What time of the day do you feel all right to receive a bad news?
If you work in HR, there is no way you can escape this unexciting yet inevitable part of your job…Breaking bad news. Termination, shut down, relocation, negative performance review etc, there’s an endless list of bad news that HR has to share with employees. But do you time your bad news? I was caught in a perpetual discussion today about what’s an ideal time to beak a bad news to an employee?
Is it late in the day?
While the practice of sharing bad news in latter half of the day is widely practiced but does this mean it will cause less disappointment to the employee? After spending his most energetic hours working for your company, is it OK giving your employee the bad news at a time when he is feeling self satisfied for his day’s job and is preparing for next day’s schedule?
Is it on Friday?
Sharing bad news on a Friday will give employee time to settle with it over the weekend with time and support of his family and near ones is the common belief. But doesn’t that mean spoiling/ disturbing his relaxation time and plans? To the employee, it means limited or no access to his professional network (during the weekend) when he needs it the most.
Is it at the start of the day?
Why not? After all an active mind and body deals better with negative news and circumstances. The employee will be more receptive and understanding to the alternatives provided (if any) and will have more time to choose their reaction, options.
Is it at the beginning of the week?
How about doing it from Monday through Wednesday? Most of the HR experts agree that it’s a better decision as it gives your employee time to reach/contact his professional associates (over the remaining week) to discuss and look for alternatives.
Sharing a bad news is never easy and whatever time and way you choose, it is never appreciated by the receiver/employees. Despite this, how well you plan and how efficiently you handle your employee’s emotions and reaction afterwards does make a difference. What are your views on this?