Should Agencies Share the Ins and Outs of its Finances with Staff? Some Leaders Say Yes!

7 months ago

A hot topic has emerged amongst agency leaders on Guild which has led to candid discussions about financial transparency

Here’s a hot topic bubbling in the agency world: should the bosses share all the financial nitty-gritty with their team?

It appears that some head honchos in the agency world are throwing the ‘rulebook’ out the window when it comes to discussing financial transparency.

In the past it has been much more common for leaders to keep their cards close to their chest and keep staff out of the money side of the agency- however, as we continue to move forward in the modern world, a number of founders are championing being open about their profit margins, revenue and other money metrics to build trust and positivity. Taking to Guild, a number of people came forward to candidly discuss their reasons behind transparency, whilst also sharing concerns.

Would you share your finances with staff? Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

One agency director, who runs a team of 20+ people is a firm advocate of the transparent approach. So much so that each quarter he holds a breakfast meeting with this team where he shares essential financial data and draws out the targets, profit, revenue that is expected.

He believes that this approach creates an environment of trust and clarity, whilst also allowing his team to understand his though process: “Transparency for me is key. We make key decisions based on our financials so being open with the team about this helps them understand the direction and the ‘why’ of decisions being made.”

Another leader, who runs a team of 10+, also agreed with this point of view. When asked if his stance would shift during tough times, he said it wouldn’t claiming: “If anything difficult decisions are much easier to communicate with the aid of transparency compared with easy/good ones.”

We make key decisions based on our financials so being open with the team about this helps them understand the direction

However, not everyone in the industry agrees that this should become the ‘norm’. Following a recent merger, another agency was resistant to the idea of such financial openness, despite the team they had merged with being a big advocate of the topic.

The debate definitely represents a bigger question about how modern businesses should operate, balancing transparency with potential risks and employee morale. Collaboration and innovation are key in the agency world, so ensuring every staff member is aware of a company’s financial goals could be the way to create a cohesive and motivated team.

It’s definitely a fresh perspective that challenges the norm and, if nothing else, sparks a huge conversation about trust, teamwork, and transparency. Will more agencies adopt this? Time will tell, but it is a discussion worth continuing.

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