Communicating a hard message

Part One

Avatar - Dean

Dean is about to tell his team that they are going to be re-structured.

After the recent merger, it has become clear that many of the team members don’t have enough work to keep them busy – there are teams in other locations that do similar functions.

Dean’s team is multinational and although he’s based in France, just over half the team are based in other countries.

The main factors for the restructuring are:

•    Overlap in function with other teams
•    Higher cost (salary) than other similar teams
•    Inefficient processes
•    Outdated skillset in the team

Dean is a Simple oriented thinker, with a Facts approach to decision making. He is also an Explicit communicator.

When he gathers the team together in an online meeting to let them know, it’s all over in 15 minutes. It’s at such short notice, that Helena wasn’t able to find childcare, so replied asking him to update her afterwards; Sun Li declined the invitation, replying that the meeting was scheduled for 10.30pm in his time zone.

During the meeting, he doesn’t try to make it sound any easier than it is and doesn’t give many details. He tells them that headcount will reduce from 17 to 8 – the remaining people will be redeployed to other parts of the business.

He ends the meeting saying that everyone will go through an interview process at the end of which he will decide who will be made redundant.

You are the manager who will inherit the employees who will be redeployed, including Dean.

What feedback might you give him on his approach to communication?