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Thanks to the growth of sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook, online reviews have become one of the most important factors influencing consumers’ purchase decisions.

It isn’t just customers who are writing reviews of businesses. Employees are making their voices heard, too.

Reviews (and Your Responses) Can Boost Your Employer Brand

A key part of any successful employer branding and recruitment strategy is the ability to respond to your employees’ reviews and feedback on employee review sites including Glassdoor and Indeed.com.

Your recruiting prospects and brand reputation can be affected not only by what employees are saying online on these sites, but also by how your company responds.

Of course, employers face their own unique set of rules and regulations, which means that responding can sometimes be tricky — especially if the review is negative, or if, for example, its writer is a disgruntled former employee.

Need help getting started? Here are some best best practices for responding to employee reviews:

Respond to all reviews

This shows that you are actively working to improve your employer brand. More importantly, it shows prospects that you value feedback shared by all current and former employees — without discrimination or preference for certain individuals or organizational levels.

You’ll also like: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Share Positive Reviews with Employees

Assign someone from the executive team to manage your reviews

According to Glassdoor, the perception of an employer brand improves for 69 percent of its users when an executive responds to reviews.

This is why you should assign ownership of employees’ reviews to someone from your executive team. Set up alerts so that he or she can keep up with and respond to what employees say online (something you can do using ReviewTrackers) — eliminating blind spots and unnecessary delays.

Respond within 24 to 48 hours if you can; if this is not possible, aim to have a response within seven days of the review being posted.

Negative feedback? Stay professional

A professional, non-defensive response can help neutralize a bad review. Instead of responding to accusations and validating the negative points raised by the employee, focus instead on writing a response that reinforces the positive and showcases your company’s values.

Don’t lose your cool, and don’t feel like you have to always share your side of the story or publicly comment on personnel matters.

See also: 5 Hilarious Examples of How NOT to Respond to Online Reviews

Be thoughtful and demonstrate empathy

There will be times when it’s necessary to address specific issues raised by employees in their reviews. In these situations, be kind, thoughtful, and appreciative. If an apology is warranted, don’t hesitate to say sorry. Empathetic responses humanize your brand and allow potential candidates to remain attracted to your opportunities.

For example, it won’t damage your reputation to say, “I’m sorry that our efforts are not meeting your expectations. But I’m thankful you took the time to share your feedback so I and others on our team can reflect on it and make improvements.”

Correct the problem

Even more critical than your response to negative reviews is your ability to use employee feedback in order to improve the employee experience. Don’t just pay lip service: take action and correct any problems discussed in reviews.

Another reason for using feedback this way is to prepare your company for times when a candidate who has read your reviews might ask probing questions about the employee experience.

Encourage current employees to leave reviews

Transparency doesn’t stop after you have responded to all your reviews. Generate new reviews by encouraging your employees to share their feedback on company review sites. It’s a great way to capture and understand the voice of your workforce.

Just remember not to set any requirement that the review should be positive. Anyway, employees tend to feel more goodwill toward a company that wants them to be authentic and provides opportunities and platforms for them to share genuine feedback.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He’s a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.

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