I got to connect with an old friend the other day.
We drove, we talked, we got coffee, and we talked some more.
We talked about new starts and changes.
We talked about career paths and work.
We talked about good times and bad.
Then we talked about organizations.
My friend watched an organization try to move forward.
The moving forward required some changes.
The changes would impact employees.
The organization forgot to Tell Them (the employees, the staff, the people that would be impacted), and their top talent began to leave.
After many people left, the organization learned a valuable lesson.
Tell Them why the changes are happening.
Tell Them the larger plan.
Tell Them why these moves are so important.
There are so many excuses not to Tell Them.
“We were waiting until everything was perfect.”
“We were not sure how the news would be received.”
“We think it will upset our customer.”
The longer you wait to Tell Them, the more other stories build.
Stories that erode trust.
Stories that assume the worst.
Stories that will undo the progress you are trying to make.
There are always reasons and excuses not to communicate.
But there is a simple solution: Tell Them.
Even bad news is more widely accepted when you are straightforward, open, and transparent.
Instead of being afraid of what they will do with the information, we should be more afraid of what they will do without it.