Should you trust employees with your financial records?

Posted by Siobhan Hitchmough

It’s part of the philosophy of open-book management; if you let your employees know traditionally sensitive information like profit levels, they’ll appreciate and return that trust.  What’s more, this helps them understand things that are important to the company beyond their immediate responsibilities, so that they can make better-informed decisions.

If you’ve had the chance to talk with inFlow’s Customer Champion, Siobhan, you know that she has a laser-like focus on helping you solve your problems.  When she picks up the office phone or enters a live-chat with you, you can feel that all she cares about at that moment is helping you.  We often have trouble dragging her away to take a much-needed lunch break!

It’s no wonder that after a few short months, she’s become so essential that we wanted to show her our trust by sharing more company information with her.  It’s part of the philosophy of open-book management; if you let your employees know traditionally sensitive information like profit levels, they’ll appreciate and return that trust.  What’s more, this helps them understand things that are important to the company beyond their immediate responsibilities, so that they can make better-informed decisions.


Sounds easy, but for Siobhan, there was one thing worrying me.  Scientific studies have shown that if you force people to think about money, they’ll be less outgoing and less willing to help other people.  One of the things that makes Siobhan so great is that she cares about you, not getting money out of you.  Would knowledge of our company finances be a forbidden fruit that detracted from her focus on what’s good for our customers?

We debated this for a while.  Finally, we decided to go with our hearts, trust her and share everything with her.  Not just the financial numbers, but how much we valued her input, why we wanted her to keep working on our customers behalf, and the whole thought process behind this.  She probably won’t care to check that information much, but she certainly appreciates our trust in her.

I believe we’ve come a long way from the old top-down management style where company secrets are jealously guarded.  I want to work in a company where everyone is trusted and able to make decisions intelligently.  This is hard if people in your company don’t trust each other completely, but that’s a sign that you need to weed out the bad apples and share the fruits of knowledge.


Siobhan, our inFlow Customers Champion!

Siobhan Hitchmough

About Siobhan Hitchmough

Siobhan Hitchmough is a customer advocate, community manager and part-time tutorial wrangler. When she's not seeking out new challenges she leads the community and support team at inFlow Inventory.

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