What if you could open your books tomorrow without worry or fear? What would it take? In this blog, Great Game of Business Vice President, Steve Baker, addresses common concerns when opening the books and how employee misunderstandings and assumptions can be far more dangerous than business transparency.
3 Common Fears:
Q: What if people see my numbers and figure out how much I make?
A: Open-book does not mean sharing every detail. Great Game companies rarely, if ever, share salary information. It’s divisive. It’s distracting. It doesn’t help you teach people business. And frankly, they already think you’re making more than you are.
Q: What if people see how much the company is making, and they want more?
A: They already want more. In fact, you want more, too. Everyone does, and you want them to. You want your team to be ambitious, hungry and wanting more. That’s how you’ll grow and be sustainable over the long haul.
Q: What if the numbers are bad; won’t people run for the hills?
A: Look, most people, (if given the chance) will ask, “What can I do to help?” Opening the books may be the first time in their lives they are treated like adults. Given the facts, people are much better equipped and far more likely to be able to deal with difficult situations.
The Dangers of Assumptions and Misunderstandings
Frankly, it’s hard to make money in business. For some context, Walmart makes just 3 cents on every dollar of sales. The vast majority of businesses hover well under 10. In fact, the median bottom line among companies across 212 industries in the U.S. is just 6.5 cents.
But how much does the average employee think their company makes? The answer: 36 cents.
How about that for a gap between perception and reality? That is a six-fold gap in awareness between what companies really make and what their employees think they make. What kind of decisions are they making under the assumption you’re making 6 times the profit you really are? If open-book is scary, closed-book is downright terrifying.
The reason this knowledge gap exists is that people are coming to work every day without any information. In a vacuum of information, people fill it with misinformation, rumor & fantasy.
So Where Do I Begin?
How can you open your books tomorrow? There are numerous, awesome approaches we have seen over the last 35 years, but here's one tried and true method: teach your people just how hard it is to make money and generate cash.
Stop the rumors and change the narrative by opening your books and teaching your people how much money your business really makes…and how hard it truly is.
Close the knowledge gap by teaching your employees the financials in our financial literacy eLearning module.
Other articles you might like:
- 4 Characteristics of a Strong Critical Number
- A Quick Guide to Huddle Success [Video & Checklist]
- Best Practices for Engaging, Motivating, and Inspiring Employees