Will sharing information with employees hurt or help?

Will sharing information with employees hurt or help?

Despite the mountain of evidence that sharing information with employees leads to better unification, increased productivity and improved morale there is still a large populous of corporation leadership that feels keeping their underlings in the dark is the best bet.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Employees are invested, treat them that way

A 2004 report by James Shearer of the Manufacturing Optimization Group points to employee’s built-in interest in understanding the well-being and finances of the organization they’re working for. Shearer lists the following risks employees put in the hands of their employer:

  • financial well-being
  • credit worthiness
  • lifestyles
  • future on the success of the enterprise

Certainly they are invested in the company and by having information shared with them, they’ll be better prepared for potential economic downturn and in turn could lessen the effects of cutbacks.

Constant connection needs access to information

There was a time those at the top of a company would hoard all the information and then share scraps with managers. Those same managers would feed their employees on a need-to-know basis. But times have changed and so has the bottle neck when employees can’t access information at any time on any device.

The information shared isn’t just company financials and projections. The information you need to share is current challenges, potential opportunities and basic information like access to databases and archives. Managers more than ever look to their reports to be a part of the decision-making process and ready access to information is the best way to help them do that.

Build a culture of sharing

An organization that shares can’t do it in name only, it has to be built-in to the core. Organizations that share understand there is a reciprocal relationship behind making information available and easily accessible. In a traditional top-down structure where employees aren’t trusted but information is made available there will be an aura of conflict and resentment.

Make sharing information just as natural as the annual holiday party. No one questions why the entire organization gets together around Christmas for dinner, why should they question when every second Friday a senior manager takes 15 minutes at lunch to give a quick breakdown on revenue projections.

Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D, an expert in relationship building has found employees experience greater self-esteem and satisfaction with life when their workplace incorporates a culture of sharing.

How your organization can share information

Is your organization sharing information? If not, consider trying a few of these ideas and see if you can’t increase productivity and profitability.

  • The CEO or Executive Director can send out an email once a month with bullet points on projects they’re working on
  • Host a monthly 1/2 hour lunch and learn about the company’s financials (publicly traded corporations would need to stay within regulations for sharing financial information)
  • Make access to documents employees need to complete tasks easily available on any device (invest in great asset management)
  • Start asking questions when interviewing potential hires that show if they’re able to participate and contribute in discussions, it’s no good having a culture of sharing if the people who work there just won’t do it

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