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Make Bad News Constructive

May 21, 2013

Daily ReadMake Bad News Constructive

No one likes to hear they aren’t meeting their goals and they need to step it up or worse, that they don’t fit into the company culture or that the company’s being downsized. But, sometimes bad news is inevitable, and it will affect small numbers or larger groups of employees. The key to keeping bad news constructive is preemptive damage control. Here’s how:

1.       Know Your Employees. Some people will be emotionally affected by what you’re going to do and it’s best to give them the courtesy of letting them know in private, especially if a larger group is affected and an announcement will be made.

2.       Keep the Door Open. After an announcement is made and bad news has been shared make sure you keep the lines of communication open to clarify any misunderstandings and answer questions. This will help avoid a mass of angry employees.

3.       Be Prepared for Change. If you are asking your employees to step up their performance or goals, the management has to be ready to change too. Engage management and reassign leadership if necessary to help the change reach bottom to top. Employees need to see you are serious about change.

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