[December 26, 2020] Organizational transparency is critical in the workplace. It builds trust with employees, boosts their productivity, and minimizes misunderstandings.
Yet, many employers neglect it. According to the American Psychological Association, only 50% of employees believe that their employers are open with them.
Here is a brief guide to workplace transparency.
Encourage Employee Transparency
Start by setting an example for your staff to follow. To create a transparent culture, you need to be honest with employees.
- Never expect your employees to meet the company goals if you do not set clear expectations and guidelines. They should understand your industry, competition, and values. That way, they will know what drives your company’s success and understand how their contribution makes a difference.
- Do not make employees feel ignored. Inform them about big news before sharing them with the general public. Instant messaging apps or a company intranet are a perfect solution for internal communications.
- Encourage staff to participate actively in planning daily activities by boosting workplace visibility. For example, time and attendance systems let employees track and visualize their team’s hours, shifts, and operations in real-time.
Use the Right Communication Tools
Build an infrastructure that helps you communicate with employees more frequently.
Many instant messaging tools can help you manage day-to-day interactions. For example, employees can use Slack to create separate channels for repeat questions. That way, they can seek feedback and provide help.
IM tools can also be a solution for conversations that fall outside of business operations. That is where employees can communicate amongst themselves. That is particularly significant in the era of remote work, where traditional watercooler chats do not cut it anymore. Provide employees with a dedicated space for non-work discussions to help them connect on a personal level.
Video chat tools can also help here. For example, you can encourage remote staff to have virtual coffee breaks or host online parties.
Set Expectations for Communication and Behavior
For any modern leader, building a consistent internal brand is crucial. Employee behaviors and communications should always align with your company’s values.
No matter if the discourse is happening by a water cooler, in a video meeting, or over email, it is vital to set the right tone.
That is why you should create an organizational communication policy. It should explain the company’s code of conduct and values. Make sure the policy is available to all employees and that they understand the rules outlined there.
Motivate Employees to Be Honest
Employees often adopt the opinions and behaviors of their coworkers. They ignore their feelings, ideas, and attitudes.
However, herd mentality can harm employee morale and engagement.
Encourage employees to share their opinions with the rest of the team, no matter how different they are. It is OK to have attitudes that are not universally accepted.
Also, build a culture of helpfulness and empathy. Employees do not need to know everything. Inspire them to get and give help without feeling embarrassed.
For employees that are not comfortable with voicing their attitudes publicly, create feedback channels that provide anonymity.
Keep Asking for Employee Feedback
Seek employee feedback regularly to show that you care about them. Do not limit yourself to monthly or quarterly reports. Instead, build an open-door policy to motivate employees to share their problems, thoughts, and ideas with you.
Take time to get to know your staff members. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings and talk to staff members about their personal and professional goals.
Using virtual feedback technologies can also help. For example, you can conduct online employee satisfaction surveys or pulse surveys.
Open communication creates organizational alignment and boosts employee morale. By communicating honestly and receiving regular feedback, employees will work with less friction and perform at their best.