While scanning the business headlines on Monday, I noticed an article on the unexpected departure of a very senior-level executive from a local company. The article was, as they generally are, short on details but long on innuendo.
For employees at that company, it was not a good way to start the morning — or the year.
I happen to have a friend who manages internal communications for that company, so I shot her a quick email to ask if she needed some tips for handling the announcement to her employees.
As I suspected, she had everything under control. Since she actually had a few hours of advance notice before the press release was issued, she was able to draft a broadcast email announcing the departure and some talking points to help managers field questions from their employees.
The early feedback was good – employees felt informed and managers felt they were able to address concerns and get everyone focused on the business again.
Executive departures, even planned retirements, are difficult for employees and will cause distractions and disruptions in the workplace. So when a senior-level staff member departs the organization, communicators need to take a minute to think about how to communicate, as well as what to communicate, to their employees.
Want to know more? In this video “Telling Employees about an Executive Departure”, I share some tips for both the “how” and the “what” to communicate, and thoughts on the importance of reassuring your staff about the long-term viability of the organization.