In businesses across the country, employees are dealing with increasing uncertainty.
They are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis and interest rates are rising rapidly, which means some will be worried about paying their mortgages. Energy costs have increased, tech companies are laying off staff and in other sectors there is a shortage of qualified staff.
Especially when you have new business messages to deliver, the business managers need to be willing and able to reassure concerned team members and need to be able to respond to their questions in order to maintain morale and avoid losing key talent.
The most important thing that business leaders can do in this type of economic environment is to stop and think about how best to communicate consistently. The management team need to be on the same page, and they all need to know what’s going to be said so they are prepared to handle any questions that they receive. Otherwise, the message could be undermined.
During uncertain times, it is important to communicate with your people face to face. It may be easier to send an email, but a good business leader should speak to their people in person. Prepare to share key messages and allow time for questions afterwards. Invite feedback and suggestions as this shows that you value your team members’ input.
It is important to acknowledge any new information that comes to light in a developing situation. However, it’s also important to avoid making promises that you can’t keep. After all, if a promise falls through, it really undermines the management team.
If there is bad news to be conveyed, then keep it simple and straightforward. Use plain English and explain why certain decisions have been made. If you want to reassure people in uncertain times, you need to share the business’s strategy with them; be clear about where the firm is going and how you plan to get there.