12 Approaches for Sharing Important News with Employees – the Right Way

12 Approaches for Sharing Important News with Employees — the Right Way

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Part of being the head of a company — of being a leader in general — is having to disseminate information to others. In times of success, that communication can be like riding a wave of victory. In harder times, sharing tough choices or unfortunate events can bring heartache, as well as spark rumors, all of which can damage morale. So what is the best way to share information? To find out, we asked 12 leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“You have important news to share with the entire company, something that can impact daily lives, such as the company making a key hire, or there a trending change in revenue. What is the best method to share this information? Why does that approach work better than others?”

Tips on Sharing Important News With Employees

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Give It to Them Straight

“As the founder of my company, I’m ultimately responsible for everything that happens. If there is important news to share I share it with the entire team in person or through a video conference. I don’t try to sugarcoat things and I expect people to be treated as professionals.” ~ Mauricio Cardenal, Roofing Marketing Pros

2. Create a Continuous Information Sharing Loop

“Our entire company gets together at the office every Friday for a free lunch on us. We use this time to vent, laugh and discuss essential company issues and announcements. I find that having a regular, low pressure and open place to address these items results in less anxiety for employees when big announcements are coming up. ” ~ Brandon Stapper, Nonstop Signs

3. Share It on Your Company Slack Channel

“Since everyone is mostly on Slack and working, I use our company-wide channel to announce these things. That way, everyone can comment or ask questions in a way that others see and can get involved in. This is particularly helpful since most of my team is remote.” ~ John Rampton, Calendar

4. Tell Employees In Person

“If there’s an impactful piece of news, I prefer to tell my employees in person so we can talk it through and clarify details and concerns. They appreciate me being upfront about things and telling them in person whenever possible.” ~ Rachel Beider, Massage Outpost

5. Work Your Way Out

“Get your leadership people in the room. Tell them first. Stop the spread of misinformation early. Have them distribute the information. Make sure people have everything in writing. Let them know why the decision is happening. Be honest.” ~ Derek Broman, Discount Enterprises LLC

6. Schedule an All-Hands Video Conference

“Whenever we have big news, we schedule an all hands video conference on Zoom. That way everyone hears the updates in real time and people have the chance to react and ask questions. When we had a physical office, we would hold this in person.” ~ Alex Fedorov, Fresh Tilled Soil, LLC

7. Provide the ‘Why’

“One of our agency tenets is to provide the “why” on major decisions. We encourage everyone, regardless of level, to ask why of anyone. Providing the “why” allows folks to understand the rationale for a decision rather than making assumptions, judging it without full context or reacting negatively. Reasonable people want rationale, and when you provide it, it’s far easier to get people on board.” ~ Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

8. Use the Traction Method

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman describes a method for making a decision and informing the stakeholders. First, write down who is accountable for relaying the information. Next, decide the communication deadline. Then, list the names of people affected directly by the decision. Lastly, list the names of people who need to be informed. Use this communication plan so nothing slips through the cracks.” ~ Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

9. Remember the Follow-Up

“Big news warrants a face-to-face discussion. You should already be having regular team or company-wide check-ins. That’s a great way to begin a conversation and answer initial questions. However, follow-up in writing via whatever communication method your company prefers, so that the team can reference the information later and reach out with additional questions or concerns.” ~ Ryan Wilson, FiveFifty

10. Celebrate Small Wins Together

“The road to a successful company can be many years longer than anyone imagined at the beginning. We try to celebrate “small wins” by ringing a bell or finding other ways to announce and celebrate together in person. Without these moments, it’s easy to dwell too long on slow progress or failed experiments.” ~ Natalya Bailey, Accion Systems Inc.

11. Be Transparent

“Don’t hem and haw for weeks about the “best” way to communicate a big decision. The longer you stew on it, the bigger and bigger the issue may seem to you. You’ll come across as less confident when you do finally deliver the news and your employees will notice. Be fully transparent and notify everyone as soon as you’re in the planning stages, and it will be easier for everyone down the road.” ~ Roger Lee, Human Interest 401(k)

12. Reach Everyone by Using Multiple Channels

“To ensure every employee gets the message, news should be distributed in different formats for maximum visibility. If a major hire is discussed at a meeting, be sure to record it. The video can be distributed via email and social media. It allows all viewers to hear the speaker’s tone of voice, gestures, expression and body language. All of these things can make a message much more impactful.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

Photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

3 Reactions
  1. Nowadays, we have so many ways to communicate. You can also have a dedicated Facebook page just for that.

  2. Great Post. Communication is extremely important for any organisation and when it comes to sharing important news to the employees, it must be done in right way. Being a HR Manager, I found all the ways important and should be selected as per the culture of organisation and type of news.