Some companies think open floor plans, monthly staff meetings, and detailed reports equate to transparency. But these are just logistics: transparency needs to be core to company values.
Transparency at work requires both great technology and a company culture centered on openness. The result: increased productivity and trust.
Here are few ideas for creating a transparent organization.
Trust employees to make decisions
When important information is accessible, everyone will understand the goals of the company and feel empowered to make better decisions independently. Make sure that high-level priorities are communicated to all team members so everyone understands what they’re working toward.
Don’t keep responsibilities and job functions a secret
We waste a lot of time trying to figure out who’s responsible for what and who to ask for help. Instead of using a complicated org chart, why not employ a simple list of responsibilities so each employee can take ownership of a specific set of tasks? As a result, everyone else on the team will be aware of what everyone else is working on and who they need to ask for guidance, deliverables, and sign-off.
Don’t just share plans, let employees see what worked and what didn’t. Leaders who speak openly about the state of the company gain trust. While it can be difficult to reveal you had a bad quarter financially, keeping employees in the know every step of the way maintains confidence in your leadership and company. It can be particularly important during periods of high growth or financial struggle.
Know where to draw the line
Transparency isn’t about knowing everyone’s business, it’s about making sure everyone has the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Of course there is such a thing as too much transparency; keep performance reviews, employee salaries, and other sensitive matters private. Every company has a different comfort level, so figure out what works best for you.
Hire the right people
To maintain a transparent culture as your company grows, hire people who are excited about your approach. Communicate your values early in the interview process and make sure they resonate with candidates. The right candidates will be more excited to join your team if they are able to identify with your mission and philosophy, not just your product, or their specific role in the company.
Establish open communication channels
Ensure that everyone in the company knows where to turn when they need information. Modern technologies like Asana break down the barriers of communication, making it easier to share big and small messages and announcements with employees across every department.
This article was inspired by the Fast Company article, “How Extreme Transparency Can Make Your Team Its Most Productive.”
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