Being transparent means being open about what you are doing as well as being to express it in a respectful manner. It means being honest even in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable about sharing bad news, but you do it anyway, so the rest of the organization is well informed and aware of what’s happening.
Workplace transparency is a tool that can help create long-term success. It can lead to stronger company culture, a healthier work environment, improved trust among employers and employees, and many other advantages.
There are certainly many benefits to having a transparent workplace environment, yet there are still many organizations that are holding onto their old ways and haven’t implemented this practice yet. One of the reasons may be that they are unaware of where to start implementing changes or they prefer keeping their old ways of doing things due to the uncertainty of change. Others may perceive being open and transparent as vulnerable and therefore, they fear being viewed as ‘weak’.
No matter what the reason is, something is preventing them from embracing the change. In this case, changing your workplace into a more open and transparent environment really does not cost anything. You don’t even have to create new policies within the company, just start small in simple steps.
Benefits of a transparent workplace
Healthier workplace environment and culture
Firstly, implementing and practicing workplace transparency has a direct positive impact on the workplace culture. It creates a place where people feel valued, trusted, and respected. When people feel like they can be trusted, it makes interactions at work easier, and also some stress is removed.
When you know you can rely on your teammates, it makes working with them more pleasurable, because you know there are there for you, and also there won’t be any negative surprises.
When people feel more open and relaxed, they are also more eager to share knowledge and creativity comes into play more easily. Besides, when you are part of a healthy working environment, you’re feeling generally happier because there’s a team you can rely on and there’s no unnecessary stress.
Secondly, communication improves drastically. When you are being honest and open about your actions, people know what to expect from you and what they can get to you. There’s no space for playing games and it makes overall communication more efficient. In such an environment, people feel more eager to share what’s on their minds, are more open to giving and receiving feedback as well as more open to generating new ideas and sharing them with others. Simply put, the whole communication flow becomes, faster, more efficient, and goes straight to the point.
Improved employee engagement
Thirdly, the whole employee engagement gets better. With implemented transparency at work, people feel more respected and valued and therefore they’re more motivated to engage in various activities and processes. This may not only lead to improved work performance, but it will also bring better results for the company.
Things that can ruin transparency in a workplace
Let's talk about the risks that come with ignoring the importance of transparency in a workplace. Here are a few to name:
An increased pace of work
Lack of definition in roles and responsibilities
Not being aligned with core values
Lack of implemented technology
How to implement transparency in YOUR company
Here is a list of things you can take into consideration when starting to change your current workplace to a more transparent and open one. You can see that some of these things are really simple and don’t require the use of a lot of resources.
Being one team
First and foremost, it is crucial that you and your employees are on the same boat. This means that everyone is working as one team and is in line with the company’s core values. This way people feel more trusted, valued and respected and this will reflect everyone’s performance.
It starts with YOU
You are the leader, so you should lead by example. Make sure you’re putting into practice the core values you set for yourself and that you’re being open with others about the things that are going on.
Be open to discussions, and new ideas, give and receive feedback as well as encourage others to do the same. It is easier for others to implement what you’re saying into their everyday life when they see you as a good example. So don’t forget that the change starts with you!
Importance of feedback
An idea on how to make transparency exist in more places within your workplace is to make space for it. This can be for example done by having regular feedback sessions or assigning a time where people can ask you anything.
When you implement regular feedback sessions, it will be a win-win situation for both sides. Your employees will feel heard and they will be able to see which of their suggestions have been implemented at a higher level of a company and for you it will mean having a lot of new practical ideas on how to make what you’re doing even better.
Another way of being more open and transparent is to be a part of project management systems such as Slack or MS Teams because it feels more personal than just sending an email. This can be a place for sharing any newsletter, achievement, or just a simple message.
This way the start of a new conversation seems easier for people and it breaks down certain barriers. When communication becomes easier, also relationships become more open and it’s easier to collaborate with others.
Effective communication is the key
No matter what situation you are in, make sure you’re putting emphasis on effective communication and you encourage others to participate, ask questions, as well as listen to others.
When your employees feel that they’re being heard, they’ll also feel more valued and respected and this make creates a stronger bond between the team and the workplace. Thanks to positive experiences they will feel like they’re in a safe environment and this will make them more likely to share their opinions and will participate more.
Transparency in business operations
The next thing you can do is focus on how to improve transparency in your business operations. This can be for example done by documenting processes and then sharing results in regular reports.
This will create consistency and your employees will get a look into what was achieved and what objectives are planned for the next period. It gives everyone an overview of what is going on and therefore, it creates a more transparent place to work at.
Implementing transparency in your workplace can bring your company to the next level. You will not only get a team of aligned and highly motivated people but it will also lead you to better results and innovations. Now you have the right tools to implement transparency in your workplace as well, so go ahead!