There are times wherein the company change is bad news to its employees. Instead of moving forward, the company actually takes a significant step backward which means the company is losing resources instead of gaining something. This is also a possibility since a company has to make some aggressive changes if they want to survive. These changes are often caused by company losses on sales, inability to perform as expected in the stock market or simply the loss of customer confidence on the brand. This will force the company to cut costs and make some rapid changes on the business setting just to survive.
When this happens, the changes are often at the employees’ loss. Job losses should always be expected as part of this type of change. The company no longer has the ability to support its employees financially. To survive they would have to terminate some employees. Their operations will slim down so that it could be controlled without having to spend too many resources.
Another unfortunate change an employee could experience from a company is when the company cut benefits for their employees. This is actually possible and the cause is deeply rooted like the first. But instead of terminating a good number of employees, the company takes on a lesser evil – negotiating or cutting down benefits the employee would usually enjoy.
Last but not the least; physical movement of a company could easily affect its employees. If a company transfers to another city or even further, the employees are faced with a dilemma – to be transferred or to be terminated.
Leaders should step in as soon as possible to avoid further problems that will come from the reaction of employees. These situations will always solicit resistance to change which could greatly affect the company productivity. Employees will be easily disheartened by the news that even though the changes are not implemented yet, productivity will be greatly affected.
Earlier the Better
A leader is not only someone who bears the great news to its members. A leader should also be the bearer of the bad news. If there’s anything that the employees need to know, they should know it as soon as possible. It would be better that your employees will know it directly from you as their leader rather than knowing these events from rumors. If the information will come from you, they will be assured that the information is correct and they can prepare about it as soon as possible.
Seeking Reasons, Not Individuals
When a company mishap happens, employees and even other leaders would tend to point to individuals as the reason for the downfall. This should not be your practice as a leader. Instead of seeking out the person responsible, seek out the rationale or the reason behind the downfall of the company. Going after the person will yield nothing except more confrontation but when the reason is examined, the solution or alternative could be sought out. Leaders and possibly employees could converge wherein each of them present a viable solution to the problem.
Leaders should be the voice of the employees as well as the voice of the upper management. Encourage the employees to voice out their frustrations about the upper management in case something wrong happens. But more importantly, encourage your employees to present solutions. You could become the negotiator in behalf of the employees. On the other hand, the upper management will also provide their offer. Be sure to tell your employees about the offer so that they will know if the company would work with them on their concerns.
The Lesser Evil
When something bad happens to the company due to recent changes, a leader has to face the fact that there are situations that the only available options are the lesser evil. Do not be afraid and stand firm on your decisions. Being a leader means dealing with a lot of bad news and difficult situations.
But making these decisions is a lot easier as long as you inform your employees about it. Each of them has opinion on the said situation and it would be better to inform them about it rather than surprising them. Bad news will always be there and the leader has to be prepared to make difficult decisions all the time.