Transparency In The Workplace | 4 mins read

Why Transparency Matters in the Workplace

why transparency matters in the workplace
Mary Kate Morrow

By Mary Kate Morrow


The Harvard Business Review finds that transparency in the workplace is much more complex than sharing information or the ability for employers to real time observe employee engagement in the workplace.

The Importance of Transparency in the Workplace

Transparency in the workplace is a crucial best practice for both business owners and every team member to focus on. Workplace transparency allows for sharing information company wide and promotes trust within organization departments.

The Harvard Business Review stresses that the most effective workplace is one that finds a balance between transparency work and privacy. Employers must trust employee processes, as business review research demonstrates the correlation between lack of a transparent workplace with a lack of trust in the workplace.

For this reason, real time hyper surveillance of employees and micromanaging is not a best practice to embrace transparency in the workplace. Building transparency requires that you trust employee productivity and employee engagement with their work.

Benefits to workplace transparency include-

1. Increased trust- Many top talent employees leave companies where they feel there is not company wide transparency. When businesses lack transparency for higher management employees, your entire company culture suffers. Company wide transparency will sustain workplace transparency long term and improve working relationships.

2. Clear communication- Long term communication best practice techniques should be used to promote transparency in the workplace. When sharing information with your employees, whether during a performance review or company wide business review meeting, always make sure you are transparent.

Building transparency should not stop within organization but should also extend to your clients. Make sure to embrace transparency with customers, whether through a clear right reserved or privacy policy statement to show customers the value transparency has in your business.

3. Technological advancements- Instead of relying on formal meetings and face-to-face interactions alone, transparency can help promote innovative methods of communication. In fact, 76% of executives report they use some form of technological social medium for sharing information and building their reputation.

Building transparency requires that you trust employee social media usage and understand that technological advancements and innovative thinking may occur on various social medium platforms. Team member relationships can increase with less formal term use and more frequent and technology based communications. Customers are attracted to a company culture that is committed to embracing transparency and building transparency through various social mediums and channels.

How to Create a Transparent Workplace

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Many businesses wrongly assume that workplace transparency is solely the result of logistics. An ideal transparency workplace requires factoring in human factors like company culture and communication. Businesses can use some of the below best practice techniques for building transparency in the workplace-

Trust employee abilities- The Harvard Business Review finds that building transparency requires every team member to trust employee methods and abilities. Businesses that value transparency understand that employee engagement depends on mutual trust.

1. Sharing information universally- Building transparency requires every team member is in the know about company wide plans and problems. Sharing information in real time is incredibly important during times of financial struggles and equally important when a business is doing great.

Employees understand that everyone makes mistakes and are better able to relate to leaders who are humble and trust employee feedback. Establish a company culture that not only focuses on building transparency but maintains it through difficult times.

If a business wants to embrace transparency it must make sure within organization communications value transparency and are distributed in a timely fashion. When employees find out information from one another through gossip or assumptions, your company culture will greatly decline.

2. Keep some things private- A transparency workplace is not one that deceives employee trust through the exposure of private information or communications. You should not provide open access to performance review results or business review confidential information that is not necessary to company wide efficiency and effectiveness. Your company wide privacy policy should be based on ethics and making every employee feel that their confidential information is safe.

Provide clear expectations- Employee engagement is not possible if employees do not understand their responsibilities or job functions. Workplace transparency requires every team member to understand what they are responsible for.

Make sure to provide employees with a simplified task list instead of complicated organization charts whenever possible. Trust employee capabilities and provide a platform for sharing information to make sure they can get their responsibilities fulfilled most efficiently.

3. Hire consciously- Hire employees who are a good fit for your company culture by being honest about your business. Instead of merely providing role responsibilities and descriptions, embrace transparency regarding growth potentials and make sure applicants support company wide long term initiatives.

When you hire top talent employees who embrace transparency and positively affect your company culture your entire business bottom line will benefit. Hire a team member who will not only provide exceptional employee engagement levels but contribute to best practice techniques.