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Communications During Restructuring

Communications During Restructuring

communications during restructuring

With so much uncertainty and many businesses suffering, it’s time to have a candid conversation about how to communicate as you restructure. This is trickier communications than the messages everyone has been sending out about COVID-19. We are not just adjusting hours or changing business practices in light of the virus. We have to maintain confidence, tamp down fear, and show leadership that we will persevere.

This is a time for leadership. Once you have your plan, communicate it to your employees and stakeholders confidently. Convey that you as the business owner believe in your company’s ability to weather this crisis.

It’s not going to be a surprise, so don’t make it one. No employee wants to hear that they are losing their job or facing a reduction in hours, but it will not be a surprise to your employees given what’s going on. If your company’s doors are currently shut or no customers are coming in, it won’t be a shock. We all know what COVID-19 has done to the economy.  So, give it to your employees straight and as soon as it makes sense.

Know what the scary terms mean. If you “furlough” an employee, you are asking them to work fewer hours or take a certain amount of unpaid time off. Though furloughs suck, they are usually meant to be temporary. A “layoff” is a temporary separation from payroll, usually when there is not enough work to perform. Laid-off employees should be able to collect unemployment benefits, during what is hoped to be a temporary situation. A “reduction in force” means that a position is being permanently eliminated. A temporary layoff may lead to a permanent reduction in force. (Note that you should consult with a human resources or legal professional when making these types of decisions.)

Develop a strategy and implement a plan. Aside from the financial calculations, you need to create and distribute effective communications which might include news releases, social media posts, websites, fact sheets and training materials. You have to coach-up managers to communicate with employees and be prepared to handle media inquiries.

If you are considering or are currently restructuring your business, let me know, and we can discuss a plan to help you best communicate with your stakeholders. We are currently developing an online toolkit to assist business owners quickly and efficiently. You can call me anytime to discuss at 305-724-3903.


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