The Great Game of Business 800.386.2752

The Great Game of Business Blog

Sign up to receive our blog posts conveniently in your email box

4 Easy Strategies to Communicate Financials so Employees Can Understand

Dec 18, 2018 by The Great Game Team 1 Comment

4 strat comm financials

 When it comes to learning financials, it may seem overwhelming for those who don’t have a background in accounting or business. At first, nearly anything you say about the financials will sound absolutely foreign.

So what can you do to break down this communication barrier? There are a number of techniques you can use when communicating the numbers to ensure everyone is on the same page. Here are four strategies to improve communication about financials with your employees:

1. Keep It Simple: Use “Common Sense” Financials

Turn your financial information into common-sense, simplified scoreboards.  The “books” that employees use in The Great Game of Business to manage financial outcomes are not full-scale annual reports.  They are simplified versions of standard financial statements that revolve around the company’s Critical Numbers™

When we talk about common-sense financials, we mean metrics that show what key measures are needed in order for employees to understand how the financials of the business are created.  It is not as important to be GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) compliant as it is to make clear where and how the numbers are created.

2. Communicate the Future, Not Just the Past

You can’t change history.  We want information in real time, not past time. Most companies steer their businesses while facing backward. They tend to measure the past, telling them only what has happened.  The key is spending less time discussing what has occurred and more time discussing what will happen in the future. What we can do differently now to help create a better future?

3. Bring Your Financials to Life

The primary purpose of creating real-time, common-sense financials is to help bring operational and financial realities to life and make them interesting, understandable and relevant to everyone in the company.  In most companies, it’s the responsibility of various managers and financial officers to track, measure and report the numbers that are used to produce the financial reports.  At Great Game companies, this reporting responsibility is shared much more widely. 

For example, front-line employees are responsible for tracking, measuring and reporting their own operational numbers as well as how those numbers impact financial results.  These employees are responsible for helping to gather the data that goes into their line items, reporting their numbers to the company and for understanding what’s happening to their line items over time.

4. Establish Bottom-Up Financials

Instead of sharing financials with your employees, try asking your employees to share the numbers with you.  With the Great Game of Business, information comes from every corner of the business into an accurate, up-to-the-minute, big picture view of the company’s financial performance.

 

Do these ideas help you with the challenge of sharing financial information with non-financial people? Have your leaders found other ways to help employees understand company financials? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


 

Want to learn more about employee financial literacy and getting your entire workforce on the same page? Check out our upcoming Get in the Game Workshop to see how you cant better communicate financials with all of your employees. 

get in the game


More articles you might like:

Topics: Communication, Financial Literacy

The Great Game Team

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.