Why are owners more engaged in the business? It’s not just because they’re in charge; it’s because they’re players in the game — they know the rules, they make decisions, and they watch the numbers (e.g., the score). So if you can make employees think and act like owners — or feel like they’re part of a team rather than spectators on the sidelines — it’s more likely they’ll be engaged. And there’s a surprisingly simple way to do this: share some key financial numbers.
If you can make the economics of your business come alive, people begin to pay attention to what’s working and what isn’t. If you give them enough context about financial goals, they may even be able to spot opportunities an owner might not notice. And it may help to tie incentive compensation to financial improvement, so that employees see a payoff as well.