In the upside-down world of 2020, many companies were scrambling to figure out how to deal with not only the Covid-19 and related crises but being ready for whatever the future holds. While survival is top of mind, frankly it’s not just the company’s survival that matters. All your stakeholders, especially employees, are experiencing the same uncertainty and insecurity. How and what you communicate during these times are critical not only for the near term, but especially for the long term.
There’s often a natural tendency to keep the big problems to yourself or your leadership team, believing you’re protecting workers from bad news. But if you don’t share at least the essence of what’s going on and what you’re considering doing about it, employees will likely assume the worse and begin figuring out how to protect themselves and their families, pulling away just when you may need them more dedicated. While honest conversations are tough, they also provide an opportunity to engage your employees (who know the business better than anyone) in identifying additional ways solve problems, whether that means cutting expenses or identifying new opportunities for growth. So go ahead and share bad news with your full team and be open to their help…it may do some good in bad times.