How to break bad news to your employees

Have to tell the troops about layoffs, an upper-level scandal, an imminent hostile takeover or divestment? Learn how to lessen the blow—and boost employee understanding.

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As a former emergency department doctor, Dr. Susan O’Malley learned how to deliver bad news.

Now the owner and medical director of Madison Med Spa, O’Malley says it’s imperative to deliver your message clearly, so there is no confusion.

“Speak directly and honestly so you get your message across, but have compassion,” she says. “Don’t ever say, ‘It’s not personal; this is only business.’ It’s always personal.”

O’Malley highlights a point often made by experts in delivering bad news to employees.

A free guide from Ragan Communications and Kollective tip sheet, “13 musts for breaking bad news to your employees,” helps executives and communicators convey adverse information clearly and compassionately.

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