It is fantasy for directors to think that they can keep things under wraps when their company is in difficulties.
Too often they will engage in secret meetings in the belief that it is important to keep employees in ignorance while they decide on the way forward.
At one company where I was called in to advise, the directors were having secret meetings and believing their staff knew nothing. But late one night, I happened to inspect the loos, something I often do to gauge when a company is in trouble. If the ladies’ is less than clean or tidy it can often be an indication of disaffected or unhappy employees. In this case, however, the facilities were clean enough but I could hear a phone ringing.
Further inspection revealed that the ringing phone was in the boardroom right next door with just a thin wall in between.
It is wise for directors to remember that not only do employees generally keep themselves informed of their rights for their own protection.
They also often have good instincts and sense when their company is not doing well. In this case, it would have been easy enough if they had concerns to listen in from the ladies’ to confirm their worries.