After incorporating the strategic approaches to transparency, you’ll easily see the benefits of your efforts.
You Tell The Story
Remember Mad Libs? It is a fun word game in which a person provides random words to fill in blanks that then create a wacky story. The results are unpredictable because the person giving the words to fill in the blanks doesn’t know the full story.
Avoiding transparency puts your business in the same wild scenario with more dangerous consequences. By not sharing information, you give opportunities for others to create a story that may be both inaccurate and damaging. Your team members may fill in their own blanks to make sense of certain results or decisions. Even worse, competitors might make up information to explain what is left unsaid.
Leading with openness and honesty defuses lies and untruths that can destroy a team or an organization. With consistent and genuine transparency, you control the narrative.
Knowledge is (Em)power
As mentioned, companies often pursue transparency through information sharing. They allow their team members to take a deep dive into the inner workings and pathways to decisions.
By sharing the good, the bad and the ugly, you convey respect for everyone on your team. You also empower them to contribute towards improvements and celebrate their contributions in the achievements.
Allowing access to a wide array of information broadens each team member’s perspective, informs them of the direction the company and reinforces how each individual’s role works towards achieving the organization’s overall objectives.
Enhances Employee Engagement
Honest and transparent messages communicated consistently creates a culture of trust. Leadership trusts team members with key business information, and in turn, team members trust leadership to share all they can as quickly as they can. This foundation of trust provides fertile soil where employees are motivated to plant roots.
Having deep knowledge about the inner workings of their organization increases the sense of ownership a team member has in the company. With this, their sense of responsibility for their role grows and they recognize how they are essential in the process and purpose.
Past studies conducted by the Harvard Business Review report that team members are most engaged when their leadership consistently communicates updates on the corporate strategy. They feel seen, heard and valued.
Additionally, in the current climate, individuals eagerly want leaders deserving of their trust and respect. When team members see transparency in action, they find the much-sought-after security that a trustworthy leader brings. As experiments have shown, environments that decrease the feeling of uncertainty in turn decrease a person’s level of anxiety. Reducing a team member’s anxiety shrinks a major barrier to productivity and creates a work environment they want to be in.
Providing such a highly-valued commodity during these uncertain times can develop your team members into some of your most loyal and vocal brand ambassadors.
Lights a Fire
Energized by the awareness of their importance, team members are motivated to offer more.
Knowing that leadership hears them, they are more willing to provide honest and helpful feedback that can increase efficiencies.
Trusting that leadership values them, they’ll use their frontline experience to guide leadership towards more realistic goals.
Believing that leadership respects them, they are more likely to offer creative solutions that drive innovation.
Being proactively transparent and sharing information creates certainty. In this type of enviroment, team members understand what to achieve, how to achieve it and why they are a part of it. Studies show this helps them stay focus and not get lost in the deatils.
Transparent cultures open doors, both literally and figuratively.
Build It and They Will Come
With your team members serving as brand ambassadors, your recruiters will have an army of support.
Like moths to a flame, transparent cultures attract transparent people. Recruiters will be able to more easily hone in on candidates who mirror the transparency so valued in your organization. This helps find talent best matching your culture while also helping to decrease turnover.
In fact, a transparent culture within your organization is practically a requirement for attracting top talent. Studies have shown that 96% of job seekers believe in the importance of transparent cultures. Similarly, with Millennials making up the majority of today’s workforce, they’ve shown to place very little trust corporations overall. Research shows their loyalty to a company increases when they see proof, action and consistency of values such as transparency.
By onboarding likeminded new hires, you strengthen your transparent culture and further ingrain it into your corporate identity.
Strengthens Bottom Line
Recruiting is not the only area to benefit from your team members becoming brand ambassadors. Your clients and partners will notice the difference as well.
Clearly, engaged employees perform at higher levels. They’re healthy, absent less, more loyal and happier overall. Those who directly serve your customers provide better service because they carry transparency into those relationships as well. Honesty, trust, two-way communication… all the elements that make transparency successful in your organization make client relationships successful as well.
Before you know it, your clients become your brand ambassadors too. A Transparency ROI study found almost 94% of clients are likely to be loyal to brands that practice transparency. Likewise, 73% of consumers show a willingness to pay more for a product that a company offers with full transparency.
With such loyal team members and clients as products of a transparent culture, your organization is positioned to enhance its success.
A Final Look at Transparency
Transparent cultures don’t just happen, and they involve you shouting every professional and personal secret from the rooftops.
They require intention, commitment, strategy and action. In the end, you will witness how your organization, team members and clients benefit and know transparency is exactly what everyone needs to see.