With tales of layoffs and bankruptcies everywhere you turn, people are a little more panicky around the office. But your supervisors could unknowingly be adding fuel to the fire.
That means now’s the time for managers to be extra-reassuring. Not unrealistic of course — in fact, your company’s honesty may be the most important thing you can give your staffers right about now.
There are several ways company leaders are making their people even more nervous, without even realizing it. Two all-too-common traps:
- Too many closed-door meetings. Odds are supervisors are talking about something completely innocuous in that conference room. But as people’s imaginations run wild, they can convince themselves that the company’s going under and everyone will be out of a job by 3 p.m. today.
- Too few details given. “Meeting at 2:30 p.m.” That’s the one where everyone will be let go, right? Give people an idea of what you’ll be talking about that afternoon. There’s no need to dole out a full agenda, but a hint is better than having people waste the next five hours speculating.
Your best plan for supervisors throughout your organization in these shaky times: over-communicate.
The news may not always be good. But by periodically updating employees on how your company and your industry’s faring — and answering questions as honestly as possible — you won’t also face a productivity dip from overly-nervous staffers.