It’s nice to obtain glowing suggestions about your organization. Sadly, no enterprise is proof against adverse web feedback that may plague on-line opinions. And former worker opinions may be particularly exhausting to take, notably in the event that they really feel unwarranted.

Studying the way to navigate this a part of managing your employer model is essential not solely to your firm’s fame but additionally that can assist you reduce adverse on-line chatter within the first place. (And though this text focuses on on-line opinions by former staff, most of the methods apply to opinions by adverse present staff, too.)

Understanding why former worker opinions occur

Once you uncover a former worker has reviewed your office negatively, it’s possible you’ll really feel shock or embarrassment. Anger might stand up, too. The remarks might really feel like a betrayal by one in all your individual – like soiled laundry laid naked for anybody on the web to see.

Unfavourable worker opinions generally goal and criticize an organization’s:

Why do former staff really feel compelled to put up adverse opinions?

As a result of they really feel wronged ultimately – whether or not their grievances are respectable or not – and need to get again at your group. That is their type of revenge for:

  • Being handled in a approach they didn’t like
  • Not getting one thing they needed

Make no mistake – these former staff need to do hurt to your group. Their targets are sometimes to:

  • Warn potential job candidates in opposition to becoming a member of your organization
  • Flip off clients out of your firm
  • Impair your organization’s fame

In reality, these opinions do have the potential of conducting these targets. Relying on how the evaluation is written and the character of the complaints which are raised, a adverse evaluation might sway the opinion of job candidates, potential shoppers and even in any other case impartial third events. Others might imagine, “Nicely, this former worker not works for the group and has nothing to lose. There’s a superb probability they’re talking the reality, and I don’t need to be related to this group.”

But dealing with adverse opinions from former staff in such a public discussion board because the web poses sure challenges and questions, together with:

  • Must you reply?
  • What do you have to say?
  • What if the previous worker counters again?
  • Who will different individuals imagine?
  • How many individuals at present working to your group really feel the identical approach because the adverse reviewer?

These questions are essential. You’ll have different concerns, too, relying in your subject or group. And every particular person remark might set off new issues.

Nonetheless, there are some necessities to remember when tackling this drawback, together with planning forward so that you just aren’t caught wholly unprepared.

Comply with your response coverage

If you have already got a response coverage in place, then you definitely’ll have established tips for responding to adverse employer opinions. Sometimes, this gained’t be its personal separate coverage. It’s typically half of a bigger brand-management coverage or a coverage governing social media and web use.

Once you’re within the warmth of the second coping with a adverse evaluation, nonetheless, you don’t need to be interested by the sort of coverage for the primary time. Having a response coverage in place helps reduce the dangers associated to taking rash actions that may inflict extra hurt on your online business.

In the case of monitoring and responding to on-line feedback, you all the time need to have a proactive, moderately than a reactive, mindset. Even when your online business hasn’t obtained a adverse evaluation but, it’s probably you’ll obtain one sooner or later. Certainly, as your online business grows and your worker inhabitants will increase, it’s virtually inevitable. And that’s another reason why it’s clever to create a response coverage.

  • Your coverage ought to determine who – or which job title – is answerable for crafting responses. Sometimes, responders might embody:
    • Somebody with expertise in media relations, model administration, social media administration or customer support
    • A senior-level supervisor
    • Human sources (HR) employees member(s)

You could possibly even have a response crew comprising professionals from HR, administration and/or one of many areas of experience referenced above. In the sort of partnership, HR can act as an advisor.

The essential factor is that this individual, or individuals, may be unbiased when evaluating the statements made in adverse opinions. In different phrases, the one that evaluates and makes a response shouldn’t be straight concerned with the grievance or vulnerable to permitting feelings to influence their response.

  • Make clear whether or not responses needs to be posted underneath the corporate’s identify or the particular responder’s identify. Though utilizing an organization identify makes it clear that it’s an official response, it may well additionally look impersonal and nameless.

Having an precise individual reply utilizing their very own identify can seem extra customized and susceptible – in a great way. It’s placing a reputation and face on the person who’s taking a stance on behalf of your group and demonstrates transparency and dedication. For those who go this route, simply make sure you have responders reference the identify of the corporate and their job title, and make it clear they’re responding on behalf of your group.

  • Delineate between eventualities that require a response versus a mere acknowledgement. You shouldn’t ever fully ignore a nasty evaluation from a former worker, lest another person suppose your silence implies that an allegation is true or your organization simply doesn’t care.

However not each evaluation requires a full public response. For example, perhaps a response might put your group at a drawback in a authorized continuing, or a former worker’s grievance is so insignificant and minor that it most likely gained’t trigger severe hurt to your group and isn’t value spending a lot time on. Outline these circumstances through which a full response needs to be largely taken offline.

  • Listing and describe the exact steps that needs to be taken previous to responding. This may occasionally embody:
    • A choice tree or different device to assist decide when some feedback warrant further consideration (e.g., issues that will require authorized counsel)
    • Define of how inside investigations on issues raised in opinions needs to be carried out

Clarifying steps may assist employees who may have to step in for the designated responder on account of trip, sickness or job emptiness.

  • Set up requirements for professionalism in responses. We’ll focus on this in larger element later, however it’s essential to set the best skilled tone to handle the corporate’s fame and stop adverse conversations from escalating additional.
  • Set up a desired timeframe for responding to former worker opinions. You don’t have to reply to each adverse evaluation in a rush, earlier than you may have all the knowledge it’s essential write an applicable and efficient response. The truth is, it’s most likely higher not to reply instantly – in any approach aside from “we acknowledge your issues and are investigating” – to permit your self time to chill off and arrange your ideas.

However you don’t need to wait too lengthy both and, once more, permit different readers to suppose the reviewer’s allegations are true or your organization doesn’t care.

Monitor the web constantly

Pay attention to all the foremost websites on which your organization might be the goal of former worker opinions and preserve an organization profile on them.

  • The most well-liked websites for reviewing corporations embody:
    • Glassdoor.com
    • Certainly.com
    • Careerbliss.com

Moreover, Google Critiques and Fb are each rising in prominence as a spot for former staff to evaluation workplaces.

However these websites simply scratch the floor of the place your organization might be a subject of dialogue on-line. That’s why it’s best to arrange Google Alerts so that you just obtain notifications when your organization is talked about within the information or in weblog posts – together with throughout the feedback part.

It may also be a good suggestion to watch your opponents’ opinions to achieve extra perception into what resonates together with your goal worker market – and know what errors to keep away from.

Examine the issues raised

If a adverse evaluation uncovers potential points you weren’t conscious of and so they’re sufficiently regarding, discover out what’s occurring inside your group and uncover the foundation causes earlier than you compose a response.

A couple of good practices to bear in mind:

If the declare proves true, you need your response to be nicely knowledgeable and significant within the sense that you may clarify the steps you’re taking to manage and treatment the scenario. You additionally need to ensure you’re not unintentionally exposing your group to antagonistic authorized motion.

Reply professionally and preserve positivity

When you’ve had time to look at the grievance and determine on a plan of action to deal with it, you’re able to craft your response.

You don’t need to let a nasty evaluation sit unaddressed on the web for too lengthy. A very good rule is to reply to former worker opinions inside two weeks. (It’s additionally acceptable – and inspired – to reply instantly to let the reviewer and wider web viewers know that you just’re taking the grievance critically, are investigating and can report again in a well timed method with a extra detailed response.)

Irrespective of how indignant or irritated the previous worker’s evaluation made you, stay skilled and undertake a measured tone. Some ideas:

  • Don’t get defensive.
  • Don’t have interaction in back-and-forth arguments.
  • Convey empathy and respect for the previous worker.
  • Be clear.
  • Keep goal.
  • Provide an answer, if one exists, or categorical a dedication to enhance.
  • Be private – don’t follow a canned script that you just’ll use again and again, as a result of it seems disingenuous.
  • Thank the previous worker for providing useful suggestions (if applicable).
  • Invite the previous worker to contact your organization to debate their issues in larger element, and supply some extent of contact.

For those who get aggressive or combative in your response, it would make you and your group look worse than the adverse evaluation itself. It definitely gained’t cease the previous worker from persevering with to badmouth your organization, and it’ll lead others to conclude that there are deeper issues inside your group if that’s the way you have interaction with others on-line. Don’t show the adverse reviewer proper.

As an alternative, you need all readers of this on-line interplay – together with the adverse reviewer – to get the impression that your organization:

  • Cares sufficient to hear
  • Takes the time to analyze points
  • Is humble sufficient to confess errors, in the event that they’ve been made
  • Is prepared to repair issues

As you reply, attempt to shift your perspective from “It is a problem and a horrible factor” to “This is a chance to acquire perception into our worker relations and determine issues inside our group earlier than they get larger, in addition to have interaction in good PR and impress third events with how we deal with battle.”

Briefly, keep optimistic. In spite of everything, “dangerous opinions” aren’t essentially all “dangerous.” And no firm is ideal.

Resist enlisting present staff to counteract adverse opinions

It’s tempting to suppose that if solely you possibly can ask present staff so as to add extra optimistic opinions of your organization on-line, they’d drown out the opposite adverse opinions and make all the things higher.

However that’s not all the time the case. The truth is, that may be a dangerous transfer.

Certain, optimistic opinions are nice. Extra optimistic opinions might assist your general “rating” on evaluation websites. However straight asking present staff to put up optimistic opinions is usually a nasty thought. Why? For starters:

  • Instantly flooding your organization’s profile on evaluation websites with effusive reward could make it seem like you’re tampering together with your profile in desperation. It’s fairly apparent to everybody else when a evaluation is real versus excessive, faux or pressured.
  • You don’t need your present staff to really feel coerced into leaving a optimistic evaluation, as if they don’t have any alternative and so they’ll face retaliation for not complying. It’s a tough scenario to ask them to depart a optimistic evaluation and have them not really feel pressured to observe via and maybe uneasy in regards to the request.

You could possibly supply extra refined encouragement for workers to depart opinions, reminiscent of posting a hyperlink to your organization’s Glassdoor profile on the house web page of your organization Intranet. However this introduces the danger of inviting extra adverse opinions. Who’s to say whether or not your staff would go away a optimistic or adverse evaluation? In the case of posting opinions, the adverse voices are all the time loudest and most keen to talk up.

It’s greatest to let staff who need to put up optimistic opinions achieve this voluntarily.

Be proactive about stopping adverse opinions

Improve your office tradition to give attention to and be attentive to worker wants. A method to do that is to have interaction in additional two-way communication and maintain a pulse on the local weather of your group so as to tackle any points earlier and never get caught stunned. You need your individuals to really feel heard within the current in order that they’re much less prone to vent on a public discussion board afterward.

  • Have a course of in place to allow staff to share their ideas and suggestions on an ongoing foundation – together with anonymously, if that makes them extra comfy.
  • Conduct extra formal annual worker surveys to gauge their satisfaction ranges and determine any issues.
  • Preserve an open-door coverage with staff, through which they know they’ll all the time come to you or their direct supervisor with any points associated to the office.

Any time an worker resigns out of your group, take steps to ensure they go away on a excessive be aware and keep away from burning bridges with soon-to-be-former staff.

Earlier than staff depart out of your group, conduct an exit interview. To make it worthwhile and higher your possibilities of acquiring extra trustworthy, beneficial suggestions, think about using a PEO or exterior marketing consultant to facilitate the interview. It’s also possible to permit the worker to write down down their ideas on their very own time versus participating in a dwell, face-to-face dialogue that might be doubtlessly awkward.

Summing all of it up

Dealing with adverse former worker opinions comes with clear do’s and don’ts.


  • Monitor your organization’s presence on evaluation websites and in on-line discussions.
  • Have a response plan.
  • Examine claims made by reviewers.
  • Keep skilled, goal and empathetic.
  • Provide an answer or commit to enhance.
  • Focus in your office tradition and worker relationships.


  • Get defensive or argumentative.
  • Miss the training alternative or overlook the optimistic outcomes that adverse opinions can present.
  • Push present staff for optimistic opinions.

Need to learn how to additional scale back your possibilities of turning into the topic of a former worker’s rant? Obtain our free journal: The Insperity information to being a greatest place to work.