Blog with Rob: How much transparency is enough?

I’m sure many of you have seen it written in a helpful business article before, “Transparency in management makes for more engaged employees.” There are many studies and surveys which support this, with one fairly recent one suggesting an extremely high correlation between those who said they were happy with their job and those who said management at their company was very transparent.

But just how transparent is any given company willing to be? How about disclosing the salary of every single employee of the company, from custodial workers right up to the CEO? That’s exactly what retail health foods giant Whole Foods does. Any employee within the company can look up another employee’s salary, with the aim that they can directly ask managers why their salary is different and what changes would improve it.

And on top of that, the company also has managers post their store’s sales data each day and regional sales data each week, to remain transparent and drive their employees to work harder and smarter. The best part of it all? The company has been doing this since 1986, just six years after it was founded. Talk about ahead of the curve! What do you think? Should all companies be this transparent or is it dependent on company culture?

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Rob Basso is a recognized small business expert, successful business owner and entrepreneur.

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