The Importance of Being Transparent at Work
Transparency is the new black. Being transparent at work is a company culture goal on the rise for many because it’s been shown to ultimately lead to more success within an organization. It also fosters a better work environment overall for managers and their employees. Transparency increases trust, encourages communication, empowers individuals, and creates opportunities for team bonding. This can lead to running operations more collaboratively and smoothly as it ensures your team members are on the same page.
What does it mean to be transparent?
Being transparent in the workplace simply put, means operating in a way that creates openness and develops trust between managers and employees. It also encourages developing this bond between the company and its customers. When a business is open about sharing what’s going on within the company, it entices their audience to engage and grow outwardly, while fostering a happier work environment on the inside and attracting potential employees who are in alignment with their company culture.
For a better understanding on how being more transparent in the workplace can benefit you and your organization, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why your company should embrace this cultural change:
Transparency in the Workplace:
1. Promotes Employee Happiness
Studies show that transparency is the number one factor that contributes to employee happiness. This makes perfect sense given the link between building trust and happiness. The act of being transparent allows managers to openly communicate the goings-on within a company. The more people know about an organization or a person, the more likely they are to trust them. And the more people feel they can trust each other, the happier they are in that relationship.
Happiness in the workplace also exists in correlation with building company culture by hiring like-minded individuals. The same studies show that people are often more likely to stay at a job when they like the people they work with. Camaraderie amongst co-workers was the number one thing people reported to love about their job. Feeling a part of a team is as important in an office setting as it is in a sport.
2. Boosts Productivity
Transparency establishes trust and respect between an employer and an employee on multiple levels. When you delegate decision making to an employee who feels trusted in their ability to make decisions, it empowers them. They are willing to take on more accountability for their actions and are motivated to take initiative without feeling the need to get approval before starting a task or making a key decision. This helps boost productivity for the motivated individual and cuts out time that might otherwise be wasted on waiting for approval before moving forward. People are more likely to commit to the work they’re doing and apply their full potential toward a job when their employer commits to transparency.
3. Establishes Trust
Trust is one of the key themes in many of the reasons that transparency is beneficial to company culture. Which makes sense, because who doesn’t want to trust the person they’re working for? Trust is a founding principle that shapes a relationship between two people. Employers who are more open and upfront with their employees are more likely to be viewed as trustworthy. This helps open up the door for open, direct, and honest communication.
When company leadership is willing to adopt the concept of transparency, trust builds the foundation for a better working relationship and directly affects things like productivity, communication, job performance, and the overall outlook a person has towards a company. A trustworthy company is an ethical company, and people like knowing that their work has meaning and cause.
4. Helps Set Realistic Expectations and Goals
Effective communication has a trickle-through effect in many of the benefits of fostering a transparent work environment. One of these benefits is being able to set realistic goals that are attainable rather than holding your employees to unreasonably aggressive standards.
Open communication allows employees to understand the company goals and in turn express their feedback. When you encourage open sharing at all levels of employment, you create an opportunity for everyone to be on the same page about what the goals of the company are. Then everyone has a clear understanding and can work together in achieving those goals in ways that don’t overwhelm or undermine employees.
5. Strengthens Innovation
Innovation is important for the growth of a company. In many fast-changing industries, we have to be adaptable in order to stay relevant. One of the best ways to formulate new, innovative ideas is through sharing those ideas. Transparency feeds innovation by allowing employees to feel empowered in sharing ideas with the company.
As a transparent leader, getting to know and understand your employees’ strengths allows you to leverage those strengths for more innovation and creative problem-solving. If you encourage the practice of communicating ideas in an open and non-judgemental space, you can unlock unlimited potential in the growth of your business.
6. Facilitates Smarter Hiring Practices
Hiring like-minded people who are in alignment with your company values and culture helps foster a smooth operation. If your work culture promotes transparency, you are more likely to attract people who also believe in the same values. This is why it’s important to be transparent about what those values and expectations are. By setting standards for communication, ethics, and goals and effectively communicating them to individuals inside and outside of the company, you will ultimately save time, money, and effort by hiring people who are right for the job.
Transparency With Your Audience:
1. Encourages A More Organic Online Presence
We live in a technological age where everyone is online. The first place people turn to learn about a company is through the internet and social media. This is why it’s so important to build transparency within the company; so you can be transparent with your audience.
By being open and authentic on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, you’re creating a more organic online presence. Communicate shareable information authentically about your community to engage your audience. This helps your company become more relatable which will result in encouraging your customers to interact organically and share your brand with others.
2. Builds Better Customer Relationships
People like companies that they feel they can relate to and connect with on an emotional level. A company is more likely to gain loyalty and build lasting relationships with customers by being upfront and honest with them from the start. This type of active engagement can help prevent a loss of customers in the case of a company downfall as well. No matter if the news is good or bad, you want your customers to hear about it from you first in order to prevent misinformation from spreading and leaving your customers feeling that you don’t value them enough to share the information with them directly. Being transparent with customers lets them know that they come first and are important to your company and its values.
3. Earns Greater Profitability
Profitability. The reason we all want our businesses to grow and be successful. Nowadays, people want more than just a product, they want a product with meaning and a backstory. According to this poll, 94% of all consumers are more likely to offer a brand their loyalty if that brand offers complete transparency and nearly 75% of consumers say they would be willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency.
Setting your company apart from others, by committing to transparency as a core value, will ultimately contribute to your level of success. Transparency in the workplace can help basic operations run more smoothly, and help employees become happier, engaged, and feel more empowered, directly resulting in stronger work teams, higher productivity, and more innovation. Transparency not only contributes to higher rates of loyalty and stronger relationships within the company, but with your customers as well. Essentially, when you are willing to communicate openly and effectively with your employees, everyone reaps the rewards.
Nicole Pellegrini is a blogger, designer and content marketer originally from New York and currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the creator of the professional lifestyle blog, Candy Revolver. Her favorite topics to write about are personal development, self-care and making a career out of your passion.