Director of Product Design at BoomTown
For the last 10 years, I've worked with companies of all sizes to solve their hardest problems by utilizing design thinking.
Delivering bad news is never easy but, when it's unforeseen (firings, downsizings, PR nightmare, etc.) it's best to be quick, direct and not shoot from the hip.
It's best to get your thoughts laid out ahead of time. This is a poor time to try and wing it. Make sure you cover: what happened, how the news impacts your team and how it impacts the employee directly. (details are key here). Framing and verbiage are huge! "Julie is no longer with us. Julie couldn't hack it. Julie realized she wasn't passionate about her role anymore" All the same outcome, completely different perception.... See more
When news happens, don't allow others to twist the truth or create rumors. Address it head on as soon as possible. Yes, these are hard conversation but, the longer you let it fester the more false expectations you have to address.
Find a location outside of your typical flow. You'd be surprised how honest people are outside of the "company walls". Other ideas are grabbing a coffee, lunch, or finding a room in your office that's warm and friendly to discuss the news.
Put yourself in their shoes - when's the best time to talk about this? Set them up to digest the information accordingly. Example: Dumping bad news on someone before a client pitch, a weekend or a big deadline they're under is not ideal. If it has to happen under this scenario, let them know you're there to help with their workload if they need time to deal with the situation.... See more
Not everyone deals with change or bad news the same. Following-up after your initial conversation allows you to see how they're dealing with the situation. Key in on changes in behavior from their normal traits and see if they need some time away from the office if they're handling it very poorly.... See more