Dropping the Bomb: How a Bad Boss Delivers Bad News to Employees
It’s a fact that being a bad boss is not easy, especially when you need to deliver bad news to your employees.
Typical reasons for needing to deliver bad news to employees, include:
- Legal Issues
- Product Recalls
- Large Scale Layoffs
- Untimely Departure of an Executive
As you will notice, there are three critical techniques in delivering any bad news to an employee and that is to deliver the message FAST, don’t apologize, and always make your exit swiftly. Do not remain in the room as this will only cause the employee more stress as they try to choke back their tears in front of you. Never admit any blame or apologize for any grievance. Avoiding questions is in everyone’s best interest to minimize confrontation.
- With the bad boss, there is always the direct approach when delivering bad news to employees, “You’re all fired. There are empty boxes lining this wall for a reason; use them, people!” Hand an empty box to the nearest employee standing next to you. Don’t apologize and make your exit swiftly.
- SANDWICH the bad news into the conversation. For a softer approach, start by saying something positive, slip the negative statement in quickly, and then close with a distraction. Try this for an example, “Thank you all for coming in to work today, our office is closing and your last check will be delivered Friday, we’re providing Pizza for lunch for those who finish the week with us”. Make your exit swiftly to avoid questions.
- Politician Approach – If you somehow become trapped in an uncomfortable situation where questions fly your way by disgruntled employees, just deny everything like a politician! “What are you talking about? No, we did not promise free Pizza for lunch today, but you will get your paychecks”. Your goal was to get the employees to work till Friday; mission accomplished. Remember, you have two different party’s interests at heart, that of the employee and of upper management. But, for the bad boss, upper management comes first and that might take a little lying.
- Let them find out from others… Still don’t like the idea of communicating to your employees or the potential confrontation? There is always the option to allow your employees find out the company is going out of business from outsiders, the news, or your public press release. This tactic is especially effective if you feel that your staff might jump ship early if they are tipped off about the bad news. You could also let them continue to blissfully work unaware of the pending danger, and then place a note on the locked doors for them to encounter upon arriving to work on Friday.
- Corporate jargon deliverance speech: Is your superior in some amount of bad publicity due to his or her unexplained and untimely exit? Avoid hurting the entire company’s morale by keeping this questionable detail to yourself. Instead of telling the truth, the best way to deliver this news is with a departmental or company-wide speech that is filled with very confusing corporate jargon. “Despite what you may hear in the news, we are encouraging a new green initiative and Bill has graciously volunteered to be our first work-from-home executive”. As always, make your exit swiftly.
Or you could deliver good news in person, and bad news in Email:
Disclaimer: Bad Boss posts are meant for entertainment purposes only and are not to be taken seriously.