4 Ways Your Online Reputation And Your Company Culture Are Connected (with INFOGRAPHIC)

November 27, 2017

Company culture can sometimes seem like a nebulous concept. Because how do you even describe company culture when it’s so different on a company by company basis? And more than that – when you consider how people are perceiving your company from the outside in, it would seem that the idea of “culture” all comes down to vague feelings rather than concrete data. Right?

Well that was the case. We’re in a new age of technology and company transparency now. And through some new research we recently conducted around the truth about online company reviews – a key element in any company’s online reputation –  we discovered that:

There is a real, tangible connection between your company culture (an internal thing) and your online reputation as an employer (an external thing) whether you like it or not. Click To Tweet

We used our new research about online company reviews, along with facts about the current landscape today, to uncover the 4 surprising ways your company culture and your online reputation are connected:

1. Online reputations can rise and fall in a day, but a strong culture can be a buffer.

In the “old days,” high corporate walls and a culture of secrecy meant that for many organizations, what happened at the workplace stayed in the workplace. The face your company presented to the world was probably very carefully shaped and rarely questioned, for lack of proof to the contrary.

Now, the age of online anonymity and free (over)sharing of information has led to kinks in that organizational armor. Just recall the several high profile organizations (see: Uber, Wells Fargo) who have recently suffered major setbacks because of culture-related scandals revealed via social media.

Some organizations have a fear-based response to this age of transparency and simply opt to bury their heads in the sand. Don’t be like them.

Embrace transparency and learn how internal culture is affecting your external reputation. Conduct a climate survey, pore over your online reviews, and come up with an action plan to address concerns about culture. Being proactive will go a long way toward protecting yourself from negative online reviews, which is light years better than pretending those negative reviews aren’t there.


2. Your internal company culture drives referral rates for prospective employees.

Prospective employees consider a number of factors when applying to an organization. The type of job position, location, and salary all play a role. However, one of the biggest drivers of referrals for prospective employees is a company’s online reputation. A full 76% of job seekers research a company before applying for a job opening.

So if your company’s online reviews are negative, it will dissuade prospective applicants. Conversely, building a reputation for a positive company culture (consider Apple or Google) can drive talent your way.


3. Online ratings very closely reflect internal company culture

Company culture may feel like a fuzzy concept, but the numbers don’t lie: when you actually compare an organization’s internal company culture reviews (i.e., data from current employees collected via surveys), they match up very closely with external reviews (i.e., online reviews from current and former employees).

Studies show that there is very small difference between external reviews and what it's really like inside companies - only about half a point difference on a rating scale of 0 to 5. Click To Tweet

This might come as a surprise to those who believe in the common (albeit understandable) myth that online company reviews are generally inaccurate and a whole lot more negative than reality:

Download our whitepaper on “The Truth About Online Company Reviews” [here] to see how we – and our research partner Energage –  arrived at the surprising statistic that there’s only about a half point difference between internal scores and external scores. 


4. Compensation and career development opportunities are particularly important for boosting external reviews.

Although there are many pieces of your organization that contribute to a vibrant internal culture such as team work, communication and perks, there are certain aspects that are particularly important for your company’s external reviews and therefore your online reputation.

Two of those aspects are compensation and career development.

Again, if you haven’t yet, check out our whitepaper on the Truth About Online Company Reviews to see a complete overview on how we came to this conclusion, through data-driven analysis. You’ll also find a few action tips on how to use this information to your benefit.


In sum, there are two conclusions you can draw from these 4 ways your company culture and your online reputation are connected:

First, you should take those online reviews about you as an employer seriously, because they can tell you something very important about your company culture. And second, taking steps to improve your company culture should be your top priority if you want to boost your online reputation.



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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