Learning how to effectively deliver bad news at work can be instrumental in maintaining positive relationships with employees at work (at the individual and group level), mitigating reputational risk associated with communication of negative events, and reducing employee’s likelihood to engage in wrongful dismissal or bad faith-based lawsuits. This professional development session aims to help you maintain positive relationships with employees — both those whom you oversee and those to whom you report — and explore internal contradictions you feel during this process. The session will walk you through strategies for planning, delivery of bad news, and post-delivery management.
Research shows that organizational agents struggle with the delivery of bad news in the workplace (e.g., poor performance reviews, dismissals, workforce reductions, business unit level changes, reorganization, non-selection for opportunities at work, etc.). However, there is little development, training, and investment in evidence-based best practices to guide communicators/leaders during negative events. The result is significant variations in what message is sent, how it is sent and how it is received.
In this intensive program, you will learn how to effectively frame, manage, and deliver bad news in the workplace. You will explore topics and engage in activities that are directly transferrable to your role in guiding employee performance improvement, managing dismissals, and restructuring.
Upon successful completion of both components of the training (virtual training sessions and Skills-Based Assessment), you will earn a digital badge in Communicating Bad News at Work.
By the end of the training, you should be able to:
- Dissect the communication process to develop a blueprint on how to effectively communicate bad news at work in a variety of contexts and situations;
- Apply techniques used in the communications process (pre, during and post) to effectively conduct bad news meetings;
- Use verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to favourably affect receiver perceptions of blame assignment, fairness, justice, equity, level of event negativity, legitimacy, accountability, and mistrust in management.
- Recognize and avoid contextual factors that can cause you to deviate from the primary message;
- Evaluate the limitations of your role and work within them, and;
- Practice methods to bypass or mitigate challenges presented.
Designed for those working in Human Resources Management, Professional and Organizational Development Professionals, Organizational Leaders.
The Role of the HR Agent
- Change Management
- Catch-22 Perspective
- Balancing Employee and Employer Needs
- Employment and OH&S Reminders
Preparing for the Communication
- Timing and Medium of Delivery
- Decision-Making Considerations
- Management Distancing
- Power Perceptions
- Rehearsals and Training
- Mitigating the MUM Effect
- Framing Effect
Delivering the Message
- Truth Telling and Information Disclosure
- De-escalation Techniques
- Employee Voice
- Triggers to Information Seeking Behaviours
- Account Giving: Messaging and Blame Assignment
- Non-Verbal Cues
- Speakers Tone
- Public and Employee Relations
- Survivor Syndrome
- Appeals and Negotiations
- EAP and Outplacement Services
Part 1: Training Session(s)
The training session will be delivered virtually over two days. Participants will spend 3.5 hours each day (with 15-minute break) participating in the virtual sessions. Sessions will engage in lecture and interactive small and large group activities and discussion that will promote practice and reflection.
The virtual training session will be held as follows:
Day 1: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 – 9:00 am – 12:30 pm ET
Day 2: Thursday, August 12, 2021 – 9:00 am – 12:30 pm ET
Part 2: Skills-Based Assessment
The Skills-Based Assessment is completed online via the University of Guelph’s CourseLink Learning Management System. Evidence of skill attainment will be demonstrated through a portfolio or scenario-based evaluation and include a reflective video or written component. The assessment will require approximately 8-12 hours of effort to complete.
Information on how to enroll to take the Skills-Based Assessment will be provided to you at the completion of the training component.
Due: Monday, October 11, 2021, by 11:59 pm ET
Skills Recognition: Digital Badge
Once you receive a passing grade, you will be issued a digital badge verified and recognized by the University of Guelph. The badge will confirm the specific skill/competency achieved, assessment completed, and issuing institution. You can download your digital badge and share your achievement on your social media networks and with your employer.
All learning materials will be provided in the training session and within the online environment for the skills-based assessment.
This training uses Zoom for the virtual training sessions. To participate, you will need:
- An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
- Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
- A webcam or HD webcam -built-in or USB plug-in
CourseLink System Requirements
The Skills-Based Assessment will be assessed through the University of Guelph’s Learning Management System, CourseLink. Please ensure that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements.