Why relaying bad news is good for business

Why relaying bad news is good for business

We all understand how important communication is, especially at a time like this. We need to be informed about what is going on. We need to hear the bad news, and how its might affect us, as much as good news. And so do your employees, suppliers, subcontractors, clients and customers.

So, have you effectively communicated what you are doing, what you plan to do and how this will affect them? Do they know what your position is? Here I’ll outline why relaying bad news is good for business.


For employees, they will be worried about about their jobs and paying bills and of course their own health and safety. It’s time to step up as a leader. They want to know where they stand and quickly. Is there anything you should be doing to ease their fears? If you’re looking to carry on as normal, reduce hours, furlough or make redundancies, then tell them now so they can plan ahead. Your actions now, no matter what they are, need to be communicated by you.

Suppliers and Subcontractors

With regards to suppliers and subcontractors, have you communicated your current needs? Are they waiting for you to contact them, or should you be a little more proactive and engage with them as early as you can. Build that trust now, as it will be gratefully received and they too can plan.

Clients and Customers

Finally, your clients and customers. Have you reassured them that you can still undertake their works this year? Some of them may have been waiting months for you to commence on site, so ease their pain and let them know you will be there for them. If you have to cancel or postpone works, then the earliest you can let them know the better. Also, what alternatives could you offer them, rather than leave them deflated? When will you call them back or is there anyone else you could pass work on to? This may seem like you’re losing a client, but the good will should be recognised, either by them as a returning customer or word of mouth that you are a company who understands and respects them.

You may seem to be the bearer of bad news and that may not sit comfortably with you but, as the saying goes, ‘forewarned is forearmed’. Give the right message to the right people at the right time. Difficult to master, but master it you must.

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