You may be asking people to make tough sacrifices right now. Reduced hours, changing jobs, making tough decisions.

You’ve thought a lot about it, so you’ve laid out the new plans. Letting every person know what they need to do and how.

But this is missing a key element: Why?

Of course you think people know, but that’s probably not true.

You’re telling me I need to take on some extra work. But is that because:

  • You’re just trying to work people to exhaustion.
  • The company is in danger of going under.
  • The priorities of our customers have changed.
  • I’m the next person to be laid off, and you’re looking for a reason.
  • You don’t like me.
  • You don’t know what you’re doing.

Some of these sound brutal, I get that. You’re a good person and wouldn’t treat your people that way. But when you don’t tell your people why things have changed, what do you think they’re going to assume.

Whatever is easiest. Or what the last person said that I talked to, who is also clueless.

The fix is obvious. Tell people why you’re changing things and asking them to as well. Give them the same reason to care that you do.

Your credibility is on the line.

This idea was leveraged from a great article, Good Leadership is About Communicating “Why” by Nancy Duarte. Check it out!