How to Deliver Bad News to Your Employees

There comes a time when every CEO has to deliver bad news to employees in one form or another. Delivering the message to a single employee or the entire team can be a difficult task for anyone to undertake. Whether it is a poor performance review, layoffs, or a serious security issue, consider these ideas to get the news across as gracefully and professionally as possible. These are the ways that How to Deliver Bad News to Your Employees

Be Clear

There is no need to beat around the bush and make general statements when you are delivering bad news. Avoid the tendency to over-explain what is happening, so that you do not cloud the message. Focusing on sharing the facts can help you stay on track when you are delivering terrible news. Inc. Magazine suggests that managers should “keep the message brief, direct, and don’t sugar-coat it”. It is also a great idea to repeat the message several times to ensure that the audience fully understands exactly what you are saying.

Hold Back the Emotions

One of the worst things that you can do when announcing bad news is to be filled with emotion. If you are unstable at the time of delivering the news, it is much harder to concentrate and answer questions clearly. Not only that, but employees may actually worry more when they see your reaction. Consider finding a way to release any stress and pent-up feelings in private before making the announcement.

Be Sympathetic to Those Affected

If you have to cut the hours or even layoff a number of employees, it is important to be sympathetic to their concerns when stating the news. Delivering the message with empathy may cushion the blow far more than simply laying it out on the table. The Society of Human Resources Management suggests that you can prepare employees to receive bad news by initiating the conversation with warning phrases.  

If the business is in trouble, don’t hesitate to let employees know the truth. Trustworthy employers tell employees the reality of why hours are being cut or why people are being laid off, instead of hiding the real reasons. Keep in mind that an individual’s life can be deeply affected by the loss of hours, being laid off, or even fired, and it often means less income for them and their families. If you are giving the news to a single employee, be sure to do so in a private setting to show professionalism and respect. Large companies may decide to break employees into groups to inform one team at a time.

Be Upfront About Major Security Breaches

Security breaches are becoming more commonplace in the business world due to the increasing value of data and the capabilities of modern technology. MarketWatch claims that more than 1,300 data breaches occurred last year alone, and many more have never been reported.  

If intellectual property or confidential data from your company has been leaked through advanced persistent threats, it is imperative to tell employees what happened and how they can contribute to stronger security. If a worker is suspected of causing the breach, the entire team should be alerted that an employee may be the culprit. In addition, if the personal information of employees has been compromised, they need to know as soon as possible so they can protect themselves and their assets accordingly.

Offer Solutions If Possible

If there are solutions available to solve a serious problem that is being discussed, it is important to present those solutions to employees at the time of the meeting. U.S. News & World Report suggests that you should be prepared to answer any questions that may arise by writing information down, and you can share the solutions or options that employees may have. Taking this step can give employees more confidence moving forward with the company after hearing rough news.  

It is crucial to avoid procrastinating when it comes time to share the bad news, or you can make the blow worse than it has to be. If it is not the fault of an employee, you must take responsibility over what is happening in your business so that employees know it is not personal. Avoid waiting until the last minute to present bad news, so that employees and your business can take the necessary steps to progress beyond it afterwards. These steps are necessary in order to know How to Deliver Bad News to Your Employees

 by: Jamison Hutton