Right now, employee communications could not be more challenging. The need to communicate is still there, but the messages can be hard.
Layoffs, pay cuts and poor company performance are all messages that may need to be told, but the news, obviously, isn’t good. During times like this, however, communication cannot be limited or altogether stopped. This will create more uneasiness and dissatisfaction among employees. Instead, try:
· Be direct. For example, state the company’s performance, what it means and what steps are being taken to turn it around. Don’t try to sugarcoat the information. The message will only get lost and employees will continue to wonder what the real story is.
· Rely on your history. Use any company historical anecdotes to help illustrate how the company has dealt with adversity in prior situations. Use the opportunity to reinforce company values and goals.
· Involve employees. If there is cost-cutting to be done and improvements to be made, tap into employees for ideas. Most employees will be eager to share their ideas, especially if it helps to stave a layoff.
Honest communications, even in times of an economic downturn, are still the most effective. Use the opportunity to unite employees in a very challenging environment.