How to Deliver Bad News to Your Staff

Management Tips: 3 Ways to Deliver Bad News to Your Team

There comes a time for every employer when you’re forced to deliver bad news to your staff. We all know that telling someone something that they don’t want to hear is never an easy task. However, there are certain ways to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Make a plan
While it may seem strange to write out a script, jotting down a few notes in advance of delivering the news can help you organize your thoughts. Deciding what you’re going to say will help you stay focused during the encounter. You don’t need to bring your notes with you, but having a plan for how you’ll approach the situation will really help guide you through.

Stay on topic
There’s nothing worse than knowing bad news is coming and having to sit through preliminary small talk. Don’t beat around the bush. Explain the news to your staff and stay on topic as you continue to help them understand the circumstances. This is not the time to try and sugar coat anything, nor will it help your staff accept the news if you continually trail off or start discussing a new topic.

Talk first. Listen second.
When you’re delivering bad news, it’s important to stay in the driver’s seat for the initial stage of the conversation. Tell your employee (or employees) calmly and clearly what the situation is and how things will proceed. Then, after you’ve fully explained the news, give them a chance to process and respond. A common manager mistake is to concentrate so much on delivering the news that you forget to hear an employee’s response.

Be tactful
Giving bad news is difficult, but receiving bad news is even harder. Particularly if your news involves company cutbacks or layoffs, try to remain as respectful as possible as you explain yourself. Keep in mind that emotions might be running high. Choose your words wisely and make yourself available if anyone needs to talk further.

To learn more about delivering bad news to your staff, contact The SPARKS Group today. As HR experts, we can provide lots of additional tips!

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