As a business owner, you need to keep your team members informed about the company’s progress. Employees are often only given an annual performance review and they want more. A business progress update can be thought of like a performance review for the company and it should be done on at least a quarterly basis rather than annually.

Sharing the progress with your team members gives you, the owner, the chance to further motivate employees and explain any changes in strategic direction you may have planned based on the company’s financial performance. Why are these changes necessary for the company’s growth or sustainability?

Reviewing actual results in comparison to forecast and budgeted objectives is beneficial to all your team members. Review the goals for the year that were expressed in the company’s strategic plan and see which goals the company is reaching and where it is falling short. Show your team members how their position supports the goals of the business.

Have a business plan that relates to each area of the business from ownership to production. What is the vision, mission, and values along with the objectives, strategies, and actions that need to happen to fulfill your mission and vision?

Look beyond financial results such as sales and evaluate all aspects of the company’s operations, including the effort staff members are putting forth and how well everyone is working together as a team.

Select the most valuable pieces of information to present in the progress report such as the financial and operational highlights. If some team members are not financial-oriented, make sure the report includes explanations of what the terms such as “cost of goods”, “depreciation” or “gross profit margin” mean. Compose the progress report as though you are giving a presentation to your team members. Express not only the differences that occurred, but the reasons for the differences. They may not know that a financial negative in Sales means you made sales, depending on how your financials are shown to them. The business environment may have changed in relation to the assumptions that were in place when the plan was devised.

You must have a planned agenda for the meeting in which you present the progress report and then engage your team members in a shorten business planning session, during which you will discuss, and solicit their input in regards, to aspects of the company’s operations that need improvement. Where are improvements needed as your business moves forward?

You need to work together to create new strategies and tactics to address revenue shortfalls or differences in expenses or sales. Decide whether the assumptions used in the plan need to be revised for the next quarter. You will need to follow-up on how the progress is moving over the next 6 months.

Emphasize what the company is doing well and make the overall progress report a positive, motivating experience for all your team members. Show them what they can be proud of about the company’s achievements. Praise team members for extraordinary effort and achievement. You may even want to have awards that you can present for a job well done.