I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, when I came across this article, “11 laws of internal communications” on ragan.com. And while all 11 laws are insightful and important, it’s law number two that stuck out to me the most: The law of candor.
The law of candor: Employees are adults—give them the whole truth and nothing but.
The law of candor is really about treating people as adults. Openness, truthfulness, honesty and other similar values allow for people to participate with a level of trust. With trust established, there is an increased probability of support for corporate strategy at all levels
I seek this sort of transparency among friends and family in my personal life and am a proponent of it with clients as well.
Sometimes, we come across clients who want to wait for “the right time” or until they have “all the information” before communicating with their employees. Or in other cases, even though they have all the right information, they deem the content only appropriate for leadership and not appropriate for the “average employee.”
In all of these cases, the best and right thing to do is to get rid of all hesitations and go to employees with the announcement/news/information in the spirit of honesty and authenticity. If the information is, in fact, a trade secret or financials that are highly confidential then don’t decide to completely keep it from employees. Instead, share a version of the content that is appropriate for employees. And this version should not be a deviation from the truth – instead, it should be a streamlined version which includes something along the lines of, “topline financials have not yet been announced to our key stakeholders and therefore are not included in this article. However, they will be shared with all employees during our town hall later this week.”
When you are not communicating with candor – that is, when you fail to uphold law number two—law number eight, “the law of the water cooler,” will set in. Employees will start relying on the grapevine and cooler conversations as their primary sources of information. And this could be dangerous if baseless rumors start spreading and causing unwarranted panic among your workforce.
What do you think about these 11 laws? Which ones speak to you the most? And which ones are you guilty of breaking?Back