Psssst. Your employees want to hear from you.
Category: Blog - October 22, 2008
With record job losses, shrinking 401(k) balances and dizzying market fluctuations it's no wonder employees want to hear from their senior leaders about the economic environment. A recent study revealed that:
- 71% of people felt that their company's leadership should be communicating more about current economic problems.
- 54% have not heard from company leaders at all on the impact of the financial crisis on their company.
Given the fluid nature of this financial crisis, it's not surprising some senior leaders have been slow to add their commentary - even the experts are having a hard time getting the message right.
Perhaps leaders are waiting to see what happens, are worrying about their own jobs or fear they don't have the answers employees want to hear (i.e., the "me topics" such as job security and layoffs, compensation, benefits and 401 (k) plans). C-level leaders should set aside these and other concerns and focus on quickly communicating a few, simple things including:
- Their thoughts about the economic environment
- The impact it's having on the business, its customers or clients
- What they need from employees
- How they plan to keep employees informed
It doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, it's probably better that it's not. Waiting to communicate could cost you in employee productivity and morale. And employees are ready to give you their support. The recent study conducted by Weber Shandwick also showed that nearly 90% of employees who have heard from their senior leaders found those leaders "believable" and "trustworthy" sources on the topic.
Employees will feel better just knowing the economy is on your mind and you're willing to talk about it. Don't worry about getting it perfect or having to adjust your message later. Employees already know from watching the news, reading the paper and engaging in online conversations that the economic environment will continue to change.
Kellie Due Weiland