Negative reviews, even one or two, can damage the reputation of your company and make hiring more difficult. In this case, whining matters.
Let’s examine the problem as well as practical solutions.
Why Bad Reviews Hurt Your Company
People Read Online Comments
Finding out more about any organization is a search and a click away. Customer and employee reviews appear on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBliss and more. Glassdoor alone recorded over 30 million unique visitors each month in 2016. Talented employees (and those are the ones every organization wants) are likely to do their homework and thoroughly research a company before accepting an offer or even applying.
Bad News Gets More Attention
Studies conducted by University of Michigan social researcher Stuart Soroka show humans beings are hard-wired to focus on negative things. So, when most people see 99 positive reviews and one negative comment, guess what they check out? And, unfortunately, people may fixate on the poor reviews regardless of their truthfulness.
What You Can Do About It
Monitor Your Online Presence
The first step is to investigate what’s out there. Begin by Googling your organization to see what shows up. Then, investigate the usual suspects including Facebook, LinkedIn and Glassdoor. This process can be overwhelming, so make a list of your top priorities. These may be the sites most often visited by potential employees, sites where you rank the lowest or a combination of both.
Create a Response Plan
Once you have decided where to start, next clarify what to do when faced with a poor ranking. Generally, responding is the best policy. According to a Glassdoor survey, 74 percent of users are more likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its brand; this includes addressing negative comments. However, be careful not to become involved in a heated public argument that causes more harm than good. Always offer to continue the conversation off rather than online. Owen Tripp, co-founder and CEO of Ground Rounds offers the following advice, “Express appreciation for the employee taking the time to write the review, don’t get defensive about criticism, and extend a peace offering like an invitation to discuss the issue.” Finally, you can appeal to review sites to remove certain inflammatory comments, but avoid relying on this method as it usually doesn’t work.
Ask for Positive Reviews
For every disgruntled worker, your organization hopefully has lots and lots of happy and engaged employees. Rally those troops to improve your online rankings. Of course, this process should be voluntary, but you can ask. Use timing to your advantage. Workers who just received a raise, earned a promotion or celebrated a milestone work anniversary probably will be more enthusiastic about honoring your request.