17 May 2012

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Um, yes I can. And so can employees.  

Don’t bury bad news. Put it up front and center. Like a Band-Aid, rip it off, tell it outright. But then follow it up with the business reason. Employees may not like the news, but give them the opportunity to process it and understand it.

“Because I said so” isn’t a business reason. But neither is “In an effort to manage rising costs, we’re changing our health insurance plan.” OK, so that is a reason. But on its own, it says nothing to the employee. (And, ahem, we’ve been guilty of using that line.) Give it to them straight, but in a meaningful way. In a few sentences, you can explain how changing plans will help save money for everyone and the benefits of the new plan(s).

Bottom line: Change is hard for most of us. But explain the “why” in a meaningful way and employees might be more likely to accept it.