I get asked this question all the time, and my answer is always the same. Give them as much as you can. It’s not important for them to know how much you are paying yourself, but it is important that they know how the business makes profit, how they influence that in their role and how the company is progressing to their financial goals.
When I was managing large scale retail operations we shared sales and margin information with our people all the time. They needed to know it to do their jobs effectively. In publicly traded companies – their financial results are a matter of record. Because of my background I can walk into a lot of businesses and guess with reasonable accuracy what their sales and margins are. It’s not as big a secret as you think so get over it and let your people know the “score of the game”. They just might be able to help you better if you can find it within yourself to trust them.
Clint Best is a business coach and the founder of Kaizen Business Development in Kelowna, BC. Clint has been guiding forward thinking business owners through change and growth since 2002.