Why Transparency Matters in the Workplace

2 min read
Feb 24, 2016 1:39:21 PM

Transparency in the workplace has an enormous effect on the overall morale of the environment and how employees relate to the company. Research shows that lack of trust in the workplace directly correlates to a lack of transparency. 

When employees feel like the bosses are not being truthful, it leads to an unhappy workforce, which makes for an unhappy work environment.

Here are some ways to bring transparency in the workplace:

1. Build Relationships

Want happy, loyal employees? Then work on building relationships with them beyond the standard boss-employee dynamic.

Just as lack of trust impacts your organization as a whole, lack of trust between staff and management is a career killer. So often great employees leave a job because they dislike their boss, not necessarily the job or the business.

Embrace transparency and build trust with your team—be honest, show your appreciation, give constructive feedback. Mutual respect goes a long way.

2. Look at the Big Picture

When you hire an employee, you're not just hiring them for one role within a specific department - you're also adding them to your organization as a whole. How that employee fits into the big picture is something you both need to know.

Several years ago I was hired as a copywriter with a large retail enterprise. I went through the entire hiring process of interviews and onboarding only to find out less than six months later that they were closing the doors and laying everyone off.

It's impossible that the company was not aware of this possibility when they hired me. How could this situation have been handled with transparency for the benefit of everyone involved? Hire me as a freelancer with a 6-month contract, saving me time and grief, and themselves time and money.

Honesty would have instilled faith in the company and allowed me to keep looking for future employment. It would have saved them significant costs by not having to pay my full-time salary with benefits, followed by unemployment costs and job search assistance. Sometimes, honesty really is the best policy.

3. Get Social

Remember that transparency comes in many different forms. Where twenty years ago it was the company newsletter that kept you honest, now it's tech-based and social.

Corporate intranets and social media platforms present excellent opportunities for management to keep employees, customers and other stakeholders up to date on what's going on.

PR firm Weber Shandwick found that 76% of executives are using social media with the top theme preferences of communication, reputation and business results. Use this as an opportunity to build trust through clarity.

4. Clear Communications

Since it permeates every facet of transparency, communication is one of the most critical components to focus on when building a lucid workplace. It's important to be clear and honest when communicating with your team members or with stockholders and investors.

Be forthcoming with pertinent information. If you seem like you're hiding something, chances are people will think that you're and perceive you as dishonest.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you understand more about how transparency matters in the workplace and how it can foster a happier, more loyal workforce, don’t ignore the signs.

If you sense that people are skeptical and don’t trust you, there's a good chance you are on to something. Use this as a wakeup call and begin implementing transparent practices today.

Do you have a personal example of how transparency made a difference for you? Comment below and let us know about it! 


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