Overly optimistic communication makes employees nervous
Some 84% of executives say their communication is intentionally “optimistic.” That’s a mistake.
Withholding bad news makes employees feel uncertain. That uncertainty can be worse than the bad news itself.
Indeed, research by David M. Schweiger and Yaakov Weber shows that communicating bad news as well as good decreases employees’ uncertainty and stress.
Bad news increases employees’:
- Job satisfaction
- Trust in the company
- Intention to stay at the company
How can you improve employee relations by communicating the bad along with the good?
Sources: TJ Larkin & Sandar Larkin, “Communicate the Good and the Bad,” Larkin Page No. 46, October 2006
David M. Schweiger and Angelo S. Denisi, “Communication with Employees Following a Merger: A Longitudinal Field Experiment,” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1, March 1991, pp. 110-135
David M. Schweiger and Yaakov Weber: “Strategies for Managing Human Resources during Mergers and Acquisitions: An Empirical Investigation,” HR – Human Resource Planning, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1989, pp. 69-86