Two weeks I returned from the United States to South Sudan, twelve Norwegian People’s Aid or NPA, an international organization’s staff, sued the organization to the high court for terminating their contracts abruptly. One of the terminated employees, Denaya Dennis, told me that according to the notification letters they received prior to their termination, the organization said they have no funds to continue paying their salaries. I also asked NPA country director in South Sudan, Per Helge Persen, he said the workers they send away are not qualified to do the work because they want to improve the quality of the programs. Imagine the relationship between the employer and the employees just ended imperfectly because of unclear message. Read more about internal communication to improve on employee’s performance in an organization or company.

Delivering bad news to your workers is like removing a Band-Aid. The employee may think that you just don’t like him or her. If you don’t put it correctly, the whole thing will end personal. Many managers choose the first option without digesting it or knowing the end result. They delay and then leak it out in drips and drabs, turning it into a painful ordeal for their employees. The next time you have to break bad news, get the news out quickly and effectively. Here’s what to do.

Tell them what’s going on. Provide a clear, brief summation of the news you must break. Focus specifically on what it will mean to your team’s immediate future—this is not the moment to worry about the big picture. Yes, be clear and to the point.

Explain why it’s happening. Be prepared to explain the reasons behind what is going on. Does a cut down improve your company’s competitive position? Are economic forces hurting your bottom line? Be as forthright as possible. If you are straight with employees now, they will trust you as things move forward.

Show some empathy. Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re upset, too. “Frankly, I was surprised by this, and I understand if you are feeling a bit shocked …” or, “I understand and share your concerns.”

Tell them what’s next. Once you’ve explained what’s happening and why, shift the conversation to the specific actions employees can take next. Give them something constructive to do instead of letting them stew in anxiety.

The strongest motivation doesn’t come from external factors like shouting orders and flinging bonuses around. Instead it’s internal, coming from within your employees. You’ll get more productivity from your workforce by drawing their inward motivation to the surface. Here are three ways to do it. Link your organization’s needs to employees’ goals. For example, a training course may make your employee more productive; it can also open up opportunities for his or her advancement.

Try to become a coach as well as a boss. Listen to employees, and give them feedback that supports their goals. Money is a good motivator, but it’s far from the best option—and not always the most effective. Work with employees to identify rewards that they’ll value than disqualifying them from what they had been doing in your organization or company for long. Tickets to entertainment or sporting events, for instance, or simply time off. At that moment that good relationship the organization has ith it’s staff has ended up badly.

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