Do I have to share our bad results with staff? Help!

Dear Aunty B,

I have always shared our full financials with my staff at a quarterly meeting. As this has usually been good news, we have used it as a chance to celebrate business wins.

But last quarter’s figures were the worst in our eight year history, and this quarter’s, while slightly improving, will also be bad.

Do I have to keep telling staff everything? While they might work hard if they are unsettled, they might also leave. (I have a competitor sniffing around.)

A lot of entrepreneurs in your august journal say they share all results with employees, and I just read a story that says to be totally upfront with employees.

But I am not sure that’s what a leader should do in this environment. Help!

DK,
D

 

Dear DK of D,

Go with your gut. Of course you don’t have to tell them everything. Times have changed and you need to adjust what you report, especially if you have a competitor sniffing around.

As if your employees want to hear everything anyway. They have a life to enjoy.

Tell them the plan, the targets and explain their role going forward. Be confident and remind them there will be recovery and loyalty is rewarded. Talk about how your industry is changing and the myriad of opportunities. Get excited about the future and they will see it too.

You certainly should not be dishonest. But nor should you be having them worry unnecessarily about the company’s future. While you have the experience, they might not be able to put it into that perspective – especially the younger ones.

Good luck,

Your Aunty B.

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