According to Communication World, 64% of the workers say they often don’t believe what management says. No wonder, in one study, only 15% of managers say their communication reflects the “whole truth.”
The trouble is–it’s not easy to tell the “whole truth” in times of change. Managers think they’ll have a better chance of inspiring employee commitment if they sugar coat the harsh realities of change.
Not true. Even though it’s difficult to tell employees that they’ll probably be short staffed indefinitely, that promotions are unlikely, and that overtime may be the norm for a while, truth telling creates the possibility of partnership. You’re admitting that you may not be able to minimize the employees’ pain during the change, but perhaps more importantly, you’re maintaining the company’s credibility for telling the truth.
And that’s not a small thing. We know that people can work together, even if they don’t like what the other one says, as long as they know they can trust what is said.
So think of something at work where you are tempted to “sugar coat” the truth. Then think of two benefits you’d receive if you simply told it the way it was. Now go out and do it — if it’s appropriate.