Delivering Bad News to Employees Requires Delicate Touch
Here’s a great article on how to deliver bad news to your employees with delicacy and an attention to the impact it will have on them.
Making bad news easier to swallow
By Alan King, Ragan.com
The four questions you must answer when communicating difficult or unpleasant information to employees
Many managers make the mistake of assuming that there is a way to “soften the blow” — to make bad news feel better. They use words that express their personal regret (“I’m sorry … I wish there was another option”) or imply that forces beyond their control are causing their actions (“We are a victim of the credit crunch”).
Some will even seek shelter by associating themselves with others (“Every company in our market is facing the same decision”). While these words may in fact be true, they provide more solace and comfort to the giver than the receiver.
Whether directly or indirectly affected, employees require clear, unemotional information. They want to know what, why, when and how:
- What is happening to me?
- Why is it happening to me?
- When will it happen?
- How will I be affected?
All other information, no matter how well-intentioned, is superfluous and may do more harm than good by confusing or overly complicating the message. The following are some commonsensical guidelines.