How to Break Bad News to Employees

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. However, sometimes, it is unavoidable. Here are some tips on how to handle delivering bad news to your employees.
  • Be face-to-face. Schedule a meeting with all the employees the decision affects and talk them through what is going to happen. This will help prevent disgruntlement as they have been told straight up what has happened or will be happening.
  • Allow time for processing. If the bad news is something that will greatly affect a person’s employment, give them some time to process what is going on. Schedule a later time to meet with them if they need further clarification.
  • Be ready for lots of questions. You may not have all the answers – especially if the decision has been made by higher management – but you can listen to your employee’s questions and reassure them that you will find answers for them as quickly as possible.
  • If the bad news is related to position changes or redundancies, handle with care. Ensure that all employees understand how the changes will affect them and, if their position has been made redundant, if there are any redeployment options available to them.

It is never easy to deliver bad news. Like ripping off a bandage, it is easier to get it over and done with quickly, rather than dragging the process out because you’re worried about backlash. It is best that your employees are on the same page and understand what is going on to reduce ill feelings towards yourself and your organisation.

For more information on how to deliver bad news contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or


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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.