A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Once upon a time, when the nine-to-five mindset ruled the world, most corporations didn’t really make employees part of their story. They went to work, did their jobs, went home, with few tweaks in between. As time goes by, and especially in the current professional ecosystem, the workplace has changed to embrace a much more employee-centric approach in companies. With social media accounts, review platforms, and search engines, brands now have to meet a slew of new and ever-changing standards.
As a result, an important notion has become vital in developing a healthy company culture: transparency. Although the word itself might sound like a perfect corporate buzzword only meant for reports and protocol guidelines, the term actually epitomizes a very important shift in workplace dynamics. Employees now strive for purpose rather than pay only, they choose companies for their values, not just security, and they want to know the company’s goals and purpose.
Let’s see why and how you should start developing more transparency in your business, and how this idea can fit into your existing culture and already evolving strategies!
Start with clear and concrete job ads
Truth be told, hiring nowadays is far from limited to job ads, as more companies scout on social media and look for reference-based hires. However, when you do have an important post to fill, then it makes sense to expand and include more options, especially if the job is going to be done remotely, so your global talent pool is available, too. Setting the stage right from the moment someone discovers your business through the ad will help ensure a transparent collaboration.
Make sure that your ad is well written and that it includes all the details vital for the person applying. Don’t use vague or forced language, but rather be open with your offer, perks, and above all, make sure the person will understand what your expectations are.
If your ad is concise and transparent, people who appreciate such an approach and who are equally transparent themselves will be more eager to apply. It’s a wonderfully simple way to attract the right candidates, but also a brilliant way to leave a good first impression and kick off your relationship in an open and sincere manner.
Share news and updates with all workers
Management-level leaders often feel that they are too busy to take a moment and share some news with other teams, especially those lower within the company’s hierarchy. Why should they care? It turns out, employees do want to take part in company-related events, and they want to be in the loop when you achieve something, reach a milestone, or experience turmoil. They want to know.
It’s simple enough to set up a regular email newsletter on a weekly or monthly basis to let everyone know what’s happening in the company – when you land new investors, hire new people to introduce them to everyone, find new clients, expand to new offices, or add a new vending machine. Get employees’ input and encourage them to share their own bits of news (“Mike is now a dad!” or “Jamie has finished the doctoral thesis!”) to include in the newsletter.
Empower visibility with digital tools
In addition to boosting productivity, specific collaboration tools elevate transparency, too. For example, using time and attendance systems for tracking workflow allows everyone a clear overview of where everyone is at any given moment. It helps people schedule meetings when it’s actually convenient for everyone, it allows for seamless collaboration for remote and on-site staff, and it boosts accountability. You can also spot poorly conducted processes and make them better with the help of your employees and better visibility of their actions.
While sometimes transparency and visibility overlap in definition, you can actually boost one by encouraging the other. When it’s time to set up a meeting, for example, make sure everyone has the agenda and knows what you’ll discuss. Give people time to prepare, but also to come up with relevant questions in advance.
Create a feedback loop
Ideas can come from anyone at the office, so even if you normally share your performance reviews, it’s also appropriate to ask them for tips, suggestions, and opinions when it comes to your own work and the entire company. In addition to sharing constructive advice, your teams can then foster a more open, two-way communication model with you as their leader, but also amongst themselves.
In such an environment where people support and guide one another, mentorship becomes a natural result of all the feedback you offer. Give various feedback options, from setting up open-ended surveys, to making it easier for people to make suggestions anonymously via a box at the office, for example.
Build a collaborative workplace
Finally, smooth collaboration is one of the primary ingredients you need for a culture that is built on transparency. For example, by implementing remote-friendly project management tools, you’ll make sure that all your employees, both on-site and remote, can interact safely, seamlessly, and in real time.
Transparent collaboration and automated menial tasks help people stay on track with their individual assignments, which in turn allows them to actively contribute to company growth together. When people are able to communicate and collaborate across different departments without delays, it’s easier to include transparency in every part of your culture and strategy.
For some, transparency will remain just another buzzword, while others will take steps to ensure greater transparency in the workplace and among employees in all departments. This effort will result in better collaboration, smarter hiring practices, higher employee retention, and you’ll be able to turn workers into your most passionate brand ambassadors. It might take time to refine your strategy and slowly imbue your culture with this particular value, but transparency will certainly lead you towards a more cohesive brand presence and more success down the line.