The Corporate Culture How and what is it

In short, I gave my employees access to the financial statements and other documents to help them make intelligent decisions about their work. I educated them about what the numbers meant in the expectation that they would use those numbers not just to gauge our success, but to guide their actions. I discovered the remarkable power you harness by doing this. I discuss in further detail how to empower your employees to understand their impact on the bottom line. Informing your employees can have a profound impact on all aspects of your business. Of all the memories I have of the early years, the one I value most came after I started circulating the financial and operational reports. At a rather ordinary operations meeting, an employee suggested that we reduce inventory, saying that this would increase our cash posi­tion going into the critical months of our year.

The Corporate Culture How and what is it

The Corporate Culture How and what is it

 

My challenge was in determining employee accountability on a larger scale. How could I hold the employees accountable if they did not know how the company was doing? Because my company was (at the time) partially employee owned, the answer was to share financial infor­mation with everyone. I've heard the arguments against this kind of openness, the most compelling of which was that competitors could use this information against you. However, I took employee ownership seri­ously and expected everyone at the company to help run our business. I couldn't expect others to do what I couldn't do myself—namely, to run a business without knowing those numbers by which we measure success or failure. Too, I shared financial documents with my employees in the hope that they would see how the numbers sprang from their own work. I wanted my employees to grasp the numbers as proof of the importance to the company of everything they did.

In short, I gave my employees access to the financial statements and other documents to help them make intelligent decisions about their work. I educated them about what the numbers meant in the expectation that they would use those numbers not just to gauge our success, but to guide their actions. I discovered the remarkable power you harness by doing this. I discuss in further detail how to empower your employees to understand their impact on the bottom line.

Informing your employees can have a profound impact on all aspects of your business. Of all the memories I have of the early years, the one I value most came after I started circulating the financial and operational reports. At a rather ordinary operations meeting, an employee suggested that we reduce inventory, saying that this would increase our cash posi­tion going into the critical months of our year.

It was an extraordinary moment. Financial consultants talk to boards of directors for hours about inventory accountancy, but on his own, this employee figured out that a tight inventory meant more available cash for us. His comprehension signaled to me that my openness with the numbers had paid off. Moreover, this episode reminded me that when I had been a non management employee, I had never stopped to think about the impact of inventory on cash in the bank.