The widely publicized drama of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is well known. The lessons in this implosion are many, but a new article in the Wall Street Journal reminds us of the importance of clear and honest communications in general, but especially with employees. In Theranos’ case, sharing partial information and not telling the whole story was obvious to employees and in the end undermined the firm’s strategy.
As crises develop and unfold, it is crucial to think of your employees as one of your most important audiences. The messages you share with them must be truthful and transparent and must cause them to nod their heads and line up behind you to confidently share your message with customers. Employees are your front line.