Crisis Communication:
A National Study of Leadership During the Financial Crisis
© 2009 - Ruby A. Rouse, PhD & Rich S. Schuttler, PhD

How effectively, if at all, are the supervisors at your organization communicating with employees about the implications of the 2008-2009 financial crisis?

“. . . little by little [management is] whittling away at employee benefits and financial security (first vacation, then pension, and now salary reductions).”

 

“They [supervisors] act like we are children, and do not have the right to know. They are secretive. We have to read it in the paper, and even then, it [communication] is not clear nor timely.”

 

“Communicating often, but few [employees] believe what we are being told. Trust has all but disappeared.”

 

“The senior leaders are totally uncommunicative, secretive, and there are no group meetings. All meetings are one on one, held in private. The senior leaders also walk about the office and openly swear and throw tantrums about how the clients are idiots and the their lack of paying their bills on time . . . [Senior leaders are] taking a bullying approach to team leadership. In my 30 years of professional experience, this is the worse senior leadership style I have witnessed.”

 

Insight from Study Participants

How, if at all, has the 2008-2009 financial crisis influenced the performance of your organization and its employees?

 

“[Employees] are worried about jobs and salaries. Work is completed more out of fear than positive motivation.”

 

“Employees are working harder for less money with little or no praise from senior management. Morale is taking a hit.”

  

Many [employees] are grateful they are currently employed during this crisis, but I believe most employees feel they have no choice but to stay in their current job until the economy gets better.”

 

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