One dilemma many new entrepreneurs and small business owners face is in knowing how much information to share with their employees. This is an especially large concern today, because many young professionals are looking for employers who offer more transparency. While this doesn’t mean you should share every detail about the operation of your business, there are a few factors to consider in deciding just what information to share with your employees.
Is the Information Confidential or Sensitive?
There is definitely information that should be available only to a select few individuals within the organization. This includes confidential information, such as the secret ingredients in a patented formula or recipe. Additionally, plans to fire or promote an employee should be considered sensitive and should only be shared with those involved in the determination. However, anything that doesn’t fall into one of these two categories should be readily available to your employees.
Can the Information Connect Your Organization?
Another consideration to consider is how the information will affect your employees. While keeping company goals and methods on a need to know basis can often divide workers and make them feel alienated, sharing information will help you to bring everyone together. When you’re more open about the objectives of the company and how each department contributes towards reaching that goal, everyone will feel more involved in the company.
Will Sharing Information Contribute to a Positive Work Environment?
The information you decide to share should not be presented in a way that minimizes the accomplishments of your employees. If the information can’t be shared in a way that doesn’t come off as boastful or condescending, it may be better to keep that information to yourself. The goal of sharing should always be to promote a team atmosphere and to encourage pride in the organization as a whole. This can often be a judgment call on your part, so let your intuition guide you.
Generally, most information can and should be shared with your employees. Greater transparency helps everyone understand the plans for the company and how their individual tasks contribute to the company’s growth. It will also encourage your employees to get more involved in the organization, if they feel more like valued team members. You can achieve this by instituting a more open policy of information sharing, whenever it seems appropriate.