I recently hired a contractor to do some work at my house. He was supposed to arrive at 10 am on Wednesday. At about 9:45 I closed my cats up in the bedroom and put my dogs in their crates, anticipating his arrival. 10 am came and went. Then it was 10:20. I called him to ask when he was arriving and he began to tell me how two of his workers just “fell off the radar” the day before and he hadn’t been able to get in touch with them. Apparently they were the ones who were supposed to come to my house that day. He’d spent the morning trying to find replacements, but couldn’t find anyone. So he said, “I have a small job I have to do this morning, so can I come by your place this afternoon about 3 pm, or could we make it tomorrow?”
I’m sorry, but was I wrong to be upset? Here it was, well after 10 am and he knew YESTERDAY there was a problem. Why didn’t he let me know, or at least call me sooner that morning? I was aggravated and upset not only because he hadn’t told me, but because now he expected me to change my plans for the day to accommodate him (not to mention that my dogs had been locked up for no reason.)
And guess what- that’s EXACTLY how your employees are when YOU don’t keep them in the loop about things going on in your organization!
I know there are times when you don’t want to share certain information because it’s incomplete or because it will be upsetting. However, when you frequently leave employees out of the loop it creates anger, frustration, fear, and unnecessary anxiety. As a result, your employees are disengaged and distracted by knowing that something’s up, but not really knowing what it is. In fact, a recent BetterWorks’ Employee Sentiment Survey found that 37% employees believed that greater visibility of company and employee goals would spur their performance and 92% of employees said they’d work harder if their co-workers could see their goals. It’s all about transparency.
If you need further motivation, here are 5 more reasons why it’s best to keep employees in the loop.
- Employees who are kept in the loop can help you identify potential roadblocks to changes, new policies, or procedures.
- Employees who are kept in the loop can help you more successfully implement changes because they’re intimately familiar with their jobs and how something new or different will impact them.
- Employees who are in the loop are less likely to spread gossip and guesses.
- Employees who are given a heads up have more time to process a change, especially when you share the rationale for the change. As a result, when it comes time for the change to happen, even a negative one, employees will respond more effectively.
- Employees who are kept in the loop, even when things are bad, have a higher level of trust in their management and organization, than those who are “protected” from bad news.
What other benefits of keeping employees in the loop would you add to this list? Comment and let us know!