Communicating About a Loss
If you're a sports fan, you’re certainly familiar with the depth of coverage your team receives in the papers and on TV – win or lose.
As excruciating as it might be to relive a blowout or last-second loss the day after, you do read about it or listen to analysis anyway. Why? Because you want to understand why it happened.
- Eliminates the fear of speaking up. Employees are skeptical about organizations that tend to sugarcoat information. Pretending that there’s only good news – or, worse yet, acting as if employees can’t handle bad news. Talking about a rough patch demonstrates a willingness to talk about the tough issues and lets employees know they can speak up too.
- Reinforces lessons learned. Communicating the why behind the loss is essential in helping correct course for the future. Straight talk about your company’s shortcomings – missed product delivery timelines, budget overruns, customer-service issues – shows courage. And, it lets employees know what areas need to be shored up to keep existing customers and avoid another loss.
- Improves collaboration. Perhaps the loss was fueled not by one department but many. Or by a combination of your company and a key supplier. As tempting as it might be to point fingers after a loss, talk with your vendors and see where disconnects occurred; explore how your internal functions collaborate – or don’t. Ask for feedback from employees, vendors, suppliers and partners. Share with your employees how a lost account will boost the level of collaboration.