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How to Handle Negative Employee Feedback

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Employees utilize a variety of online venues to express their thoughts on their employers, and keeping track of them is a vital aspect of maintaining your company's online image. Responding to unfavorable feedback, especially when it comes from someone you worked with directly, may be a personal and professional struggle.

Here are some tips to deal with negative reviews.

Create a plan for dealing with the situation

Include protocols for dealing with bad reviews, such as who will reply. This is subject to change. Some firms may require an HR representative to respond in the company's name. Others may prefer that existing employee advocates answer in their own names. The basic line is that having a strategy enhances the likelihood of consistently and successfully responding.

Respond Promptly and Calmly

It's critical to realize that workplace reviews aren't personal attacks so you can respond objectively and take proper action. Anger over a poor review might convey the image of immaturity, prompting staff to avoid bringing up problems and consumers to lose interest in doing business with you. Thank the reviewer for their input and keep your language professional throughout.

Describe the next steps

Explain what measures your organization is doing to remedy any issues in your answer. Transparency builds trust in your company's operations by demonstrating to employees and consumers that you hold yourself accountable and take action when problems arise. Explain the logic for your present corporate practices or conduct if you have researched the review and discovered that their complaints are unjustified.

Take the conversation offline if necessary

While there are certain advantages to publicly reacting to poor reviews, there are also some disadvantages to consider. It's best to take the conversation offline after offering a brief response because there could be legal and PR risks associated with a public exchange with an upset employee, or the issue may involve sensitive information that would be inappropriate to discuss openly, so it's best to take it offline after offering a brief response. Instead of continuing the conversation online, invite the employee to speak with an HR official about the situation.

Acknowledge Positive Reviews

It demonstrates that you're involved and that you respect input, hinting that you care about fostering a positive workplace culture. Also, because the sun drives out the darkness, a wave of positive reviews accompanied by answers from your firm might drown out the negative ones. However, don't have existing employees respond to a poor review with an outpouring of good feedback; it will appear insincere.

Take a step back and look at the criticism objectively

Finally, it's usually a good idea to consider how to avoid additional negative feedback. Consider what measures you'll need to do if a negative evaluation identifies trouble areas in your company for other employees. Is there a department that often receives bad feedback, or a specific project or policy that keeps popping up? Obviously, not all problems can be solved, and it's vital to balance company goals against the time, effort, and resources required to resolve a significant or minor issue. However, merely identifying problems and soliciting comments might go a long way toward preventing employees from believing that the only place to vent their frustrations is through a review site.

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