When it comes to attracting talent, the only thing a company really has is their reputation. That’s why it’s important to continually monitor what is being said about your firm and more importantly, frequently checking the climate inside your organization to avoid any damaging online reviews.
Online reviews should never be a surprise. By that I mean, you should have a good sense of what the climate is like in your organization so that you can manage areas of concern before they wind up going public. I conduct regular focus groups for my clients and provide them with self-assessments they can use to regularly monitor the temperature in their organization. This approach avoids surprises and allows my clients to dig right in and make positive changes.
If an unflattering review is posted, resist the temptation to get into an online war with the person posting the negative review. Instead, try to stay impartial and make course corrections to avoid having similar things said about your company by current employees. Encourage your people to post positive reviews, which will help balance out some of the negative reviews.
The only positive thing about a negative online review is that it may shake up the organization enough to actually take care of some of the known problems that should have been corrected a long time ago. But if it were me, I’d rather be shaken in person. In other words, the feedback I may be receiving may not be at all what I hoped to hear. But at least people are feeling comfortable speaking their mind. It’s the silence that can kill your organization, as eventually those who are unhappy will leave and will reveal to others (either online or at a cocktail party) why it’s best to stay away from your company.
In my new book, Talent Magnetism, I discuss how to build a workplace that attracts and keeps the best. These types of organizations rarely receive negative online reviews. In the online world, an ounce of prevention is worth it’s weight in gold.