Do the leaders in your workplace deliver vague and inconsistent messages? Does your corporate culture fail to foster trust within the organization? Are co-workers encouraged to keep company secrets from each other? If you answered yes to any of those questions your workplace may suffer from a lack of transparency. This missing ingredient can have a negative impact on employee morale, team work and lead to a culture that divides rather than unites. Here are 5 key things you can do that will restore transparency to your work life.
1. Be Honest: We all know when we are being fed a line. News generally comes in two flavors—good and bad. If you want to create transparency, you have to be willing to share both kinds of news with employees and teammates. Setbacks, obstacles and challenges are things that every company must learn to deal with. Honest communication is the foundation for building trust and transparency. It also ensures that everyone’s expectations on where the company currently stands, where it is heading and what needs to be done to achieve the desired results are clear to everyone. When everyone understands what needs to be done, everyone can work together to create results.
2. Be Open to Feedback: Honest communication is a two-way street. When building transparency, it’s critical that people feel empowered to share their own views and opinions. As a leader, colleague or teammate you need to be willing to hear feedback from your associates. Not all of that feedback will be positive and that’s ok. When you understand how those around you perceive things you put yourself in a position to respond to that feedback in the most effective way.
3. Make Information Accessible to All Employees: Ask those around you what information is most important to them in terms of creating clarity on how the company is currently doing and where it is headed in the future. Set up a mechanism for providing access to that information and ensure that employees understand how to view and respond to that information.
4. Lead by Example: Whether you are the CEO or a new hire, transparency in the workplace starts with you. We all have a role to play in building our corporate culture. When you act with integrity, communicate honestly and respond to others in a constructive way you are leading by example. It is not enough to simply say you want transparency in your workplace. You must actively participate in making that happen.
5. Build Community: Positive, healthy relationships do not create themselves. They must be nurtured and built over time. When people feel connected, empowered and informed they are inspired to perform at their best. Create opportunities to build that sense of community within your organization and bring people together. Include everyone. Make it fun. Look for opportunities to combine socializing with team building activities that promote honest, open communication and encourage transparency at all levels of the organization.