In my company’s research, 84 percent of employees polled felt that communications about major changes in their companies are handled poorly. If you want to ensure your colleagues join that anxious 84 percent, here are three surefire ways to mishandle a significant announcement:
1. Keep everything under wraps until every detail is final. This is a fine idea—if your goal is to make employees insecure and uneasy. If workers already suspect change is afoot, you can bet rumors will spread. Giving workers the silent treatment only fuels anxiety and speculation.
2. Tell them what they want to hear. Even if there are currently no plans for layoffs, should you promise the staff that all their jobs are safe? If plans change, you’ll have ruined your credibility. Don’t make empty promises you know you can’t guarantee. Short-term salves are not worth long-term fury, backlash and fallout.