Subscribe to My Feed   Follow Me On Twitter   Join Me On LinkedIn   Friend Me On Facebook

Sharing Bad News with Employees

Sharing Bad News with EmployeesAs leaders, we don’t always have good news to share. Sometimes the news is just not good but we need to share it with others. We may not have the right answer nor even know the impact over the long term of the news we need to share, but it is best to communicate the bad news as openly and honestly as possible. Hiding it doesn’t help anyone and only impacts our own reputation. And eventually word gets around!

When you have news to communicate that is difficult for others to hear, follow these simple best practices:

  1. Plan what you will communicate – consider the reactions people will have and how you will handle those reactions. Think about the questions that may come up in response to your news so you can better address them when the employees ask them.
  2. Be open and honest – share what you can and if you can’t share something, tell them you can’t share yet. People will respect your honestly.
  3. Acknowledge that the message is tough to hear. Empathize with your employees. Acknowledge anger, hurt feelings, etc.
  4. Answer questions that arise and make yourself available for questions after the communication session. Some people may want to talk in private.
  5. Send an email to all recapping your message and reminding them your door is open if they would like to talk further.
  6. Follow up with you have more to share, additional information or just to “check in.”

When you plan ahead of time for a difficult communication, you will be more confident and will be better prepared to manage others when they hear the news.

Comments are closed.