. 

If there are recurring issues that keep surfacing, company-wide change is on the cards. 

Come up with a list of steps you need to take to remedy the pain points and begin actioning them, right away. 

#3 Respond politely, graciously and have the review come from someone senior

After you’ve spoken to the management team and decided on a plan of action, you’re ready to respond to the reviewer. 

Have someone senior write the response. This adds emphasis to the message and shows that their feedback is important to your company.

Start by (genuinely) thanking the ex-employee for their feedback. Express sympathy for the negative issues they faced. 

Let them know you’ve spoken to the senior management team, and together, you’ve come up with a list of steps you’re taking to address the issues. Outline what those are.

Explain how their contribution in highlighting these issues has set your company on course for transformation. 

#4 Start a dialogue with your employees about the review

To create change in your organisation, you need to get your employees on board. 

Be open with them. Let them know about the review on Glassdoor (they’ve most likely seen it anyhow). 

Tell them you have a plan of action to make things better and would appreciate their help. 

Ask them for their honest feedback on how they feel the company is doing. Invite them to make suggestions on how to improve. 

Listen to the feedback and use it to create an employee experience they’d approve of.

#5 Recruit brand ambassadors 

Many workplaces have zingy employees who’d feel happy to sing your company’s praises. Invite these ones to become brand ambassadors of their workplace.

Tell them you’d like to improve your online reputation, and ask them for their help. In doing so, you’ll engage not only them, but other employees. After all, positivity is contagious. 

Encourage your ambassadors to share their experiences of working at your company on social media, through video content, photos, blogs and lots of other ways in the age of Snapchat and TikTok. 

As tempting as it may be, don’t ask them to write positive reviews on Glassdoor. Aside from breaking Glassdoor’s terms of use, employees may feel uncomfortable writing a review on demand. 

Bear in mind, most people can smell an inauthentic review from a mile off. 

#6 Move on!

Finally, if you’ve done all that you can to become a better employer, then don’t dwell on the negatives. 

Focus on fostering an open dialogue with your employees, creating an engaging work culture and from here on out, commit to becoming the best employer you can be. 

If you’re looking for support protecting or enhancing your employer brand you can contact Alana Christensen via her LinkedIn profile here

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