The Top Four Things Employers Should Be Doing to Manage Employee Reviews
The Ultimate Employer Guide from BCHR.
If you’re a small business owner, you probably spend a decent amount of time monitoring customer reviews of your products or services.
After all, your star rating and reviews are one of the first things people see when they look up your business online. And you know they can be the deciding factor that people use when determining whether or not to patronize or praise your business.
But what if we told you that customer reviews aren’t the only kind you need to worry about?
There’s another stakeholder out there that could impact your business with their positive or negative reviews. Your employees.
Yep, employee reviews are often overlooked. But we’re here to tell you that they’re just as valuable to the success of your business as customer reviews. And that if you’re not already checking them regularly. You should be.
Add those employee reviews to your “To-Do List.” And let’s dive into the employer Dos and Don’ts for handling employee reviews.
The Impact of Employee Reviews and Why You Should Be Monitoring Them
Platforms like Indeed and Glassdoor offer the opportunity for candidates, and current and former employees to write reviews about their experience working for your company. Other more niche, industry-specific sites offer them too.
The people that you want to hire? You better bet they’re paying attention to them.
A 2021 survey (Glassdoor) found that 86% of people on the job hunt research a company’s online reviews before deciding where to apply. And a 2017 survey (Career Arc) found that over half of the job-seekers who see negative employee reviews on a company will choose not to apply there at all.
What Employers Can (and Should) Be Doing About Employee Reviews
Just like with customers, you don’t have complete control over what kind of reviews people might post. But there are things you can do to try and leverage this system in your favor. And to take control of the narrative when it comes to your business.
Here are the top four things you should be doing to manage employee reviews.
1. Monitor your employee reviews and maintain awareness.
Some employers have never logged on to see what their employees and candidates are saying about them online. Don’t make that mistake.
Regularly check on the platforms that allow employee reviews of your company to see if anything new gets posted.
2. Encourage employees and candidates to write reviews.
No, you definitely can’t force or coerce employees to write reviews. Certainly not positive ones. But you absolutely can request them politely!
Let your employees know this is something that will help you evaluate your performance as an employer. And that they can choose to remain anonymous on these boards if it makes them feel more comfortable.
If your employees and candidates participate, you’ll likely come out with some well-balanced reviews, and perhaps even some ideas for improvement to your processes.
3. Say “thank you” for positive reviews.
Interacting with those who leave reviews shows you value your reviewer’s opinions. And that you’re open to hearing any other feedback they might have in the future.
Let the reviewer know that you appreciate the time they took to leave a review about their experience working with or interviewing with you. It can go a long way.
4. Learn how to respond to negative reviews.
It’s important to know when not to respond.
As the saying goes, you can’t please everyone. Chances are a candidate or employee will leave you a negative review at some point.
When this happens, your first instinct may be to respond defensively. But we encourage you to take a step back and think before you post.
First, know that you might not have to respond at all. If the review is clearly false (ex. Claiming something happened that didn’t. Or it’s from someone who’s never worked for you.) you can contact the platform and try and get it removed.
If the review is negative but not substantial or highly inappropriate (ex. Contains swearing, name-calling, etc. But doesn’t offer specific or reasonable criticism) – your best bet is to not respond at all.
It’s equally as important to know when it is time to respond.
The negative reviews you do want to respond to are the ones that contain specific information about company policies or practices. Especially those that the reviewer considered to be unfair, undesirable, or discriminatory. Or that contributed to a poor work environment and culture.
When responding, here’s what to do.
First, say thank you. Yes, we’re serious. Thank the reviewer for their response and for bringing the issue to your attention. Then go from there. After all, a thank you goes a long long way.
Next, you should acknowledge each specific point of the review. For example, if you feel the reviewer’s complaint is due to a misunderstanding, you can kindly explain why. Or, if you think there may’ve been some wrongdoing on the company's part, you can take accountability for that.
Whatever your response, ensure that it’s calm, controlled, honest, and thoughtful. And make sure to respond in a timely manner.
To wrap up your response, thank the reviewer again for their input. Then add the contact information of someone they can reach out to if they’d be open to discussing the issues or offering more information.
A well-thought-out response means everything. It shows those who may be deciding whether to apply or accept an offer at your company that you’re capable of acknowledging shortcomings and that you’re open to new ideas.
It’ll go a long way toward mitigating any hesitancy candidates may develop when reading about things that other candidates and employees didn’t like or thought could be improved.
In a candidate’s market – like the one we’re in right now – it’s essential to put your best foot forward with your employees and would-be employees.
Employee review boards offer you a great opportunity to do so. Keeping up to date with them, encouraging new reviews, and responding to the ones you receive should definitely be on your to-do list!
If that list is already running too long, and you feel you need some help crafting ideal review responses, the team of consultants at BCHR are always here to help. Schedule a consultation with us today.