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How to Respond to Negative Feedback From Employees

How to Respond to Negative Feedback From Employees

External feedback on sites like Glassdoor matter, they aren't just disgruntled ex-employees. Even if you think they don’t, these reviews are being read by your potential employees. Glassdoor found that 83% of job seekers review employee feedback online when applying for jobs, and you can imagine what they’ll think if they see unanswered reviews about your company.

Leaving reviews unanswered can undermine efforts to create a positive employer brand. Being unresponsive portrays that the company doesn’t value their employees. However, your responses must be carefully crafted, or they can end up doing more harm than good. Here are 4 tips to help you take control of the narrative and promote your employer brand when responding to negative employee feedback:

Ways to Respond to Negative Feedback
Respond Quickly and Thoughtfully

You should prioritize responding to all negative feedback. Glassdoor recommends responding to all reviews if you have the time, but responding to negative feedback first is more urgent.

Replying shows that you value your employee’s opinions. But be careful, a poor response can cause more damage to morale and recruitment efforts than the review did in the first place.

Keep Calm, Don’t Take It Personally

Feedback you read online is not necessarily commentary on you as a person. Particularly so if the comment is on organizational structure or things you can’t control yourself. Even if the company review is about you, take a second and don’t take it personally.

While the occasional review may be a mean-spirited attack, most are honest attempts to point out what they saw as problems. The human brain is wired to focus more on negative remarks, so be mindful of that effect and interpret their concerns properly and appropriately.

Consider Their Point

Having negative feedback is better than none, as the reviewer cared enough about the company to give an opinion. The least you can do is seriously consider their remarks. Take a step back, acknowledge what they’re saying and accommodate accordingly. It may even provide a solution to an issue you were previously unaware of.

Continue the Conversation

As part of your response, be sure to provide a channel to continue the conversation. If you have an employee or department who handles complaints and concerns, provide their contact information or ask them to reach out to you personally. This allows you the possibility of getting more details on the issue and helps your employee feel valued.

Putting It All Together

Let’s say that when you’re doing your regular check on Glassdoor you see a review like this:

The culture is great, lots of collaboration. People work hard here. But senior management is distant, and I work very long hours.”

You might feel that you’ve tried hard to reduce that distance but take a moment to consider your employee’s perspective. Maybe that effort hasn’t been a success or just hasn’t been communicated well. Consider responding with something like this:

Thanks for taking time to let us know what you think. We work hard to make our culture is consistent with our values, and we’re glad you experienced the benefits of that. We’re sorry to hear that you think management is distant and would appreciate any suggestions on how we could improve this in the future. If you’d like to share your ideas, please email me at hr@company.com

It’s important to address employee concerns to prevent outdated reviews to taint your company reputation. Even if they don’t respond, you’re showing users that employee experience is a priority at your company.

Preparing to change compensation at your company? Read this first.
What Drives Glassdoor Company Ratings?
Published by Tom Aberman February 13, 2020
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