4 Huge Pitfalls of Ignoring Online Employee Reviews
Online employee reviews serve as one form of transparent employee feedback that smart employers use to grow, improve, and compete in what is now a very competitive hiring market. However, while some organizations thrive on the information they learn in their online employee reviews, some organizations choose to disregard them under a common assumption that only very disgruntled former employees leave online reviews and therefore those opinions don’t matter or are unfairly biased overall.
To start, that’s a huge generalization and we know so firsthand – we ourselves at kununu have collected 2.5 million employee reviews globally (500,000 in the U.S.) and they are definitely not all from former disgruntled employees. And secondly, that assumption is also simply not accurate as to how online company reviews play a role in today’s job marketplace – in reality, online company reviews are actually quite varied and give both negative and positive perspectives that really matter to today’s job hunters. We uncover (and debunk) this wrongful assumption that online employer reviews carry a significant negative bias in detail in one of our latest research studies, The Truth About Your Online Company Reviews.
But back to the point we’re trying to make, which is that there are some major pitfalls of ignoring online reviews from your employees. Sure, there are companies that can get away with ignoring their online employee reviews for a while and have it not impact to their ability to gain customers and fill new positions. But for most companies, ignoring employee reviews in the short term immediately impacts the company in the negative way and over time causes even more negative consequences.
Here are the 4 main pitfalls you and your company might experience if you keep on ignoring online employee reviews:
#1 – You lose out on top talent
According to a study conducted by Mark Murphy, Forbes Contributor and founder of Leadership IQ, 74% of employees whose leaders listen to feedback and strive to improve will “strongly recommend” the organization to others. On the contrary, only 4% of employees whose leaders don’t recognize ways they can change and improve will recommend the organization to others.
Because word of mouth has a powerful impact on consumers and job-seekers, and more and more job-seekers are relying on online employer reviews for word-of-mouth recommendations, this can prevent your company from securing and retaining top talent. This can steal your edge over the competition and make it difficult to remain competitive in a tough market.
#2 – Engagement takes a nosedive
Taking the feedback you receive in anonymous online employer reviews is a great way to promote the organizations vision and values, accountability for the company and it’s team members, open and honest communication, and a positive company culture. Because these are important components of engagement, engagement naturally increases when the organization sees online reviews as valid feedback and an opportunity for improvement.
On the other side of the coin, then, ignoring or dismissing online reviews (or feedback in general) can cause engagement to take a nosedive, impacting turnover, retention, and productivity.
#3 – Your organization is paralyzed
Agile organizations are adaptable and flexible; they learn from their mistakes and change willingly to stay current and ahead of the competition. A key characteristic of the agile organization is it’s ability to take feedback and evolve accordingly. An organization that doesn’t recognize the immense value of feedback in any form – whether coming directly from an employee to his or her manager or through an online review platform (and whether coming from current or former employees) puts itself at risk of becoming outdated, obsolete, and irrelevant.
Your online employer brand – comprised in large part of the reviews of current and former employees – is an invaluable resource in your journey to stay current and relevant.
#4 – You lose control of your employer brand
You can either be a victim of your online reputation or the keeper of your employer brand. When you choose to ignore online employer reviews, you choose to allow others to build your employer brand rather than dreaming it and developing it yourself. When you choose to remain highly responsive to your employer brand – in the ways that are public-facing and the ways that impact your organization internally – you take your brand and message into your own hands. When you do this, you get to choose what others see and believe about your organization.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring online employer reviews; instead, build a culture that produces positive reviews, respond to reviews in real time, and ask yourself, “What am I meant to learn from this?” when you receive a negative review. Take action and produce real change when you find online reviews that bring forth valid points and areas of improvement for your organization.
For more best practices on employer branding and attracting talent into your organization, check out our free resources that we’ve made specifically for company leaders, HR and talent acquisition teams.