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Bad Glassdoor Reviews? How to Clapback with Class.

Crazy-good replies to Six Common Scenarios.

Even the best companies sometimes get slayed in Glassdoor reviews. Can you defend yourself without coming off as defensive? There’s a bit of art to clapping back with class.

These six example scenarios range from addressing common complaints to dealing with full-on fury. I serve them to you with the caveat that these answers must be backed with the genuine commitment to consider trends in comments and issues brought up and respond and make changes when a course correction is warranted.


SCENARIO 1: Former Employee, complaint about work-life balance.


Hello and thank you for sharing your input. Our teams tend to set big goals for themselves, and we get that can feel like an expectation. We confess, we tend to attract some overachievers!


The line between what is motivating and what feels unachievable is different for everyone. We will continue to work on finding that fit between hard work and overwork, and big-dream goals that inspire and goals that create too much stress and tension.


SCENARIO 2: Current Employee, complaint about work-life balance.


Hi there. Thanks for your feedback. We sense that this is a job you care greatly about. However, your thoughts about the workload here suggest that you might be on the verge of burning out.


We’d love to help you keep the fires burning while making adjustments to bring things back into balance. (This) can be a challenging business and (X Position) is a demanding and valuable role.


If you would be willing to talk about some new strategies, please reach out to your team leaders. We’re all in this together!


SCENARIO 3: Former Employee, criticizing the work environment.


Hello. Sorry to read this post and learn of your feelings and experience in this way. (Fill in the blank) is never acceptable in our culture—we believe in (core values). We have an open door to every leader in this company and we are sorry that you did not approach someone in leadership or HR to address your concerns.


SCENARIO 4: Former Employee, one-star with a vague and broad statement, i.e., “there is favoritism.”


Hello. We see your one-star review, and your comment. We’d love to be able to learn from your perception. We would agree that (Fill in the blank — problem suggested) is not something we would like to be part of the culture here. We surely would act upon your concern if it had been presented to any of our leadership or HR team.


Without further details, the best we can do is let you know we sorry that your experience was not more positive.


SCENARIO 5: Former Employee, broad but serious accusations.


Hello. We are sorry to read this post and learn in this way of your concerns. Not sure what went sideways, but it sounds like these are serious issues that we would have addressed with you had they been brought forward.


SCENARIO 6: Former Employee, a total bashing.


Thank you for taking the time to share your view. We do reflect upon every response and perspective and are sorry that your experience fell so out of range with the culture we intend to create and believe that most folks experience. Sometimes, there isn’t a fit.


Respond with Respect and Caring.

It’s important to respond to issues in a way that doesn’t feel dismissive, even if you feel the comments are completely one-sided. Every human is entitled to their own perception of the world. Focus on caring about the feelings expressed.

Negative reviews can be opportunities to reiterate your core cultural values, especially if the employee’s experience did not align. But sometimes less is more.


Apologize when needed. Be appreciative for opportunities for learning and improving.

Finally, give yourself time to step back and reread your reply post and put yourself in the shoes of your (former) employee. If you can honestly say, “Yes, if I were the posting person, I would feel a wee bit better.” That’s a win.


This article written by Susan Nicolai

Writer/Storyteller, Speaker/Facilitator and someone who cares about creating company cultures where everyone thrives.

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