20 May 6 Steps to Great Company Culture: Transparency
by Ryan Westwood
Transparency is essential to obtaining a successful and supportive company culture. In our current business and political environment, leaders start at a trust deficit. The Edelman 2020 Trust Barometer found that, despite a four-percent uptick in trust during the COVID pandemic, only 62 percent of people trust businesses–and only 29 percent think CEOs are doing an outstanding job responding to it. Due to an inherent sense of distrust in superiors, business leaders need to gain their employees’ trust through honesty and transparency. How? Share more and share frequently. In fact, leaders are seen as more credible and more trusted in the eyes of their employees when they do. This is even more important in times of crisis or market uncertainty.
Let’s review what transparency entails from an organizational perspective, why it should be a top priority, and how you can tangibly execute it in your organization.
What does company transparency include?
Transparency through a company culture lens means openly sharing information about company growth, metrics, and performance with the entire organization’s workforce. Traditionally, a lot of this information was visible only to executives. But 50 percent of workers feel the organizations they work for are being held back by not being more transparent, and it pushes potential talent away. When employees are trusted with company metrics, they develop a strong interest in the success and future outlook of the company and start acting like CEOs in their respective spheres.
Another component of transparency that may sometimes be overlooked is sharing about your personal life. Modify this to suit your own comfort level, but don’t be afraid to share stories about your children or start a meeting by casually chatting about your weekend plans. Allow yourself as a business leader to connect with your team members personally.
Why should transparency be a priority?
Employees feel valued and more trusted when their managers and corporate leadership are transparent with them. In turn, they are more motivated and productive, raising the quality of work done and encouraging greater team collaboration—another key element to company culture. According to a Harvard Business Review survey…
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