Glassdoor reviews: Hotel managers offer tips from grappling with Tripadvisor

Glassdoor has landed in our industry with a stealth like bump.  Talking to some Resourcing professionals about it and ears prick up about this ‘new site’ that isn’t even on their radar.  If you have checked your organisation’s reviews and actively encourage them from your employees, well done you!

For many of us, there is a little surprise waiting when we first access our organisation’s page on the site of the Tripadvisor style comments that have been made about you as an employer.  And the impact of Glassdoor and similar sites is increasing as it is routinely used by seven in ten young people who use it as part of their critical research about would-be employers.

Fortunately, a few industries have been here already such as the impact of Tripadvisor on the hospitality industry.  So what tips do the Hotel Managers I’ve talked with recently have to offer on embracing this social medium:

  1. Own your page. Respond to both good and poor reviews.  Thank people for their time to share their experience. You should take time to check regularly whether there have been any new responses.  To make this easy, add Glassdoor to your bookmarks.
  2. Be gracious no matter what was said.  See every comment as an opportunity to take the feedback and respond to it. Your responses are there for the world to see.  If someone has said something you don’t agree with, stay polite, give your view and evidence, and be gracious in how you respond.  Don’t get into an argument – your first response should be your only one online. If you anticipate more debate, include in your message the suggestion to get in touch with you directly to discuss further.
  3. Reflect and take action. Is there anything in the feedback that indicates you need to take action? If someone has complained, if it’s a fair comment, think about what can you do and fix this. If possible include this in your response.  One hotel manager suggested that you have to be careful to strike a balance between taking action with your employees to make an improvement and ensuring that they feel confident to maintain good service – don’t jump to act at every comment but address any trends.
  4. Be open with your current employees.  If you have had bad reviews, share these with your current employees.  Ask for their views, ideas, ways to improve.   This is a massive opportunity to engage with people and make improvements.  They are part of the audience reading your reviews and can add their own review too at any time.  Several hotel managers indicated that sharing the reviews had prompted good conversations with their teams and some had actively added reviews to the site.  As current employees, they are also more committed to supporting the organisation’s reputation as it reflects on them too.
  5. Encourage employees to give feedback generally.  You should aim to be in a position that any fair comments made in a review are never a surprise. Some of the Hotel managers noted there is one type of review that posed the most challenge – the one who smiles but then complains online.   Encourage a feedback culture from when people join all the way through to when they leave you.  Don’t wait until an exit interview to ask people, they have already emotionally detached from the organisation and have no incentive to help.  Asking people regularly for their views gives you a way to ensure you have a balanced view of the real issues that require your time.

Take some time to review your favourite hotels and restaurants and note those that are actively engaged with their Tripadvisor ratings. Next time you pop in, talk with the manager and see whether they have any tips of their own and what impact it has had. Most enlightening.