Business brass seen botching financial crisis communication

Study: Ostrich behavior exacerbating workers’ worries over economic turmoil.

Study: Ostrich behavior exacerbating workers’ worries over economic turmoil

News headlines may have moved on from stock market losses and bankruptcies to health care reform and town halls, but many companies are still grappling with financial difficulties, overworked employees and shrinking budgets.

And the status-quo internal communications tactics don’t appear to cut it anymore.

A new study (PDF), “Crisis Communication: A mixed method study of supervisor leadership and employee performance during the 2008-2009 financial crisis,” paints a grim picture of internal communications during the financial crisis, according to respondents polled this summer. A strikingly high percentage of the 1,150 working adults surveyed—64 percent—said their supervisors didn’t change the way they communicated with employees despite the financial crisis. That business-as-usual mentality left 82 percent of employees frustrated with their employers.

There is an upside, however. It may not be too late to change; leaders just need to regain trust.

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