The goal of transparency is alignment — among every individual in the organization. Companies need to keep transparency at the forefront of their culture if they want an engaged and productive workforce. So how should companies foster an organizational culture of transparency? Here's what Khoi Ho, Manager of People Operations at Checkr, has to say:
Q: Tell us a little about your company and its culture.
A: Checkr provides modern and compliant background checks for global enterprises and start-ups. Our culture centers around our core values, which came from and represent the collective team. We also enjoy each other’s company, as evidenced by the amount of team members who linger after work for conversations or participate in people-driven extracurricular events.
Checkr core values:
Drive & Grit. Get sh*t done.
Humility. Be humble, kind, and respectful to others.
Smart & Resourceful. Thoughtful and swift thinking.
Connection. Build relationships through support and acceptance.
Learning. Amass experiences and knowledge.
Excellence with Purpose. Excitement to deliver your standard of excellence; meaningful work.
Transparency. Communicate with transparency and honesty.
Positivity & Appreciation. Believe there is always a solution, enjoy the journey; have fun.
Q: What's one thing your company practices that sets its culture apart from everyone else?
A: We have a lack of corporate politics. This is mostly due to our high level of transparency. We share a lot of information with the team and anyone can ask questions that get answered or raise issues that get addressed.
Q: What advice can you give to organizations seeking to close the communication gap?
A: Be transparent and have direct conversations. When opportunities come up, practice it, and use it as another example that the company really means it. Repeat.
Q: What's the most common mistake you see companies making with employee onboarding, and how does your organization succeed at the process?
A: Having all the information in one spot really helps. We have a company Wiki that answers 95% of how things work at Checkr. Any team member can add information when they have the answers or reference it when they need answers. You can get new members ramped up and acclimated quickly.
Q: What was your favorite Cheers you've ever received?
A: Thanks for always going the extra mile to make sure we're all taken care of! (Even when it's super uncomfortable and difficult.)
Q: How does your organization help your employees recharge or maintain morale?
A: We do everything from spontaneous smoothie deliveries to people-driven team events, including poker night, video game night, soccer, and lunch-and-learn sessions. We hope our commitment to being fair, consistent, and honest facilitates a place of trust and maintains high morale.
Q: What was the most important or impactful employee feedback you've ever received? And why did it make such a difference?
A: When an employee called the company out for an internal hire for a role that was not publicized to the company. We acknowledged and accepted the mistake and communicated our commitment to being open and transparent for all roles moving forward. This example influenced other decision making and changed our behavior.
Q: What's the one advice you have for any organization or leader out there?
A: There is a difference between culture and perks. Employees are engaged by culture, which can center around purpose, autonomy, and mastery of one’s craft (not necessarily free bagels, even though we have them).