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An Adult Conversation About Money

When I said the words “it’s time to have an adult conversation about money,” anyone overhearing might be forgiven for thinking I was talking to my 12 year old son. I wasn’t. I was looking in the mirror.

Toward the end of last year, I gave out bonuses to my employees. I do this every year and there was no doubt that they were well earned. Some people thanked me; some did not. Regardless, in what has become an unwelcome annual tradition following the delivery of the bonus checks, I found myself wondering.

“What did they think?”

“Were they pleased?”

“Were they disappointed?”

“Did they walk away thinking they were happy to be working for me or do they think I’m some kind of skinflint?”

I value each and every employee. There is no such thing as indentured servitude and, as people of talent and accomplishment, everyone who works here has options in the marketplace. I want to keep them happy. Of course, I also want to run a non-cash-strapped, profitable business.

That’s when it occurred to me: It’s time to sit each of my employees down and have an adult conversation about money. It’s time (or long past it) to talk to them individually about their wants, constraints, and expectations … and mine as well. After all, we share a common interest, they and I: we want this firm and everyone associated with it to prosper.

That’s my task between this week and next – to sit down with each person and talk to them about raises and bonuses, profits, losses, and projections. If we each approach it the way I think and hope we will, for the first time I won’t have to wonder if we’re on the same page; I’ll know it.

Is it time to have an adult conversation about money in your business?