Boost employee autonomy and morale! What is Open Book Management?

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Management , Training  | 0 comments

Many HR professionals may be troubled by the fact that their employees are not performing as well as they would like. One of the hints for improving performance is open book management.

This article will provide an overview of open book management, the benefits of implementing it, and the key points of implementing it.

What kind of management method is “Open Book Management”?

The “book” in Open Book Management refers to a company’s performance management indicators.

Open book management is a management method that was proposed at the end of the 20th century.

It is a management method advocated at the end of the 20th century. Listed companies are required by law to disclose accounting information, etc., and employees can obtain this information through the company’s website. However, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not required to disclose accounting information like listed companies.

In small and medium-sized companies that are not obligated to disclose information, employees do not have easy access to internal accounting information. As long as the company does not disclose the information, it is impossible for employees to grasp the company’s overall situation as an indicator.

The purpose of open book management is to disclose company information to employees so that they can participate in management and be aware of the business situation.

The benefits of open book management

Why should performance management indicators such as accounting information be disclosed not only to management but also to employees? In the following, we will consider the necessity of disclosure based on the two advantages of open book management.

Merit 1. Gain a sense of management

Open management is a management method that allows employees to know the company’s business status in numerical form. They can clearly see whether the company’s sales are growing or not, and whether the company is making a good profit.

If the company is not making a profit, one of the advantages is that each employee can think about how to improve the situation from the perspective of a manager.

Merit 2: Encouraging autonomy

When a company’s business situation deteriorates, it can affect employees’ salaries, bonuses, and employment. If employees realize that this is something that affects them as well, they will change their mindset and think, “I need to be more creative in my work” or “I need to take this more seriously.

There is also the benefit of raising the morale of the entire organization as a result of each employee’s high awareness through open book management.

Implementation of Open Book Management

Disclosure of information through open book management is beneficial for both employees and the company, but if you use the wrong method, you will not get the desired effect. In this section, we would like to introduce two important points for adopting open book management.

Educate employees on management figures

Managers who are exposed to performance management indicators on a daily basis may be able to grasp the company’s situation and management status to some extent just by looking at the accounting information. However, this is not always the case for all employees. There are usually differences in knowledge of management figures.

Employees who can read the information may not have a problem, but for those who cannot, the disclosure of performance management indicators will be meaningless. If we are going to adopt open book management, we need to educate our employees at the same time.

Explain to employees how profit works and how to read figures, such as how to read income statements like gross profit (gross profit) and operating profit, and how to read balance sheets like assets, liabilities, and net assets.

Explanations to employees need to be easy to understand and make sense to everyone. If the company has a large amount of retained earnings (profits retained in the company), it is a good idea to explain why the company needs to retain the profits and, if possible, the portion of the profits to be returned to employees.

Create an environment that facilitates information sharing

Even if information is disclosed through open book management, it will be difficult to fulfill the purpose if the environment is not accessible to employees. At the same time as educating employees, you should also carefully consider how to share information.

It is desirable to create an environment in which all employees can access the company’s management figures to be disclosed and in which information can be easily shared. A good concrete way to do this is to use tools that can be used for information sharing within the company, such as task management tools, knowledge management tools, and internal SNS.

A useful tool for information sharing is the SNS-type goal management tool, Goalous is also recommended. Goalous allows you to use its own goal function in addition to the message function.

Not only does it make information sharing smoother, but it also makes it possible to link the shared numbers to company and team goals. You may want to consider open book management using Goalous. You may want to consider open book management using

Colorkrew, the developer of Goalous, also offers free seminars to help improve your organization. Colorkrew also holds free seminars to help improve organizations. One of the ways to make your organization better is to get information from seminars.


If you feel that your company lacks centripetal force or that the performance of your employees is not improving, you may want to consider making management information available to your employees through open book management.

The disclosure of previously opaque company performance management indicators to employees may change the way they view the company and the way they approach their work. For better results, it would be a good idea to consider how to educate employees in advance and share the information internally.