By Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms, a drag-and-drop form builder for WordPress that’s used on over 400,000 websites.
When you think about your workplace, how well does it implement transparency?
Transparency is the practice of being open and honest with others, no matter how challenging it might be. For both personal and professional relationships to thrive, you need to eliminate the stigma that comes with being straightforward.
Being transparent at work might seem daunting at first, but when you consider its wide range of benefits, it’s clear why it’s important. An open workplace encourages clear communication, collaboration and understanding of others without the presence of fear. It’s easier to get to know your colleagues and perform your tasks efficiently when you feel supported and cared for by your company.
If you want to create transparency where you work and encourage those around you to do the same, here are four ways you can get started.
Implement transparency in company culture.
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The culture of your company determines a lot about how the company is run and what the overall environment is like. Failing to establish your brand’s mission and values will quickly lead you down a path of uncertainty and evasiveness.
The earlier you communicate your company’s values on transparency, the sooner you’ll create the culture you’re looking for. Make transparency part of the company culture by adding it to the company policy.
Adding transparency to the company policy means that employees must follow and respect the order to practice honesty. Even if they face a sticky situation, they agree that honesty is the best way to move forward. Those who don’t agree with you on this surely don’t have the tools or resources to follow through.
Hire people who respect transparency.
The transparency you experience at work begins and ends with the people there. Think about it: if you hire employees who don’t understand or care about what it means to be open at work, you can’t expect them to meet your standards.
Hire people who prioritize openness and agree that transparency is necessary for a thriving work environment. People who are keen on keeping secrets or hiding the truth aren’t people you can trust to work on projects and deal with clients.
Being a professional means you make the right choices for the company no matter how difficult they are. It’s best to hire candidates who care about transparency and demonstrate their belief in it through their experiences.
Provide avenues for communication.
If members of your team have no resources to convey their thoughts and concerns, this automatically leads to poor communication across departments. As their leader, it’s your responsibility to give them the resources they need to succeed and follow company policy.
Make sure your team members have proper avenues for communication with one another and you, whether it’s email or a chat software like Slack. It’s crucial for your employees to have access to you and other colleagues. If an issue arises, it’s easy to reach out and start searching for solutions.
It’s also extremely useful to provide your team with other resources that help them excel in their positions. Many companies have an online hub specifically for their employees to access information such as benefits, mission statements, employee discounts, organizational charts and more.
Lead by example.
The best way to encourage transparency in the workplace is to lead by example. There’s nothing worse than a boss who orders you to do things that they wouldn’t do themselves.
If you expect your team to practice transparency, then you need to be the first to set the standard. If your company gains negative attention for any reason, it’s your responsibility to talk to your team about it. Giving them the details they need to understand the situation shows them you’re sincere about your approach and want them to do the same.
You can also lead by example by answering any questions your team has. Letting your employees know you’re available for them when they need you increases their chances of implementing transparency and doing it well.
Over To You
Creating and maintaining workplace transparency doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you start as soon as the hiring process, you’re sure to have employees who care about your company and understand its values. How will you adopt transparency at your workplace?