Best Practices for Transparent Communication in the Workplace
You’ve likely heard the saying, “Employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.” But what about bosses makes people leave? It may have to do with the fact that only 50% of workers trust that their bosses and their employer are upfront and honest with them.
Transparency is important because it builds trust. Here are some tips for becoming a more transparent leader and creating a more transparent workplace overall.
Read on or “jump” ahead to a section:
- What Is Workplace Transparency?
- Why Workplace Transparency Matters
- How to Establish Effective Transparent Communication
- Benefits Of Workplace Transparency
- Signs You’re Not Being a Transparent Leader
What Does it Mean to Have Workplace Transparency?
The best way to describe workplace transparency is having an environment that cultivates open communication between managers and employees. Keeping open communication with your employees will create trust and allow for a happier, more engaged, and ultimately more effective workforce. And who doesn’t want that?
Why Workplace Transparency Matters
Workplace transparency is important for building trust and honesty between employees and their managers. When you have transparent communication, you’ll find your employees are more engaged with one another and more willing to collaborate.
In fact, numerous studies show that transparency is the number one determining factor in employee happiness.
How to Establish Effective Transparent Communication
Of course, the earlier you implement policies that create an open and transparent environment, the easier it is to establish transparency as one of your org’s guiding principles. Here are a few ways to get started:
It might sound like a chicken-before-the-egg problem, but you can start being transparent by trusting and empowering your employees to make decisions on their own.
You can do this by:
- Not micromanaging and letting employees perform their duties.
- Establishing a culture where continuous learning is encouraged.
- Normalizing giving and receiving straightforward feedback in daily work.
Have Defined Roles
Defining roles and clearly stating expectations to employees is important to make sure everyone knows what they’re responsible for doing and who they should report to in the company hierarchy. Creating an organizational chart is a great way to accomplish this goal.
Using software like Pingboard is great for encouraging transparency in the workplace. For example, after you create an org chart outlining all employee roles, you can easily share that information with your team so they can understand how everyone’s work fits together.
Meet With Your Team Regularly
Schedule and stick to having regular company-wide meetings. Convening all employees affords you a great opportunity to explain and implement changes in the company to everyone at once. This approach allows you to give the same information to all employees at one time, enabling your staff to ask questions about any changes and letting you avoid having to repeat the same messaging.
Even if you don’t have any major modifications to company policy to relay, it’s still important to meet often—with everyone. Get together and try some of these icebreaker activities to help you and your team get to know one another better and build a sense of collaboration.
In these meetings be sure to encourage all employees to help make decisions so the conversations don’t end up being silo-ed. Be sure to run the meetings to tight agendas so you can have these large meetings and still be able to accomplish things. Put one person in charge of taking notes so you can share them widely so even people who couldn’t attend still get the information.
Benefits of Workplace Transparency
When you implement changes to create a transparent workplace, you’ll start to notice some important things:
When you have better workplace transparency it leads to employees feeling more valued and relied upon. When there is a shared sense of trust, teams are able to work as cohesive units.
Happier Employees and Better Work
Happy employees are 13% more productive in the workplace. More productive employees are able to put out better work for your customers.
Signs You’re Not Being a Transparent Leader
If you’re trying to gauge whether you are a transparent leader or not, here are a few examples of behaviors exhibited by managers who are not encouraging transparent communication in the workplace:
Leaders who don’t clearly state expected tasks or project goals to their employees tend to micromanage them in order to get the work done the way they want. If you constantly check on your employees, tell them how to do their work, and/or redo their work—you’re micromanaging.
Keeping the Results of Projects a Secret
If there’s a project you’ve worked on with your team that’s finally completed, be sure to share widely how it went. If you wait to tell them, or they have to ask about it, it’s going to make your employees feel their efforts have little impact. And everyone won’t be on the same page. Even if the results aren’t optimal, it’s important to share project results with your team to give everyone vital context.
To further check your abilities as a transparent leader, download this 10 question quiz.
Having transparent communication in the workplace is vital to a company’s long-term success. Remember, it’s better to start working on being a more transparent leader earlier than later.
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