Have you taken a look at your workplace digital footprint lately? If there are a range of reviews from current and previous employees talking about your workplace it might not be as unusual as you think.

The UK’s workforce is becoming increasingly outspoken online about dissatisfaction with employers according to new research from global people management business, Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna. It shows that the infamous ‘millennials’ (18 – 34 year olds) are twice as likely to share their true feelings about an existing or previous employer on the internet than their older colleagues aged 35 – 54 (41% vs. 21%).

So why are this group so interested in sharing their feelings? Well, the study shows that they are the ones who are most likely to take notice of online company reviews, with 69% looking, and 33% certain that they will be put off accepting the job offer if they saw negative feedback on company.

(It appears that there is a generational gap here,  as the negative reviews would impact the decision of changing positions interest one in five 35 – 54 year olds.)

It’s not only is interesting news for recruitment agents but also for internal HR and even marketing departments. With potential employees taking to places like LinkedIn to canvas the opinion of previous employees, leaving on a good note is now not just in the interests of employees looking for a great reference, but also for the perception of the business.

Whilst employee engagement might seem like something that is nice to have, these reviews lasting for as long as the website do, it’s never been more important to get genuine feedback before they take to the sites.

It’s important that you start thinking about how you survey your employees earlier on about things that matter to them. What changes and improvements can you make and your business will have an effect on their well-being and attitude towards you as an employer? Things like creating your own internal press, celebrating success, recognising individuals and staying on top of things that matter has never been so important.

Nick Goldberg, CEO UK & Ireland of Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna, said: “The opinions of employees is something employers have long been concerned with, yet what our research highlights is how that feedback is to become even more critical to managing an employer brand with the rise of social media, and in particular networks that specifically target a professional audience like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. This also makes it even more important for organisations to look after their leavers who will have much less to lose in letting the world know what they really think about their ex-employer.”

Nick adds

Look after your leaversbecause they can be some of your best ambassadors. You should do everything you can to smooth their transition and ensure the relationship ends on a good note. When they reach more senior ranks, they may get in touch with new opportunities. On top of that, one of the most vital online reputation management tips is to be active on social media. This means you can create a positive buzz surrounding your company, while also creating genuine engagement with external stakeholders, which will include previous employees.”

Whatever the statistics show it proves that we already know what to do. Create good relationships within businesses, focus on the retention strategies we’ve been putting off, build trust and stay connected.