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How to Respond to Negative HR Employee Reviews

Negative HR Employee Reviews

If a restaurant fails, a product takes off, or a viral video becomes viral because of a bad review, it’s all because of internet reviews. As a result, many businesses have mastered the delicate art of reacting to unfavorable customer reviews, turning everything potentially destructive into a chance to take the high road, demonstrate better openness, and even heal a relationship with an unhappy client. How do you respond, though, when a dissatisfied employee writes a review? Seeing an unfavorable review with rose-tinted glasses is a waste of time and energy. There is no doubt in anybody‚Äôs mind. Let’s get to the bottom of why bad employee reviews occur, how negative reviews affect employer brands, and how to respond to negative HR employee reviews.

Why Do HR Employee Reviews Get Negative?

An unfavorable review from an employee has to be dealt with in the first place by determining why it occurred. However, although it’s easy to blame yourself (or your company) for a terrible review and think of yourself as an innocent bystander, you must remember that people don’t just wake up one day and decide to be rude to someone they don’t know.

Negative evaluations may be a means for former employees to express their displeasure with the firm they worked for, warn other potential employees, or have the last say after being laid off, fired, or otherwise dismissed for a reason.

Unfavorable feedback is often the result of miscommunication between the company and its customers. An employee’s dissatisfaction with their company may stem from a variety of factors, including inadequate communication, lack of a sounding board for grievances, or even an unexpected move by higher management.

How negative reviews affect the employer brand 

A company’s reputation might be tarnished even if a disgruntled ex-negative employee’s review is untrue. Even if a firm has a good reputation, more than half of job seekers and workers (86 percent) check out employee review websites before applying for a position, and they aren’t interested in working for an unreputable company, even if they are paid more. Negative employee ratings are more important than ever in an age when attracting and retaining top personnel is a major issue for businesses.

7 Steps to Responding to Negative Reviews of Your Employees

The good news is here. It doesn’t matter how malicious a former employee’s evaluation seems to be, merely replying may begin to change things. As a result, 62% of job searchers believe that a firm that reacts to employee feedback is more trustworthy, and 75% are more inclined to apply for a position at once.

1. Get the facts straight

Even though a negative review is only a personal opinion, it’s important to consider the assertions made by the reviewer. Even if the allegations are unfounded, a full inquiry is warranted (and may be required by law). Make sure to get in touch with the relevant authorities if you need more than a cursory check of previous performance evaluation questions. A thorough investigation is not required before making a statement, but it is important to know whether or not you have a significant problem before making any type of public remark.

2. Quickly and calmly respond to the situation

Job review sites are best avoided if you’re not quick to reply to a bad review since it won’t have the same impact. However, jumping to conclusions is also a terrible idea. It’s possible to make a mistake by expressing your feelings in the heat of the moment. As an alternative, keep an eye on employee evaluations, build an action plan and checklist, and construct a response over a few days to make sure you have a good understanding of the concerns. One person should be in charge of answering customer feedback; this eliminates a fire-drill reaction that might lead to a poorly phrased response.’

3. Choose Your Words Wisely, But Be Specific

A manufactured online review answer is quick and simple to create, but many people can tell when a prefabricated response is being used, and failing to react at all might be far worse. Sincerity may go a long way toward calming down a tense employee when spoken with specificity. Spend some time thinking about the points raised in the review, and then respond to them intelligently. Do not reveal any personal details, say anything that might be misinterpreted, or include anything that depicts the company or the former employee in a bad light. Avoid legal and PR risks by picking your words carefully.

4. Express Gratitude

Even though it may come out as corny, sincerely thanking someone for a negative review may have a powerful impact. Keep in mind that studies have shown that asking for and properly receiving criticism from workers improves a leader’s ability to motivate and inspire subordinates. It’s a good sign if you’re attempting to make peace with former workers who felt like they were ignored. Potential workers will also appreciate your positive attitude in the face of unfavorable comments, as shown by your willingness to accept constructive criticism.

5. Take your conversation offline if necessary.

There are advantages to publicly replying to poor evaluations, but there are also disadvantages to take into account. There may be legal and public relations repercussions from a public interaction with an angry employee, or the topic may entail sensitive information that should not be discussed in public. As a result, it is advisable to end the conversation once you have spoken briefly. To avoid online debate, encourage the employee to meet with an HR representative instead.

6. Flag Reviews 

Employers can’t remove their unfavorable evaluations on review websites since doing so would damage their credibility as an unbiased platform. The site’s community standards or conditions of usage may be used to flag unfavorable reviews, though. Non-executive staff may be subject to disciplinary action if they make false claims, disparage individual employees, or use profanity or another unacceptable language. When a piece of material is reported as improper, the review site takes a look at it and decides whether or not it should be removed.

7. Look Within

It’s also a good idea to consider strategies for avoiding future negative feedback. If a bad review points out issues in your company, think about how you might fix them for the benefit of other workers. Is there a department or project and policy that appears to get a lot of bad press? You have to measure your business goals against the amount of time, effort, & resources it will take to address every given problem, no matter how big or little. It’s also important to publicly acknowledge problems and solicit employee input so that workers don’t feel they have just one place to vent their frustrations.


Christine Lee

Christine is a former HR manager from Fortune 500 tech companies and has managed hiring, compensation and benefits, and payroll responsibilities for multiple companies.

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