I’ve seen far too many executives work extraordinarily hard behind closed doors trying to figure out what to say and how to say it to their employees. They will literally invest weeks working to figure out what the right thing is to do before they finally settle on a particular path.
The problem is they think that the employees have been involved all along. When the employees complain they don’t know what is expected of them in terms of results or behaviors, the executive can’t figure out why they feel that way. The reason is because the executive did not communicate all the way to the finish line. The message has not been delivered just because you’ve been thinking about it.
Take the time to clearly communicate to the people being affected by the decision. Ask them what they understand you have just said. See if their understanding matches up with what you wanted to tell them. It does no good to criticize an employee for not behaving appropriately if you haven’t explained what behaving appropriately really means.