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How Do I Teach My Staff About Financials?

How Do I Teach My Staff About Financials?

Teaching your team about finances may seem like a daunting task. Do we have the time? Will they be intimidated or uninterested? Will they be resistant to the whole idea? And, what does the process look like?

These are valid concerns and great questions. Below are details on what your staff will learn in The Great Game of Business® and how it should be taught to them.

The Instruction

  1. Teaching Critical Numbers, not accounting
    1. What your Critical Numbers are and what they mean
    2. How profitability is driven
    3. How assets are used
    4. How cash is generated
    5. How employee day-to-day actions and decisions impact the numbers
    6. How and why the numbers change
  2. Teaching business
    1. What the “big picture” is
    2. What your company’s market share and industry share are
    3. What your company’s strategy and competitive advantages are
    4. What the numbers mean in the context of future goals and focus areas
  3. Establishing a line of sight
    1. How what team members do every day affects financial outcomes
    2. What can be done to create positive trends


The Process

  1. Keep it simple and use common-sense financials
    1. Don’t use full-scale annual reports
    2. Use simplified versions of financial statements that revolve around your Critical Numbers
    3. Be clear on where and how the numbers are created
  2. Visit with people in all functional areas and departments
    1. Start by asking if they know how they most directly impact the Critical Numbers
    2. Have departments track those factors on an ongoing basis and meet weekly to review and improve upon them
  3. Communicate the future, not just the past
    1. Focus efforts on communicating what can be done differently tomorrow to help create a better future for the organization
  4. Establish bottom-up financials
    1. Ask your employees to share the numbers with you
    2. Establish communication that allows for individual and departmental reporting of results and forecasts
  5. Use your regular meeting format
    1. During regular Huddles or staff meetings, include some small financial training topics on a recurring basis
  6. Make things challenging and fun
    1. Include fun competitions, team challenges, and MiniGames
  7. Look for team/group leaders
    1. Use small group discussions and small team events
    2. Enlist the help of the organization’s natural leaders
  8. Support formal training with informal practices
    1. Make the learning events casual, interactive, and impactful
    2. Make your business literacy efforts part of everyday culture
  9. Repeat and repeat
    1. Give employees a chance to see and use the numbers regularly
    2. Help terminology and concepts stick through repetition


In the beginning, most employees will see financials as completely foreign.

This is true for the majority of organizations when they are new to The Great Game®.

However, very quickly, employees recognize that they actually create the financials through the decisions they make and actions they take. As this becomes apparent through financial literacy training, staff members become empowered and engaged, and they start to take action to change things for the better.





Need help with learning and teaching financials? Our online course Know & Teach the Rules - Basic Financial Literacy can help!
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