Three ways to handle bad employee reviews

One day, you may find yourself searching to see what employees are saying about your company. You check Glassdoor and Indeed to find employees giving your company an awful name. They may be old employees who were let go or current employees working for your company now — you wouldn’t know cause they’re anonymous — but you may feel baffled because you thought your company culture was great.

People will be turned away by your company’s negative reviews. After a bad candidate experience, 72 percent of job seekers report sharing their encounters online, according to Glassdoor. Even if people aren’t employed with your company, they can still write negative reviews. To top it off, 55 percent of job seekers report avoiding certain companies after reading negative reviews.

So now you’re wondering how can you fix this? Well, have no fear, the solution is here.

Bad reviews turn prospective employees and current employees away.

According to Glassdoor, the average overall company rating on Glassdoor is a 3.3 out of 5. There’s no way to prevent employees from writing negative reviews but it is important to understand why.

People are more likely to share their bad experiences online than good experiences; we see this every day on social media. Employees who are happy are less likely to review because if they’re happy in their position, what is there to say?

Negative reviews tend to impact people more than positive, and no matter how many positive reviews are shown, the negatives are still conspicuous. This is why job seekers may be turned off from working for your company. Engaged employees are less likely to leave the organization than those who are disengaged, which can prevent angry reviews from ex-employees.

Improve company culture

Sixty-seven percent of millennials say they are “somewhat happy” at work. Also, 10 percent of employees rate their employee experience a 10 out of 10, according to Access Perks.

Negative reviews can also be a reflection of the workplace culture. You may see things as fine, when in reality, employees are unhappy. Is your leadership flawed? Poor leadership can lead to low employee productivity and high turnover, which again can turn away interested job seekers. Improving company culture improves employee happiness, performance, customer satisfaction, and ding, ding, ding, positive reviews.

Companies with engaged employees perform up to 202 percent better, according to Good&Co. To get employees engaged, include transparency, putting them first and building trust between leadership and employees. Your leadership has to match the mission and culture of your organization. If it’s not the right fit, you need to re-evaluate.

Build relationships with employees

If you do run into a bad review, you should evaluate if it’s worth working out. Though it’s difficult to know who the reviews came from, since they’re anonymous, responding can save your reputation. Addressing the upset employee or ex-employee is more important than not saying anything at all.

Sixty-one percent of job seekers say they read reviews on Glassdoor before making a decision about a potential employer. When responding, see if this is a relationship worth restoring if it’s from a current employee. Once the employees address their issues and a resolution is found, kindly ask if they can delete the review.

If the review is from an ex-employee, share new ways of how the company is fixing the issue, share positive accomplishments of that issue, and most importantly show your company in a positive light. Make sure the positives are a response to the negatives the reviewer mentioned.

Ask current employees who work with your company to share their positive experiences online. Job seekers who see you have responded and are willing to fix the issue are more likely to have a positive outlook on your organization. Again, Entrepreneur reports that 61 percent of job seekers are more likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its brand by responding to reviews.


Michele Cuthbert is the CEO and creator of Baker Creative, a global WBE-certified creative brand management firm based in Ohio.