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This Proactive Glassdoor Strategy Will Help You Avoid Bad Employee Reviews

Updated: Jul 27

Download and print the exercise template.

Depending on who you ask, Glassdoor is either a gift or a curse.

I happen to fall into the former category, but can totally understand why people dislike it.

At its core, Glassdoor is a peek behind the curtain, showcasing what's really happening at your company.

However, just like Amazon reviews, people are way more likely to leave one when they've had a bad experience than when they've had a good one.

In my opinion, most Glassdoor resources focus on being proactive about creating your profile, or cleaning up or "fixing" your negative company profile page. After all, it's common for companies to completely ignore Glassdoor altogether until anything bad pops up.

OK, sure, one bad review may not be enough to spur action. But then a few more come through - and BAM! Full. On. Panic.

At that point, things become urgent and reactionary. HR starts googling if it's possible to remove the reviews, marketing is brought in to strategize responses, and managers are asked to consider which of their team members could go in and leave a good review – regardless of how thrilled said employees are to do so or how ethical it is.

Sounds fun, right? Trust me - it's not.

There's a better way.

A more proactive way.

Do this Glassdoor exercise before you start gathering reviews:

In my experience, the best way to avoid negative Glassdoor reviews is to spend some time right now thinking about what you wish an employee would write about working at your company.

That's right - I'm talking about a good, old-fashioned free writing exercise!

If you haven't heard of free writing, the general idea is to just start writing without thinking about punctuation, grammar, or sentence structure. The finished results don't need to be formal, formatted, or even shared with anyone else. Instead, free writing allows you to open up and write down whatever comes to mind – no matter how silly or unrealistic anyone else may find it.

Download and print the exercise template.

Ready? Great! Let's do this.

Now set a timer for five minutes and write your review from the perspective of a typical employee.

Here's your prompt:

If an employee was writing a Glassdoor review detailing what it's like to work at your company, what would you ideally love for them to write?

Would they talk about the incredible managers? An abundance of trust and teamwork between employees? The variety of interesting and challenging projects they got to work on? Or maybe the company's focus on continued learning?

Don't worry about it being true or certain at the moment - just reflect on what you would ultimately love for your employees to say about working for you.

Annnnnnnnnnd, go!


Use your response to benchmark your current culture

Welcome back and congratulations on getting your ideal employee review out of your head and onto paper! Are you surprised by what came flowing out of you? Or have you been clear on this vision for a long time?

Either way, now that it's in writing it's time to sit back and reflect.

What were the key themes you hoped an employee would write about? Do they match the experience your employees are currently having at work?

If so, great!

If not, that's still great!

It means you've got new clarity on what you want, and have identified the gap. Mapping the employee experience puts you WAY ahead of the pack and allows you to start working toward that ideal experience.

Take a moment to consider where you are now and how you can get started.

  • What are the positive things you are doing now that ensure this?

  • How can you make sure you don’t lose them as you grow?

  • What things need to change in order for it to become a reality?

  • What are some 1% changes that would get you closer?

  • What’s safe enough to try?

You don't need to magically transform overnight, but you do have the opportunity to put some plans in place that will hopefully have employees writing your ideal Glassdoor review themselves a year from now.

Ready to launch? Read our full guide on developing your small business' Glassdoor strategy for generating employee reviews.

To happier employees,



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