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Grow Your Business Your Team

What Company Financial Data Should You Share With Employees?

What Company Financial Data Should You Share With Employees?
Credit: RawPixel/Shutterstock

A growing number of employers are no longer leaving their staff in the dark on the company's financial performance, new research finds.

A study from Robert Half Management Resources revealed that 56 percent of private organizations provide at least some employees with regular updates on the company's financial performance, up from 32 percent in 2012.

The research shows that one-quarter of employers share fiscal information with all their workers.

"Though not a requirement for private companies, providing insights on financial performance instills in employees a sense of ownership, which often leads to improved employee engagement and productivity," Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, said in a statement.

Most of the employers surveyed believe employees want to learn more about how their company is faring financially. The study shows that nearly 60 percent of chief financial officers believe their workers are at least somewhat interested in hearing about their company's financial performance. [See Related Story: CEO Communication Gap: More Info, Less Criticism, Please]

"Professionals want to work for organizations that are open with staff about the health of the business," Hird said. "Discuss opportunities and challenges facing the organization as it grows, and invite ideas to help the firm meet its goals."

To help employers who want to be more upfront about their financial status, Robert Half Management Resources offers several tips.

  1. Decide what to share. You not only have to determine what details you are comfortable sharing, but you also want to know what employees want to hear about.  If you are unsure on what and how much info to provide, consider reaching out to peers and consultants to learn what type of insight other companies are giving.
  2. Create a schedule.  If you are going to give financial updates, you should do so on a regular basis. Let employees know how often they should expect financial updates. It is important to stick to your schedule, even when you have to share bad news. If you don't hold discussions when the financial performance is down, you risk having employees draw their own conclusions on what is happening with the business.
  3. Show them their impact. When discussing financial performance, be sure to connect the dots for employees by showing them how their work is contributing to the company's bottom line. By doing so, you will give them more incentive to better align their work and ideas to the organization's goals.
  4. Explain the numbers. It's one thing to dump a bunch of financial details on your workers, but it's another to actually explain what they all mean. In addition to a formal presentation on the fiscal data, have bosses be prepared to answer any follow-up questions their staff may have.

The study was based on surveys of 2,100 CFOs from companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.