What happens when employees experience feelings of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety about the future direction of the organization? What if they are not clear about the plans for the future amidst some challenging financial circumstances? What if the organization's leaders have not explained the strategic direction clearly, concisely, and simply? It's pretty simple: as a leader, if you leave a vacuum, your people will fill it. How will they fill it? They will fill it with speculation, gossip, and assumptions. As a leader, you need to avoid that type of behavior.
You need to communicate clearly and frequently, so that no such vacuum exists. Don't leave room for fear and anxiety to fester. What if you don't have the future plans completely figured out? Don't wait until you have it all straightened out to communicate with your people. Tell them what you can about your plans, and explain the process you are using to clarify your course of action. Keep them updated on your progress in the planning process. Finally, make sure you keep you finger on the pulse of the organization, so that you know how people are feeling about the uncertainty facing the organization. As Jack Welch once said, "You communicate, communicate, and communicate some more. Consistency, simplicity, and repetition is what it's all about."