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Having tough conversations with employees

With the impact COVID19 is leaving on the retail industry, there will no doubt have been many tough conversations had, and more to come. It won't be easy, however, we’ve listed some useful tips below on how to make those conversations as productive and positive a possible. 

Be Clear & Honest
Be prepared for the conversation, be direct and get to the point quickly. Difficult conversations become even more difficult when the delivery is jumbled or disorganised.

Be Empathetic
While your delivery should be direct this doesn't mean you shouldn’t empathize. Think of how the recipient will feel during the conversation and allow them to process their emotions. If you can see that they are struggling to come to terms with what you’re saying, slow it down and allow them a moment to gather themselves. 

Allow Questions
Include them in the conversation, don’t let it be one-sided.  Asking questions will help build an understanding to the ‘why’s and whats’ of why this is happening. It also allows you to clear up details of the conversation so that everyone involved is on the same page. 

Manage Emotions
It may be difficult to deliver bad news if you have a close working relationship with the other person involved, don’t let your emotions speak for you and govern your delivery. It’s important to keep things professional and factual. There will be opportunities outside of this conversation to speak at a more personal level.

Provide Solutions
Once you have clearly explained the reason for the conversation, change the focus to what happens next. There may be immediate solutions to implement, or a road to move forward on. Make sure everyone involved in the conversation is aware of what those solutions are.

The next time you find yourself having to have a difficult conversation, keep the above points in mind to assure the conversation is productive and well received.