Transparency is the act of being honest with others, despite the fear of being judged or having them gloss over your concerns. If your employee is scared of relaying this amazing idea they had to you, the entire company might miss out on a lucrative project because they didn’t feel comfortable.
However, you can only expect transparency from your employees when you create an office culture where honesty isn’t punished. Let’s see what you can do to establish this culture.
Ways to implement transparency in the workplace
Make transparency part of the company policy
Transparency should be part of the company policy from the get-go. Anyone joining your company should be aware they’re expected and encouraged to speak freely.
It should be part of the mission statement and the brochures your company hands out. Transparency shouldn’t be a simple line in the policy but something you greatly emphasize.
When people know it is part of the culture, employees will join with that attitude in mind. Those who can’t follow through it might not have the resources to be confident. This is where the next steps come in.
Hire the right employees
Take a look at the applicants for jobs in BCJobs. You will find many resumes where employees go as far as to list honesty as part of their soft skills. Maybe even have them write out their experiences in their cover letter or interview.
These are the people you want to hire. Especially at the upper level, you want to look for people who respect open communication. Not only are they honest, but they are also capable of withstanding the same honesty directed back at them.
If their junior points out a mistake they make, the employee should be willing to listen to them, instead of dismissing them. This back and forth of open feedback is what will create an honest, open culture.
Provide them with communication resources
Be it a Slack channel or a simple messaging group, your employees should know where they can reach out to you and one another. Not only should they have these communication avenues, but there should also be a clear protocol for which communication channel should be used in regard to the issue.
You should also direct your employee to resources regarding the company policies. They should know their rights, from employee benefits to discounts. This is the company communicating honestly in turn.
None of your employees are going to follow through with the transparency policy if you aren’t doing it yourself.
Involve your employees in the good and bad of the company. If there’s an issue, let your employees know. If you managed to grab a new client today, let them know.
When your team comes to you with a question, answer honestly. If they know you’re in their corner, they are much more likely to go through with being honest with their colleagues.
Practicing transparency in the workplace isn’t as challenging as it seems. The key is to find enthusiastic employees during the hiring process. Everything else follows.
About the Author
Simon Chou is the Vice President of Operations and Growth at BCjobs.ca. Over the course of his career, he carved a niche in brand development, marketing strategy, and online presence for startups. Prior to joining BCJobs.ca, Simon was an advisor for several global blockchain projects including Litecoin, NEM, and Ripple. In the past, he also worked with Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare space through SM Digital—a global marketing agency.