4) Check in.  Frequently.  Listen closely.   Follow-up.  

Sounds like a sales call?  Crazy that we don’t do this with our employees.  We’re always trying to improve our customer service – how about always improving the work world of our employees (your most important advocates)? 

“Hey Bob, on a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling about working here?”  Anything less than a 10 can be followed up with “Knowing what you know, how could we make it a 10?”  You can even simply ask – “How can I help make your work world better?” 

Don’t be scared.  If you’ve been transperent with your employees  they know the limits of the company.  And if you ask sincerely, they will answer sincerely.  Then promptly follow-up on what you can and let them know they’ve been heard on those things that need to wait.