Magazine article Management Today

Don't You Believe It ... Keep It Secret

Magazine article Management Today

Don't You Believe It ... Keep It Secret

Article excerpt

I'm constantly amazed at how little most employees are told about how the organisation is doing.

In one, staff were surprised to hear that the firm had to satisfy shareholders, as well as customers, to survive. No-one in authority had bothered to mention it. In another, a purchasing manager nearly bankrupted the firm because nobody told her that cash was tight and she needed to plan purchases carefully. A 'need to know' policy is probably right if you are MI6, but for the rest of us it's dangerous. Here's why ...

It prevents staff supporting your objectives. Your employees want to help the firm do well, but they can only do this if they know what your objectives are and how well they are being met. So tell them.

Secrecy stokes rumours. Like nature, information abhors a vacuum. If you don't communicate, the rumour mill will fill in the gaps, and rarely to your advantage. So say it like it is and kill idle speculation.

Secrecy breeds mistrust. …

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