How to Address Negative Employer Reviews

Companies can turn negative feedback into an opportunity to demonstrate listening, transparency and empathy to help attract and retain a committed workforce.

This won’t come as a shock, but you can’t make everyone happy all of the time. Inevitable negative company reviews by an employee are a fact of life. But how a company responds can show professionalism and signal that an employer listens and takes the issue of employee input seriously. 

Once a negative review is online, don’t panic. Instead, take a deep breath and handle it with the following steps. 

Create channels for resolution 

Before a negative review becomes an issue, provide outlets for employees to vent, voice problems and come to resolutions. If employees can fix problems through official channels, they won’t need to anonymously post issues that are festering. Once a negative review or series of negative reviews show up online, it’s even more critical to make sure these internal channels are in place, known to your workforce and taken seriously. 

Listen to the feedback 

Negative employee feedback can be difficult to hear. But it can also be warranted and jump-start solutions to fixing the problem. When you read a review critical of your company, start with an open mind of honestly assessing if this is an issue that is persistent, pervasive and able to be fixed. An early warning of a problem in the form of a negative employer review can provide a blessing in disguise if it helps head off a larger cultural problem in the company. 

Respond professionally – and honestly 

Most employee review sites allow managers and leaders to respond through official channels. When doing so, resist the urge to question or undermine the review itself. Instead, answer straightforward if an issue is being address, steps that are being taken to ensure that the issue will be prevented in the future, or other ways the company is proactively responding. Just the act of responding professionally will signal to those reading the reviews that the company hears and responds to feedback. 

Responding promptly, honestly and openly will help your organization, and may even boost your reputation more by showing you value and act on feedback. So, don’t ignore negative reviews – use them as an important opportunity.