How the Open Letter can guide your company

This summer, Orman published its second annual “Open Letter” on our Glassdoor page. If you’re familiar with it, you know that the Open Letter essentially serves as a public “State of the Company” address: a review of past successes and failures in addition to unavailing plans for the future.

Our President, Rosemary Sundin, wrote and published our first Open Letter on October 1st, 2014.

More than a year later, it’s not just Orman that’s utilizing the Open Letter as a tool to effectively communicate to clients, team members, and prospective employees. After learning its benefits, other companies in a variety of industries are writing their own Open Letters. This is a direct result of Glassdoor account managers who, impressed by the valuable transparency an Open Letter provides, began recommending the initiative to other clients.

Suffice to say, the Open Letter is catching on.

Companies are finding that the reflection and open communication that flow as a result of an Open Letter greatly benefits the culture and strategy of a business. We know this from first-hand experience. The Open Letter played a starring role in our journey from struggles to successes..

After trying to expand Orman Guidance, President Rosemary Sundin realized that something needed to change. The current structure wasn’t facilitating the company’s mission and vision. Orman Guidance, now in its fifth decade of business, had to be fundamentally restructured. But how?

To answer that question, Rosemary took a step back and a deep breath. She heeded the advice of a trusted advisor and began journaling her daily thoughts, whether it pertained to business or life. If you’ve ever kept a journal for an extended period of time, you know how medicinal and insightful the free-flowing, rambling pages can be.

This activity cleared her mind so she could act decisively and purposely – and move the company forward. She knew what actions she needed to take to help the company improve its processes and structure; those actions included hiring Josh Voight, our current Director of Operations, and Rico Mace, who began his tenure as CEO at Orman in August.

Rosemary didn’t keep the journaling insights to herself. To transparently communicate the current state and direction of the company, she authored a “State of the Company” synopsis and published it on the Orman Guidance, Glassdoor page with the title “Open Letter”.

 

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Orman’s clients, team members, and prospective employees alike, were now on the same page. For us, the letter sparked measures of communication and transparency, including Orman’s internal “Open Forums” occurring every two months, at which all employees can voice their questions or concerns.

We are proud to have invented another tool of communication and transparency that Glassdoor can now recommend to its multitude of clients. We encourage any and all companies, private or public, big or small, to write a letter of their own.