Employees today are demanding total transparency from their organizations. No longer is it good business to hide information from employees—even if you think you need to protect them from bad news. Today’s employees want to know it all—the good and the not-so-good news.
I know this makes many managers nervous– not because they have something to hide. It’s just not something we’ve had much experience doing. Many leaders have operated under the assumption that they didn’t need to tell their employees when the organization was experiencing problems—they thought they were doing their employees a favor by hiding the bad news.
Organizations are finding that having a more transparent workplace helps build employee loyalty and stronger engagement. Employees in transparent organizations tend to trust their leadership more and are more willing to work toward finding creative solutions to problems facing their team.
If you want to have a more transparent organization, here are some ideas to try:
- Be open—communicate as often and as openly as you can. There will certainly be things (layoffs, terminations) that you can’t share ahead of time, but when you can give your team a head’s up, do it.
- Keep your commitments—if you tell your team you’re going to be open with them, do it. If you break that trust, it is more difficult (or impossible) to regain it.
- Encourage your managers to share openly—train managers to be as transparent as possible. Don’t let information get stuck before it gets to everyone!
- Address rumors before they get too far into the organization. Keep your ears open for incorrect information and ask your managers to listen carefully to their teams.
- Model transparency—live your organizational values.
Keep in mind that transparency is what good employees crave which should translate to increased visibility to applicants, higher engagement levels, and increased retention.
Being transparent doesn’t cost you anything but the pay off can be highly worth the organizational shift. Why not start today?
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