A fundamental challenge for owners and managers is making sure the right people know the right things. Keeping your employees in the know can have huge benefits, but knowing who should know what can help you avoid problems that come with wielding potentially sensitive information.
The more employees know about what’s going on in your company, the more engaged and excited they will feel. They can also be great advocates for the company—for example, if an employee knows that your company is growing, they might act as recruiting tools. It is also especially important for anyone answering the phones to be in the know about any advertising in the market. Few things are more awkward than a customer having to read the latest mailer to your support person.
Employees might make things up about what you’re not telling them. Sometimes this is a worst case scenario, as when I visited a shop that had just rebranded. The employees had assumed that the company was being sold and they were going to lose their jobs, when in actuality the simple reason the truck wraps looked different was because the marketing team had made some changes.
I’m not saying you need to tell everyone everything: your personal financial information, or even the company’s, is not a need-to-know piece of information. You can decide what is important for certain people to know. The last thing you want is an unknowing employee freely giving out information about your company’s financial success, or worse, your struggles. Providing training around how to use knowledge while you’re giving it is a good way to get ahead of any pitfalls.