How to Make Hard Decisions Without Damaging Your Company Culture
As a leader, making tough decisions is part of the job. Deciding to pivot the business, lay off employees, or shift strategy can be difficult.
However, the real challenge comes with communicating those decisions to the team. Miscommunication or a lack of transparency can lead to a drop in morale and even harm the team's productivity.
Let's explore how to properly communicate large-scale decisions to your team.
The Consequences of Poor Communication
Taking too long to make decisions or not being definitive in your decision-making process can have negative consequences on your team's culture.
When your team is left guessing about what's coming next, they may become anxious or uncertain about their roles in the company.
This uncertainty can lead to decreased productivity and low morale. Furthermore, failing to communicate the reasons behind your decisions can also be damaging.
For example, if you need to make layoffs, it's important to explain why and how the selection was made. Your team needs to understand why certain decisions were made to avoid further concern or speculation.
Avoid Snap Judgments
Jumping to conclusions too quickly is a common mistake that leaders make when faced with tough decisions.
When you're under pressure, it's easy to make a snap judgment without considering all the factors that might be affecting other areas of the business.
To make better decisions, give yourself and your team enough time to consider all the options. Brainstorming solutions with others on your team can help you consider all the factors and potential consequences.
When you involve your team in the decision-making process, you'll have a better chance of getting buy-in and ensuring that your decision is implemented effectively.
Communicate Clearly and Directly
Clear communication is key when it comes to making large-scale decisions. You need to be transparent and direct when communicating your decisions to your team.
Explain the reasoning behind your decisions and what the expected outcome will be. If you're unsure about the outcome, communicate that as well.
Being open and honest with your team can help you gain their trust and respect, and they'll appreciate being kept in the loop.
Plan for the Future
Making decisions that only affect the present can lead to further problems down the road.
When making tough decisions, it's important to consider how they will affect your business in the long term.
Let the team know what your future plans are. This will help them see that you're not only focused on the present, but you're also preparing for future eventualities and mitigating the chance of repeating mistakes.
Effective Communication is Key
In business, hard decisions can't be avoided. It's not just the decision that counts; it's how you communicate it that matters.
Team leaders - whether that be HR managers, department heads, or executives - hold a responsibility to the team to handle difficult choices with grace and transparency.
By taking the time to consider all angles, gathering input from your team, and being upfront and direct in your communication, you can pave the way for a positive outcome.