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4 Strategies for Responding to Glassdoor Reviews

How to respond to negative Glassdoor reviews, solicit positive employee feedback, and invest in your employer brand

In an increasingly transparent workplace, more employees and job-seekers are leveraging Glassdoor reviews to assess company culture and career opportunities. While a good review can be a powerful endorsement of a company’s workplace and management team, a bad review can hinder talent recruitment efforts.

Obviously, HR leaders can’t control what their employees or job seekers write in a Glassdoor review; however, they can try to counterbalance negative sentiment with positive reviews, and respond to reviews in a way that demonstrates a commitment to addressing underlying issues and supporting a positive workplace.

In a conversation with executives in The Circle, Glassdoor leaders Danny Guillory (Chief People Officer), Val Roush (Sales & Customer Success), Carolyn Snider (Customer Experience & Support Operations) and Cortney Holloway (Talent Acquisition) shared four tips for managing Glassdoor reviews and building their employer brand. 

#1 – Respond to Every Review.

According to a poll, the majority (30%) of executives in The Circle only respond to highly positive or negative Glassdoor reviews, while 26% don’t respond to them at all. Not addressing a negative review might seem like a good way to sweep it under the rug, but our experts explained why it could hurt your brand and workplace in the long run.

“Transparency can be difficult sometimes, but I think it can be a significant driver of equity.” – Danny Guillory, Chief People Officer @ Glassdoor

Our experts advised leaders to respond to every Glassdoor review – good or bad – to demonstrate to employees and job-seekers that their feedback is acknowledged. One People leader noted that responding to positive feedback is just as important: “If you only respond to extremely negative reviews and ignore the positive feedback, you can come off as being too defensive,” she explained.

Responding to reviews shouldn’t require significant time or resources. Consider designating a person or group of individuals within your organization to monitor your Glassdoor page and inform managers when they need to craft a response. One CHRO shared that her company has set up a Slack channel that notifies her team whenever a new Glassdoor review is posted, and they’re able to use that space to quickly align on next steps.

The benefit of monitoring and responding to Glassdoor reviews is the information they can provide, shining light on issues that your People team may need to investigate further or specific evidence of a healthy company culture that you can nurture and grow.

#2 – Anchor Review Responses in Truth.

Negative reviews can feel harsh and personal, and that’s because they are. Trying to spin a negative review to protect your employer brand is natural. Still, it can come at the expense of invalidating someone’s experience or being too over-promotional.

“If you over-index on correcting or trying to put a marketing spin on how great your company is, users will see right through that. The best thing you can do for your brand is try to hear out the person who had feedback and anchor your response in truth.” – Carolyn Snider, Customer Experience & Support Operations @ Glassdoor

Danny added that there’s a difference between “clarifying” and “selling” – you can acknowledge someone’s frustrations but clarify any inaccuracies in the review and report any factual errors to Glassdoor’s Moderation team for review.

Negative reviews might be isolated to employees in a particular region or within one department, functional area, or employee type (ie, full-time vs. part-time). It’s essential to investigate any discrepancies in the employee experience across these categories to avoid damage to the overall culture and employer brand of the entire organization. Still, you can highlight in your response that an individual experience may only partially represent the company’s core values and culture.

A pro tip from Glassdoor: write your response, step away for a few hours, and read it again with fresh eyes and perspective before posting; it’s worth the time to get it right and avoid what can sometimes be a knee-jerk defensive tone.

#3 – Proactively Solicit Reviews (Especially During “Feel Good” Moments).

Like any survey, negativity bias means we’re more likely to write about a bad experience than a good one. If you’re worried about having too many negative reviews on Glassdoor, consider proactively approaching employees to share their experiences at predefined moments in their employee journey, especially the “feel good” milestones. Prompting employees to reflect on their experience can increase the likelihood of a more balanced output.

“We ask someone to write a review anytime a new hire goes through orientation, an employee has an employment anniversary, gets a promotion, or when there’s a large group management training or Employee Resource Group (ERG) gathering. These are all great opportunities for employees to share both positive and negative feedback while they’re already reflecting on their experience.” – Cortney Holloway, Talent Acquisition @ Glassdoor

#4 – Invest In Your Employer Brand. 

Reviews are an important component of your employer brand. Glassdoor and its subsidiary Fishbowl are powerful employee listening platforms, but they’re also a channel to communicate with potential job seekers. Consider building out your Glassdoor profile and committing to sharing updates that can give job-seekers a better sense of your brand and culture.

“Candidates are going to read everything they can get their hands on about your company; that’s just the natural job seeker path. There are tools available to help get more people to look at your profile or to gain deeper insights on job seekers, but you have to decide what you want to achieve and how much time and money you’re willing to invest in your employer brand.” – Val Roush, Sales & Customer Success @ Glassdoor

The Takeaway:

Bane or boon, Glassdoor reviews are a crucial part of your employer brand that can impact employee satisfaction and recruitment. Responding to negative reviews and proactively soliciting more balanced viewpoints can help you influence how job-seekers view your company and identify underlying cultural issues that need addressing.

Apply to join The Circle to participate in conversations like this one within a private leadership community of CXO peers. 

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