How to communicate when morale stinks

Be transparent, and use your work to create an emotional high tide that raises every boat in the harbor.

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Comms amid bad morale

Working at a company with low morale can be dreadful.

Whether your workplace is suffering through layoffs, the fear of layoffs, poor management or just a dispiriting culture of mistrust, you, brave communicator, can improve morale.

You can’t fix everything that’s broken in your organization—and you can put only so much lipstick on whatever messaging pigs you inherit—but you can use your position to uplift, encourage and energize your colleagues.

Keep these three tips in mind when morale sags:

Be transparent and direct. At some point in human history, it was determined that the best way to deliver bad news was to either ignore it or jam it deep inside a daunting mass of big words such as “confluence,” “realignment” and “re-synergizing.”

Don’t try to bury bad news underneath mounds of meaningless buzzwords. It’s like serving up burritos that look fine on the outside but are filled with limp lettuce and layoff notices. No amount of guac or sour cream can make that sort of trick palatable.

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