Grocer engages employees through open-book management

Interesting story on open-book management at a Colorado grocer:

Marczyk is one of the most recent Colorado businesses to give employees a bottom-line perspective by using open-book management.

The technique provides workers access to all of the company’s financial information, empowers them to make changes in operations and offers the possibility of snagging a piece of higher profits.

Privately owned businesses traditionally keep employees in the dark regarding revenues and profits. With open-book management, transparency and disclosure reign supreme.

“If employees have a stake in how the business is run, they exhibit more of a sense of ownership,” said Bob McGowan, a professor of management at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.

I’ve long been a fan.  The businesses with which I’ve worked who involve employees in running the business tend to have very positive cultures and unusually dedicated customers.  The reasons for it are fairly obvious from the article.

Conversely, those businesses I have experienced who resist sharing financial performance data with employees tend to make a lot of decisions out of fear, usually on the part of the top person.  Their inability to trust is often interpreted as not being themselves trustworthy, and employees have limited personal interest in the success of the business beyond a pay check.

I’d file this one under “Things We Intuitively Know to Work and/or Have Proven Through Research As Effective but Still Choose Not to Practice”.

5 responses to “Grocer engages employees through open-book management

  1. Graham Stewart

    Reminds me of SEMCO and Ricardo Semler –

  2. Pingback: Grocer engages employees through open-book management » Dig for Leadership - Stories that try to make the world a better place.

  3. My name is Amanda and I work for The Great Game of Business, a company that teaches the concepts of Open-Book Management. Loved the article and your quote at the end 🙂 Keep spreading the positive word on OBM!!

    • Hi Amanda – Thanks for the note! Your company looks really interesting. You might also be interested in the work of Graham Stewart (see comment above).

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