Based on my own experience and after asking many others, these are the top 5 reasons why we don’t say it like it is to our staff:
1. You are concerned that any negative news will demotivate them and perhaps they will start looking for employment elsewhere.
2. You are concerned that if the news is too positive that they will become dissatisfied with their pay and will expect more.
3. You do not see why telling them more will result in any difference in their performance: after all, they are so busy doing their normal work.
4. You are concerned that much of this information is confidential, too sensitive or dangerous to give out.
5. You are concerned that if your employees know too much, they may go it alone in competition to you.
This situation is a little like the Ostrich syndrome. I am not sure if ostriches really bury their heads in the sand, but the analogy works. And as I alluded to earlier, the bigger issue is that most business owners are not even aware that they are ‘ostriching’.
The quick fix to anti-ostriching:
1. Become comfortable about telling your staff more about the business performance. But not just that it is better or worse, explain why it is like it is. Explain what behaviours resulted in this outcome. Just start.
2. Become outwardly ‘introspective’ – tell your staff about your thinking. Tell them how you came to a conclusion or a decision. If a decision you made did not have a great outcome, or business performance is lacking in some area, then take the accountability yourself and reflect on what you could do differently in the future to ensure a better result.
3. By demonstrating your vulnerability you will develop trust between yourself and your team. The last step is to build this safe vulnerability with and between everyone in the business. This takes time and consistency – stick at it day-in, day-out.
The above is an abbreviated rundown on how to start building a great business culture. There are more strings to this bow, but Trust is the starting point: without it, you won’t get out of the starting blocks and the best way to start the process is with yourself.
Would you like some help with this?