Ways To Promote Transparency at Workplace
It is marked by a flow of ideas and information such that every employee has access to the information they need to feel truly involved with the company and also perform better at their own jobs.
Transparency is exceedingly essential for the overall health of the organization.
Why is transparency important?
Transparency helps build trust and build better relationships between employees and management. Free flow of information helps in promoting collaboration, improved learning, and shared learning, greater creativity, swifter problem-solving.
Openness is a key element of employee loyalty. A free and trusted flow of information from the leadership to the lowest rung helps develop a healthy workplace.
For employees it is motivating to get access to vital information directly from the management rather than being the part of the confused whispers.
These days more and more companies are adopting transparency for building a stronger employee-company relationship and promoting a healthier atmosphere of trust.
Ways to promote transparency
As a manager or an entrepreneur, you can take the following steps to promote transparency in your workplace:
- Open Communication: Regular and open communication has potential to resolve biggest issues. Frequent face to face conversations makes the employees believe that their managers are always welcoming, accessible and are up and ready for any discussion.
In some cases where the managers are located in a different zone or a region then email, video conferencing and telephonic conversations may serve to fill the void.
Employees at all levels should be encouraged to ask questions. Even tough ones; whether it is related to contentious projects or overarching tactical decisions.
- I don’t know: Be honest when you don’t have an answer. Instead of faking and dodging, “I don’t know” is a better option.
At times, you might not be aware of certain policies or outcomes, in that situation being open and acknowledging your lack of information can actually earn you more trust and respect.
- Accessible information: All the employees should have an easy access to the information about the company, annual targets, policies and other vital information.
A portal carrying this information along with the manuals should be readily available to all. For example, a pilot product launch may need information like the product demo, pricing details, previous launch results etc
- Suggestions should be welcome: The employees should know how to contribute an idea. The ideas and the suggestions towards a specific project or on the policies of the company as a whole should be heard, discussed and implemented if found relevant.
Front liners are more competent to point out malfunctions and propose corrective measures. Involving the employees boosts their confidence and also inspires them to come up with bright ideas in future.
An online portal for any kind of feedback and suggestions by the employee should be created and maintained.
- Share and openly discuss the “Bad news”: The good news can be treated as a pleasant surprise but what about the bad news? It is all the more crucial to share and discuss the bad news.
For example, in the case of organizational downsizing during the time of recession, there are a lot of confusions, murmurs, demotivation, and questions in the mind of employees.
At that time, an open discussion about the intent of the company, an exact and correct information like the percentage of probable layoffs, the name of the departments which are more prone to get hit may exclude the worry of many as some of them may not fall into that particular category.
To remain in the dark when something disconcerting is going on in the company leads to more chaos and bedlam.
- Explain the “Why”: Half of the problem can be resolved by simply explaining the reason. Whenever changing the policy or in the case a new management decision, answering the big “why” is necessary.
It will not only clear the confusion and make the employees feel involved but also invite feedback, insights, and inputs for effective implementation of the new policy and suggestions on improvement in future decisions.
- Avoid becoming over-transparent: Excess of everything is bad. There are some kinds of information that should be kept only with the relevant managers and leadership.
Discussing everything may give rise to more confusion especially in the case of rapidly changing management decisions and self-unawareness.
Unless you are sure about something and the decision taken seems final to you, try to avoid the dissemination of the information.
Sharing a confidential information may also not be in favor of the health of the company. You should know what to keep to yourself.
- Family events: Socializing with the employee and their family also helps building a better relationship and breaking the ice. These social events encourage transparent interactions. A relaxed soul is always in a better mood.
Family events have always witnessed some healthy and open discussions in past. The events like these promote openness, lifts the confidence of the employee, cheers and motivates them, and makes them feel more connected and involved with the company.
These measures may come with a lot of challenges and may take some time to implement, but once you include them, a healthier organization is guaranteed. After all, a happy employee is what makes any organization tick!