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Most Private Companies Don't Update Staff on Financial Performance

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees at publicly traded companies get a detailed look at their company's financial performance when their employers release financial results each quarter, but staff at privately held companies are less likely to get information on how the business is faring, a new Robert Half Management Resources survey suggests. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of private-company chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said their companies do not give quarterly or annual financial updates to all staff. Nearly one in five (17 percent) share this data with select employees.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 1,300 CFOs from a stratified random sample of private U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, "Does your company provide employees with regular updates on the company's quarterly and annual financial performance?" Their responses:

No, we don't share financial information with employees


Yes, we share financial information with select employees


Yes, we share financial information with all employees




"Private companies are not obligated to publicly issue financial results, but providing at least some indication to employees of how the organization is faring could ease any uncertainties that may exist," said Paul McDonald, a senior executive director with Robert Half. "Financial data is sensitive and complex, but choosing a few basic metrics to share can help staff develop a better understanding of the business and the challenges it faces, and build stronger team focus." 

"Organizations that are proactive in offering insight on what is driving performance are more likely to create stronger staff engagement," McDonald said. "The more employees at all levels understand how their roles fit into the big picture, the more invested they'll be in their work."

Robert Half Management Resources offers three tips for giving employees more insight on business performance:

  1. Provide context. Use staff and department meetings to share business trends and put them in perspective. You may not be able to provide detailed results, but if revenues increased during the previous quarter, explain why. More importantly, show employees how their daily work contributes to companywide growth.
  2. Don't withhold bad news. Resist the temptation to hold back information when the news is bad, or employees may jump to their own conclusions. You may not be able to give a complete financial report, but consider sharing information that could rally the team to turn things around.
  3. Foster an ownership mentality. Encourage staff to adjust their priorities and activities given the company's overall business situation. Invite their input on process improvements, cost-cutting and new business sources. Reward those ideas that lead to greater efficiency and growth.  

About Robert Half Management Resources

Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Robert Half Management Resources at for workplace news.

SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: Maureen Carrig, +1-425-945-2040,