Submitted by engineering_mgr on
How should I address my directs' concerns about our company's longevity?
I just started on-on-ones, and discovered a common theme: my directs are worried about my company's longevity. These concerns are realistic. I am not so much worried about losing them to more secure opportunities, as wanting them to feel comfortable and high-functioning on our team. But I'm not sure how to help.
I worked for one company that had some financial challenges. The engineering VP met with us monthly and shared how we were doing. He showed us how the company did the previous year, where we were currently, and how we were doing against the plan. The CEO joined in several of these meetings. They also answered the employees questions with as much candor as possible, and shared the risks with the team as frankly as possible. This was huge for building trust and engagement. Even for employees that were not interested in reading a balance sheet. They retained most of their employees and turned things around.
I think if you don't share info people often assume the worst and the doubt and uncertainity grows. If you share, most will pitch in to help.
You have hit the nail on the head. People need to see that management has its eye on the problem, is working on it, and is honest/open about it. Otherwise too easy to decide management is unaware of the depth of the problem, or that they are considering solutions that they don't want to air (layoffs, liquidation).