As a leader or manager, what are your thoughts on the sharing of information with staff members and employees? Are you in the transparent and reveal camp? Or the hide and conceal camp?  

In my experience at other jobs – or in conversation with my peers, colleagues and friends – it seems that just about everyone I ask is in the hide and conceal camp. And  I have asked myself why? Some say staff and employees will not understand the numbers; they will not see the whole picture, and will use the information against you.  When times are good, they may think you are greedy – when times are bad, they may see you as an incompetent leader.

The consensus out there seems to be: Leave staff members in the dark, and simply expect them to fulfill the duties of their specific job description.  

This pernicious, industrial age mentality can have many negative implications:

  • Clashing of managers and employees, creating an “us v.s them” culture
  • Talented team members who want to contribute, but don’t know how
  • Managers who focus on control of methods and reacting to problems, instead of focusing on results
  • Creation of emotional tension: stress, anxiety, and fear
  • Breeding of a scarcity and problem-based mindset and culture

I believe that transparency is vital to the creation of alignment and team unity.  Being more open with team members and laying out the facts will help them to become part of the solution. This transparency policy also introduces the added benefit of holding myself and the team accountable  to the operation of an ethical and equitable organization.  

In my experience, a transparency policy benefits an organization in a variety of ways:

  • Creates unity; all working together to redirect the ship
  • Gives each team member the opportunity to contribute
  • Gives employees insight info the perspective of their leaders as well as their fellow team members
  • Opens up a dialogue of opportunity, yielding an abundance of ideas to improve growth and profits
  • Creates more focus as to what is needed from each team member to become a more efficient and effective organization
  • Gives clarity as to the effectiveness of your contribution (Revenues increased or expenses have decreased)

One of my favorite leadership and productivity brands, Michael Hyatt, has a team of 30 people, with whom he shares all of the company’s financials.  Michael believes that educating his team on the performance of his company is essential to allowing his team to grow his company profitably, creating more jobs, and helping others experience more success in their lives.  

 

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