Technology has changed our world, the way we work, the way we live and the way we communicate. It’s also changed the world of our businesses. The things we used to be able to keep behind closed doors is now often publicized. Dirty little secrets are often no longer secrets, but rather put out in the virtual world for all to see, read and judge our companies by. While there isn’t a business that is perfect in matters of service, product perfection or even workplace culture the more a business fails in these areas the more it is apt to find itself online with poor ratings, customer backlash and now even anonymous employee reviews at a social website called Glassdoor.
How much damage can Glassdoor reviews do when it comes to employee recruitment and the overall public relations of your company?
Glassdoor is a website that clearly has the ability to influence opinions when it comes to a company’s reputation. It’s a site that not only ranks high in search engine results, but it’s very easy to use to gain the “insider” view of a company.
I’m amazed at how many companies aren’t familiar with Glassdoor and haven’t done a pulse check on information that is out there. Let this article serve as your wake-up call.
Glassdoor may not only be impacting those applying for jobs, but it could be causing issues with closing sales deals if a potential customer or client reads negative reviews from your very own employees. Now, you can see why it’s probably a bigger deal than you thought it was.
So, what’s next?
Take a few moments to find your company on Glassdoor. It’s as easy as going to Google and typing the following search phrase:
glassdoor, company name
As an example I did a search on “glassdoor, Zappos”, Zappos is known to have a stellar culture, so the results below don’t surprise me.
Out of 5 stars, they’ve achieved 3.7 and have over 110 reviews. Over 70% of employees recommend the company to their friends. The CEO Tony Hsieh has an 85% approval rating.
Go ahead, give it a try.
If you don’t find your company, that’s ok. You just know that in the future this is something you should keep an eye on.
If you find your company and your ratings aren’t as stellar as Zappos, what can you do? Great question.
If you find there are several bad reviews and your overall score is low, it’s probably time to go into damage control mode. Often companies think that if you just ignore it that it will go away but just like other social media sites have shown us like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube ignoring it doesn’t make it disappear.
Glassdoor does provide the ability to respond to reviews. By responding, you are showing that you are interested in feedback that has been left and that you take the reviews seriously. When responding you want to be methodical and not just do it on a whim, to help below I’ve provided a few guidelines that can help.
Setting up a free employee account will give a company representative the capabilities to respond. It’s suggested that you select someone that is responsible for managing your brand. This person could work in human resources, recruiting, public relations or a marketing professional.
Once you’ve established who will take on the responsibility to respond to reviews, spend some time establishing the company voice and keep the following things in mind:
- Own it, by being transparent. Just like any other social site where you must do damage control, be transparent. If there is something that you need to own up to, such as a management change or a merger that has had an impact on morale then be transparent when responding to the negative reviews.
- Bury the bad reviews. If there are very few reviews and they are negative, why not ask other employees to leave reviews. Glassdoor provides a template and you must follow their guidelines and not incentives reviews, but if you feel current reviews present the real picture there is nothing wrong with asking others to post. If you find that most reviews are negative, but yet have a significant amount of reviews you may have a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
- Identify the communication breakdown. If you see a lot of reviews complaining about the same things you may have an internal communication gap and it could be beneficial to do an internal communication audit to find out where the breakdown is happening. Is it in the recruitment process or after the hire date? Knowing this will help in clearing up any issues.
- Pay to decrease visibility. Ok, you can’t really pay to have the review removed, but you can utilize advertising opportunities with Glassdoor that will help push the negative down further on the page. Adverting space will enable you to showcase awards, promote positive reviews and highlight career growth.
While I understand that Glassdoor can be one more social site that can cause you a great deal of frustration and one more thing to manage and do, try to put it into a positive perspective. You can use this information to find where improvements could be made to enhance the overall company culture of your company as employees see it.