Negative Glassdoor Reviews: How to Respond to Them

Glassdoor: love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies; additionally, Glassdoor allows users to anonymously submit and view salaries as well as search and apply for jobs on its platform. Your prospective employees review these when considering to apply to your organization.  Unflattering negative reviews can greatly damage your reputation. 

When reading a scathing 1-star review, it can be easy to write it off as a disgruntled former employee who didn’t perform well taking their anger out on your company and not respond to their review. Ignoring negative feedback can look bad to prospective employees; it can show that you are ignorant to flaws in your organization and don’t take any initiative to improve your workplace. Alternatively, responding poorly can show that your company is insensitive and callous. It is important that you take time to respond to negative reviews. 

Before You Answer…

It would be irresponsible to think that your business has no faults, so have programs or initiatives that seek to correct the downsides to working at your organization. Having these in your back pocket can counter the negative review and show others that you are self-aware of the weaknesses of your organization. It is reasonable to expect some bad reviews. Some people are just angry with life and their 1-star review with numerous typos and run-on sentences can probably be ignored.

Here are templates on how you should respond to negative feedback. Put them into your own words and incorporate your company into the reviews, as well. 

Balanced Reviews

These reviews provide valuable insight to the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. There are positive and negative points in their review of your company, so make sure to acknowledge all of them. 

“Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We are always reflecting on the operations of our company and working on ways to improve, and we appreciate the value you see in <positive factor employee mentioned> and <positive factor employee mentioned>. When it comes to <negative factor employee mentioned>, we are taking initiatives to improve this concern by <initiative or program> and <initiative or program> which directly addresses <negative factor employee mentioned>. Thank you for everything that you have done at our company and we wish you well in your future.”

This response touches on everything they have mentioned in their review. Make sure that your company actually has initiatives to improve the work environment. 

Negative Nancy

These reviews have a laundry list in their cons section that seem to nit pick any flaw in your organization. You can usually deduce who that person is by the things they complain about. Whether it was because your organization isn’t for everyone or they didn’t fit into the company culture, you should still respond with empathy and tact. Maybe your company wasn’t the right fit or them, apologize and acknowledge that your organization isn’t for everyone. 

“Thank you for sharing your feedback with us, we take every comment seriously to make internal changes to improve. I am sorry that your time at <company> wasn’t ideal and we recognize that our company is not for everyone. <Write a sentence about a downside to your industry that can make it difficult, i.e. fast-paced, quick and daily changes, etc., and that it is not an ideal working condition for everyone>. We are working hard to alleviate the stresses of <negative factor employee mentioned> and <negative factor employee mentioned>  by implementing <initiative or program> and <initiative or program>. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we are thankful for the time you have taken to leave this review. We wish you all the best in your career.”

It is important to express empathy in your response because it humanizes your business but also forms a connection with the reviewer. Put aside ego and pride by showing humility to this person who is upset. Most of the time, the issues they have are exaggerated, but there is some truth in their exaggerated statements. Showing appreciation for their negative comments and that you are changing neutralizes the review. Job seekers who look at your response to these reviews will be impressed that you are being proactive in improving your company rather than feigning perfection.

Bottom Line

Negative reviews can be tough to respond to, especially when they are down right nasty and false. People are still people even if they are irrational and don’t know how to spell. When responding, make sure to change up your intros and outros so it doesn’t look like you are copy and pasting the same paragraph over and over again. Additionally, you may have to change the context depending on if the person is a current or former employee. Generally, the formula to responding to negative feedback is to appreciate and thank any positive aspects of their review and show that you are being proactive in reducing the negative factors to working at your company. Get out your keyboard and start responding!


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