One of the biggest misconceptions employers have about Glassdoor reviews is that they’re a one-way conversation — that a company’s reputation is entirely dependent on what employees say about them, with no room for the company itself to weigh in. But the truth is, Glassdoor reviews present a huge opportunity for employers to have a voice in the conversation around their employer brand.
The way to do that? Responding to reviews! Nearly two-thirds, or 61 percent, of Glassdoor users agree that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review (Source: Glassdoor.com U.S. Site Survey, August 2017). On top of that, responding to Glassdoor reviews is a powerful opportunity to engage with your current employees, identify areas of improvement and make your company even greater than it already is.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply respond to reviews with “Thanks,” “You’re wrong” or another equally unthoughtful sentiment — there’s an art to responding to Glassdoor reviews. Fortunately, some companies have mastered it and are eager to share their tips with others. In our webinar Everything You Need to Know About Glassdoor Reviews, we teamed up with Uber (which currently has an overall rating of 4.3 and over 5,000 reviews) to share some tactical advice and best practices on responding to reviews. Here are some of the highlights:
1. Remember: Feedback is a Gift
Sure, everybody would prefer to see glowing reviews on their Glassdoor profile — but it’s important to keep in mind that feedback, both positive and negative, is a gift. Positive feedback amplifies what your brand is doing well, and highlights your unique employer value proposition to interested job seekers. But negative feedback also helps you by identifying the areas that need improvement, and thus the opportunity to improve it. This will not only help you better engage your workforce, but also operate more efficiently as a company.
“There’s not many sources of rich data and feedback from your employees that is authentic and raw and real — we take [Glassdoor feedback] very seriously,” shared Pierce Marchant, Senior Marketing Manager - Global Employer Brand & Marketing at Uber.
One example that he shared: during a period of rapid hiring for the company’s self-driving group, a recently hired employee shared a review that acknowledged both positive and negative aspects of their experience, including that they felt the onboarding and training experience needed some work. Uber embraced this opportunity and began a conversation with the employee, as well as team leads, to discuss what needed improvement. Ultimately, they were able to make changes to the program and received a positive response.
2. Stay in the Know
Proactivity is everything when it comes to responding to reviews. Whether positive or negative, waiting too long to respond to a review can come across as out-of-touch, insensitive and unwilling to acknowledge feedback. To make sure that you’re always on top of your game, set up a company alert to notify you when new reviews are posted. To do this, simply go to your email preferences in the employer center and select how often you’d like to receive these emails.
3. Set Guidelines
Again, thinking proactively is key to responding to reviews in a timely manner. Gather your leadership team to determine criteria for responding to reviews, how to prioritize responses, how to ensure feedback is delivered to the right teams and who will have ownership of drafting, approving and submitting responses: HR? PR? Legal?
If you haven’t already, it’s also worth determining how your brand voice should come across in responses. Are you playful or professional? Do you use casual language, or formal? Consider consulting with marketing leaders to discuss how your consumer brand will shape your employer brand.
4. Establish Processes
Need help determining how exactly you’ll respond to reviews? Take a page out of Uber’s playbook by prioritizing Glassdoor reviews based on their urgency. Marchant shared the four different levels that they use to prioritize reviews:
- Actionable, but doesn’t require consulting other stakeholders: Respond in simple, clear English.
- Actionable, but does require feedback from stakeholders: Ask for guidance from appropriate stakeholders, and respond to the review within three to four days.
- Actionable, but sensitive in nature: Alert the appropriate department, and offer the reviewer a way to take the conversation offline.
- Not actionable (venting or trolling): If the employee's criticism doesn't include specific actions that can be acted upon, Marchant suggests leaving it alone.
[Related: How to Respond to Negative Glassdoor Reviews]
In addition, Uber classifies responses into different categories to determine the appropriate workflow.
- Positive and Actionable: Thank the employee for their positive review, reinforce what’s working and personalize your response to give it a human touch.
- Negative and Actionable: Thank the employee for taking the time to share feedback, acknowledge the issues mentioned and communicate what is being done to improve upon them. If the reviewer is a current employee, invite them to connect offline via email to get more insight.
- Negative and Unactionable: If an employee leaves a negative review that doesn’t give you much to work with (e.g., “This company is the worst” with no further details), make sure you still thank them for sharing feedback and invite them to connect offline via email to share what they specifically feel could use improvement.
A few don’ts of responding to reviews? Melissa Fernandez, Content & Community Manager at Glassdoor, says to nix corporate jargon, avoid sounding defensive and never attempt to guess who the writer is or threaten the writer with legal or punitive action (that violates Glassdoor’s community guidelines and will result in the response being removed).
5. Take Action
As Marchant shared, feedback is a gift. But if you don’t act on it, you’re not leveraging it to its full potential. Don’t just tell employees who leave constructive criticism that you’re working on an issue — follow through on it! Uber dives deep into the data to uncover trends at the global and granular levels. They look at reviews filtered by tenure, team, level and track sentiment over time to discover what’s working and what’s not in order to create a plan of action moving forward.
Don’t be afraid to respond to Glassdoor reviews — all it takes to do well is some thoughtfulness, planning and careful execution. Before you know it, you’ll be able to boost your employer brand, engage your employees and improve your company as a whole.