Our research shows that transparency and workplace happiness are linked. Employees and customers expect that businesses will be open to scrutiny and willing to discuss their practices.
Most businesses are pursuing transparency in one way or another. Increasing transparency is one of the best ways to create trusting relationships with your employees. It’s key to establishing clear communication. And it’s one of the best tools for solving problems. Here are seven ways to make your organizational culture an open book:
01. Leadership needs to be on the same page
Ensure that organizational goals are aligned across the entire company. One common way that transparency backfires is leaders contradicting one another. Establish a clear set of values so that the company has a way forward.
02. Open the decision-making process
Whenever possible, allow employees to guide the direction of the company. If leadership has chosen a potential direction, have employees provide feedback. Only in rare cases should leadership make a unilateral decision. When that happens, explain the decision in full to your employees.
03. Hire right
Look for employees who are honest about what they know and what they don’t know. Most employers do online research on candidates, and this is one reason why. They don’t want to hire someone who has lied on their resume or in an interview.
04. Encourage face-to-face communication
We live in an era where various forms of electronic communication are the norm. But talking to one another — as old-fashioned as that idea might be — still works as well as it did in the past. The chances of miscommunication are far fewer when you can see the other person’s body language and facial expressions.
05. Treat all employees the same
The foundation of transparency is making sure that no one is above the rules. Leaders shouldn’t be allowed to bend company policies in the same way that employees shouldn’t.
06. Open your financials
This one is a bit trickier, and you’ll want to consult an expert on how to do this. But more and more companies are making their financial dealings public. This is a great step toward building trust with anyone who interacts with your organization.
07. Open your doors
It’s an oldie but a goodie — if you want employees to see you as accessible and willing to talk, keep your office door open. Encourage everyone in leadership to do the same. Even if employees don’t take advantage of this, it’s a good practice.
Don’t let down your employees or your customers. Use whatever strategies you can to make your company as transparent as possible.