Now more than ever, current and past employees are taking to review websites like Glassdoor to rate and review their experience in working for their employer. More importantly, potential candidates are going to business rating websites to view how your company measures up to others and read reviews before they apply or take a job with your company.
According to a survey by Indeed, 83% of people said employer reviews influenced their decision on where to apply, with 45% of people saying the company’s reputation had a significant impact on their decision to accept an offer. That is a huge number, meaning that your company’s standing on rating websites really does matter.
Are your business ratings any good? If you go to one of the sites and see only a one-star rating for your company, do not panic! There are things you can do to boost your ratings – all is not yet lost.
Understand What Goes Into a Business Rating
Before you go on a company-wide mission to solve your business rating problem, it is first important to understand the ratings. Get a working team in place to really dig through the reviews and see where they are coming from. On Glassdoor, for example, reviews can be broken down by job title. You can also review the company and the CEO.
Remember that much like any reviews, even for restaurants and hotels, people are much more likely to provide a review if they have had a bad experience than a good one. People who are disgruntled are much more likely to take to the keyboard than happy employees. And chances are, recently fired or employees who quit voluntarily are much more likely to go to a business rating website to express their views about your company than a perfectly happy top performer currently working for you.
All of this means that ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. While it is important to ensure your company has good ratings online, it does not mean that bad ratings require drastic change unless you identify true negative themes that can be remedied.
Talk to Your Employees
If you do notice a negative trend, then go right to the source – your employees. Launch an internal survey to get the true pulse of your workforce and see if it measures up to the reviews online. Be honest, and say that you noticed bad business ratings online and ask employees to weigh in. Here is where you can initiate a feedback loop, where you can get actionable insights to make your workplace an even better place to work.
Make sure that you survey not just the company overall, but drill into individual teams and the leaders and managers of the teams. You want to be able to truly identify the source of employee satisfaction or dissatisfaction, and whether this is a broad company issue or a local issue, such as one poor manager.
Working with an external HR consultant can simplify matters for you and encourage employee feedback through the use of a third party. This investment to identify and then solve the problem will be rewarded by increased employee productivity, reduced turnover, and improved ability to attract quality candidates.
Have Exit Interviews
One way to prevent disgruntled employees from taking to the Internet to air their grievances is to ensure that you listen to them before they walk out the door.
People often just want to be heard. Exit interviews with a true neutral source can provide that opportunity to departing employees. It is important to understand why anyone is leaving their current position. If you provide this forum for feedback, it may lessen the need for someone to take to an anonymous website in order to vent.
If a departing employee does give negative feedback in an exit interview and appears to be disgruntled, ask to follow up with them later to ensure that they know that you are taking their feedback seriously. Let them know you value their input. It is important that you have a good process for dealing with exit interview feedback and address it in the appropriate way.
Allow Employee Feedback
The same goes for current employees. An unhappy employee is less likely to go online to air their frustrations if they feel they can talk to someone at work. Encourage your leadership and mid-management team to have an open-door policy and to listen to their team’s frustrations and suggestions.
Allow employees an avenue to receive communication from senior management and a means to communicate to senior management, whether that is through Town Halls, Q&As, employee engagement programs or other avenues. The more ways you can explain the company’s approach and ensure that employees feel heard and valued, the more likely they will come to you before going online.
Encourage Employees to Leave Ratings
Online business ratings should not be only a source of negativity, especially if you feel confident that your workforce is happy and feel like they understand the company’s vision and can come to your management with issues of concern. That means that you should encourage employees to leave honest ratings about your company. Good companies to work for have nothing to hide!
Good reviews can help attract top talent, so you do want employees to rate your company. Publish blogs from leadership talking about the importance of reviews or ask employees to review your company on certain sites. If you feel good about your teams, this should not be scary. Happy employees will be more than happy to help leave positive reviews encouraging others to come and work for your company.
The more business ratings you have, the more balanced the rating will become by means of the algorithms used on the sites. That means that if you have a lot of positive reviews, with a few negative or neutral, your rating will be more balanced than one with 5 negative reviews, a neutral review, and three positive ones. So, it is in your company’s best interest to have as many positive ratings as you can.
Bad Business Ratings? Act!
If you start to notice an unfortunate trend in bad ratings about your company online, it is important to address them. Change can be slow but putting in the work to turn around a toxic work culture is an investment in time and money that will pay your company back for years.
If employees are taking to the Internet to air their frustrations, chances are there is something seriously wrong going on. Remember that happy teams with enough opportunity for feedback and communication are less likely to go online to write a bad review. So, if you are getting a slew of negative ratings, it is important to understand why and identify the root cause.
Having good reviews is not only good for morale, but it will ensure that you can attract top talent in the future. The last thing you want is to be trying to secure that perfect C-Suite executive and have them see that 75% of employees disapprove of the CEO! Instead, you want them seeing that your company has an overwhelmingly positive online presence.
Do not turn a blind eye to online ratings. Embrace them, work with them, and take them as another great avenue for employee feedback.
Kathbern Management is an executive search consultancy based in Toronto, helping companies find the executives and senior managers who not only have the experience and credentials to fulfill their responsibilities, but also have the emotional and “fit” requirements that will enable them to be successful in a particular environment. We simplify the process and, through our deep research, are able to bring more and better candidates forward than would ever be possible through a do-it-yourself passive advertising campaign.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your key person search.