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Why sharing the financials with employees pays dividends

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Adam Walsh is business director of The Right Fuelcard Company (TRFC), an independent distributor of Shell, Keyfuels, UK Fuels and Esso fuel cards which is ranked 34 in the Sunday Times 2016 Best 100 Small Companies to Work For. 

He explains the wide-ranging benefits of businesses sharing their bottom line figures with their people.

In today’s challenging landscape of staff shortages and skills gaps, companies across wide-ranging sectors are competing for both clients and high calibre staff.  With many employees conscious of their value as a marketable commodity, sharing details of a business’ performance can be instrumental in engendering trust, loyalty and commitment.  

Many companies shy away from revealing their bottom line figures to their teams for many reasons - concerns that workers may ask for pay rises, fear of the details reaching competitors, or a natural reticence to openly discuss turnover and profitability.

As every business owner and MD is aware, the ability to recruit, develop and retain talented teams with the right attitude and skills is critical to growth.

Our award-winning business is marking unprecedented growth and profitability due to its transparent and ethos-driven HR programme and our transparent culture - where financial performance figures are shared with our 60-strong team via quarterly business updates - is reaping a wealth of benefits. Such reporting has engendered inclusivity and buy-in - with staff fondly referring to TRFC as their ‘second home’.   

Regarding themselves as stakeholders in their companies, valued employees across all sectors are confident in the knowledge that they are integral to the future of the business - and are far more likely to go the extra mile than those who are kept in the dark.

We put the figures in perspective by ensuring that every employee understands how the wider business operates. New starters spend time with different departments and non-commercial managers are involved in profitability discussions to understand their impacts on the wider performance.

Building and retaining happy, healthy and motivated teams also involves rewarding and incentivising them and receiving our Sunday Times ranking and 3 Star Best Company Accreditation - the highest accolade - for “exceptional” levels of employee’s engagement was our proudest moment to date.

Our focus remains on growing and retaining the people responsible for growing the business. Employee feedback reinforces how being open about our key performance indicators will go a long way to achieving our vision.