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Beyond the Books: 3 Ways Open-Book Management Helps Your Employees in Their Personal Life

Apr 16, 2015 by Adam Dierselhuis 0 Comments


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We’ve seen countless articles on why managers and business leaders need to focus on engaging employees–not only is it generally an important predictor of company performance–but it leads to stronger communication, higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increased productivity and profitability. These benefits are widely recognized in organizations running open-book management systems; they encourage higher levels of engagement by their very nature.

That’s great news for businesses, but the good news doesn’t end there. We spend a substantial part of our lives working–recent Gallup surveys found that 39 percent of employees work more than 50 hours per week, so it is not surprising that the workplace experience inevitably reflects the quality of employees’ lives outside of the office. Luckily, the benefits of open-book management don’t stop at your office door–here’s three ways open-book management goes home with your employees:

number 1

Economic literacy doesn’t stop with the business; it is an important skill for life. A crucial element in the success of open-book environments is to ensure that all staff can not only read and understand a profit and loss statement, but that they can also appreciate how sound financial decisions are made. This allows people to be able to successfully manage their own financial goals at home, manage risks and make more informed financial choices throughout their lives.

number 2

A problem with many employee engagement models is that they center on the work experience rather than the employees’ personal experiences (or, best yet, a combination of both). So, having an engaged team doesn’t necessarily mean that the engagement carries into personal life. Not so in open-book businesses–the unique learning environment these systems provide and the vitality they promote by creating a unique team culture encourages employees to thrive-engaging them in creating their own futures as much as the company’s.

We know from experience that employees who are empowered and educated at work often take that newfound education into their personal lives by doing everything from simply score boarding out their own financial plan to sharing financial information more openly with their children. These employees have used their financial knowledge to get out of debt, invest or start their own business.

number 3

Especially for younger generations, we're seeing that simply going to work and doing a set of tasks is no longer enough–there needs to be a story and understanding behind why they’re doing something. Providing a sense of purpose is particularly important for Millennials who are increasingly looking for larger meaning at work to drive purpose in their own lives, even more so as the distinction between work and life becomes blurry for this demographic. Open-book businesses help employees create and build a sense of purpose by including them in developing and owning the businesses vision and values, and while that's directly beneficial in terms of improving engagement at work, team members take that sense of fulfillment home with them every night. Perhaps that is the most powerful effect of open-book management.

If you’re already practicing open-book management in your organization, you’ve likely seen examples of your employees displaying a higher level of financial literacy by thriving at work and home and working with a higher purpose in mind. However, the personal benefits employees experience in open-book companies don’t end there. What other ways have you noticed open-book management is helping employees in their personal lives?

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Topics: Employee Ownership, Open-Book Management

Adam Dierselhuis
Written by Adam Dierselhuis

Adam grew up working in his family’s service station – the old style station where you got fuel in the tank, your windscreen washed and your tyres checked all while you were sitting in your car. It was here that he found his passion for business, and just like any other business owner / operator, his dislike of tax. That passion and energy for helping business owners create better businesses and minimizing the amount of tax they pay resulted in Adam’s decision to study a Bachelor of Business at university and pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant. Adam has a talent for spotting opportunities and enjoys challenging the status quo to get the best results for his clients. Adam has had the enriching experience of being the Queensland Regional Council Chair for the Institute of Chartered Accountants (now Chartered Accountants – Australia & New Zealand), leading the council in a series of regional tours around Queensland and driving actions on behalf of members. Adam is passionate about giving back to the community in endeavors such as this, as well as presenting back to lectures in universities and being involved in The Executive Connection (TEC) and other business forums.

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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.