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Let’s be real – most of us have complained about our job from time to time. Whether it be about that annoying co-worker or a more serious grumble regarding the leadership structure within the organization, all of us can probably find something to criticize about the company we work for.

Unfortunately though, when these complaints become public after being published online, it can severely hurt that business’s reputation. Oftentimes, disgruntled former employees will take any chance they can to tarnish your business’s name. But these moments of frustration can have a long-term effect on those companies and even stunt their growth.

According to Glassdoor’s report, 83% of job-seekers will search for a company’s reviews during the application process, and 84% say that a business’s reputation weighs heavily in their decision for job acceptance.

Having a few negative employer reviews can make recruiting new team members that much more difficult. Furthermore, the negative comments can also influence the overall work environment even after that employee has left.

Thankfully though, it is possible to turn things around by handling things the correct way – and you can do it in just three simple steps.

Publicly Respond and Take Responsibility

The best way to de-escalate the situation of online employer bashing is by showing that your company respects that employee’s opinion. Taking the time to craft a careful and courteous response shows that person (as well as the other people reading the review) that your business truly cares about its employees’ experiences and sentiments.

You need to be careful and strategic about your response – as you do not want to come off as dismissive or defensive. However, if the employee has made false statements, that should certainly be addressed publicly.

It is always best to look for opportunities to create a positive spin on their comments and promote a commitment to making improvements. For instance, in a Glassdoor review of Trustpilot, an ex-employee mentioned unrealistic expectations were set by management and that turnover rates seemed rather high.

Trustpilot issued a good response by thanking the person for their honesty and acknowledging the positive comments they had made about the culture. They went on to say that this feedback would be reviewed so that improvements could be made for future employees.

It is important here to maintain a professional and understanding tone with your response. Rather than trying to argue each point, simply recognize their statements and make it clear that you see them as constructive.

At the end of the day, a well-crafted response to a bad review can say much more about the company than the review itself!

Share Feedback and Look for Lessons

Although disgruntled employees may certainly exaggerate, there is likely some truth to their comments that can be useful information.

When you are looking at reviews, try to note any repeating patterns regarding similar pain points that former employees keep bringing up.

  • Do multiple people mention an issue with management?
  • Do people complain about limited vacation days or difficulty in maintaining a good work/life balance?

Just as companies should be reviewing negative customer reviews, managers should also be taking a look at these former employee comments to identify the weakest points in the current employee experience.

For example, many former employees for Nestle Purina stated that internal promotions seemed to never actually happen, even when a person was with the company for long periods. This caused lots of frustration and was often the reason why some employees left the company.

The HR team at Nestle Purina took this feedback to heart and created new initiatives to clarify the promotional process within the company while also revamping their advancement process to help leaders cultivate talent for better experiences. In 2018, the company was the Employee’s Choice Award winner for the best company to work for!

Although it is far easier to dismiss negative sentiment, it is important to take the time and consider what each person has to say. Chances are that their negative experience is stemming from a major issue within the organization that needs to be addressed.

Encourage Current Employees to Share

Arguably the best way to help balance out negativity is with positivity. So, rather than dwelling on negative reviews, look for ways to boost morale and build engagement with your current staff.

One great way to get the ball rolling is by creating engaging employee review templates. Unfortunately, many companies rarely or never ask employees to share feedback regarding their current experiences – which can lead to built-up frustration that results in online bashing.

Furthermore, employees say that they are four times more likely to stay with a company that regularly asks for feedback and actively makes changes based on their reviews.

Managers should take the time to regularly meet with their team members to discuss both the pros and cons of the employee’s current work situation. It is important to encourage full transparency here by creating a safe environment so people feel comfortable enough to share their honest opinions.

You may also want to ask employees to share their sentiments online as well, specifically when it comes to sharing positive aspects of your company. However, you do need to be careful here – no employees should ever be required to create a positive review.

When you build out employee review templates, make it clear that these can be 100% anonymous. If you don’t do this, iqualtrics.comt can be tough for employees to share their true feelings – as they might think it will result in getting blackballed or compromising their job security.


Receiving a negative employer review is never fun – but it does not need to be the end of the world, either. The secret is to turn the experience into a positive one as best as you can.

Start by taking the high road in your response by acknowledging the person’s feelings and experiences. Then take the time to consider what they are saying. Always be on the lookout for ways to proactively engage with current employees to make the changes that result in the most meaningful impact.  

Written By
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc., a San Diego-based digital agency that specializes in white label services for website design and development and e-commerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the technology and digital marketing industry, he is passionate about helping online businesses take their branding to the next level.

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