Open Your Books to Employees?

Over the years various speakers at National Pavement Expo have advocated contractors open their financial records to their employees -- and they immediately face a skeptical audience. The owners in the audience figure "It's my company and they're my employees so they not only don't need to know, they have no business knowing." But the idea behind opening your books to your workers is to bring them closer to the company, to make it easier for them to support what you're doing and possibly even offer ideas that can make you more profitable. A example of a company that has used this approach successfully is IRMCO, a producer of lubricants. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, IRMCO's practice of open book management has resulted in employees pitching in to do maintenance and cleaning work outside their job description, among other things. IRMCO reports this approach to management has made employees more responsive and has saved the company as much as $100,000 a year in expenses.