A New Level of Transparency in the Workplace

By: Trish Riswick

A New Level of Transparency in the Workplace

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5 minute read. 

Not only are consumers demanding transparency in companies they support but so are their employees. Transparency is becoming a vital element in all workplaces as it offers an open dialogue between employees and their employers.
Trust is typically established by unguarded communication. We will be breaking down our discussion on transparency into two parts. Starting this week with why transparency in the workplace is so important and how to implement it. Followed by our second part next Tuesday regarding how transparency is important for your client relationships.
As always, you can listen here or read on to see some of the highlights from our discussion. 
Why is Transparency in The Workplace Important?
If you are the type of employer who has nothing to hide and showcases your successes and failures, then you are already likely transparent. If you are an employer who uses the phrase “on a need to know basis” then you are not transparent and likely creating a toxic work environment.
As an employer, it is your job to create a healthy and successful environment for you and your employees. The easiest way to create this environment is to be transparent and open your company’s inner workings to your entire team. By allowing them to know more, it will create a safe and trusting environment, where everyone feels appreciated and involved. It will also allow you the opportunity to learn in a grassroots fashion.  Alternatively, if you keep your team on a “need to know basis”, they will not trust your leadership or help the company improve. As such, these are typically positions with high turnover rates.
Transparent workplaces create more energetic and creative spaces. Your team will feel comfortable about bringing new ideas to the table and letting you know of any problems.
How to Implement Transparency in the Workplace?
No one wants to work in a fear-based environment. Employees are not able to work to their highest ability because they feel as though they are walking on eggshells every single day. To implement transparency in your workplace, you will need to make some big changes. Here are 6 ways to help get you started.
1. Show the Revenues

Allowing your team to be able to see how the company is or isn’t profiting is a great first step. This way they can see just how much they have helped or where they need to improve. With success, you will be able to celebrate and build moral. In failure, you can brainstorm new ideas and implement improvement opportunities. Both bring the team together and allow everyone to feel like they are a part of a community.

2. Share the Knowledge

At Knowledge Broker, we have whiteboards around the office. The whiteboards are there to mark down anything that we learn. It allows the team to share and learn from each other. We also create individual “How To’s” for each of our jobs and tasks. That way if anyone ever needed to do someone else’s job there is a pre-written manual to guide them.  

3. Disregard Titles

We often get tied down with the official title of our roles. Titles look great on a resume but can cause serious tension within a workplace. Especially when there are multiple people with the same position just at different levels of seniority. Instead of spending time on who was there first or official titles, spend time on defining what each person’s individual tasks and special skill sets are. This way if anyone needs to delegate or ask for clarity on a topic, everyone within the company knows who to ask.  

4. Draw the Line

Transparency isn’t about knowing everyone’s business especially when it comes to people’s personal lives, salaries or reviews. Give your employees everything they need to succeed but keep their personal lives separate. Gossip can be a deadly thing in the workplace especially when there isn’t a comfortable environment to speak openly about it.  

5. Use Smart Technology

By far the easiest way to implement transparency is by using software like Dropbox or Google Drive to share files. This way everyone can have access to the same information. Also, have a shared calendar. Post each person’s office hours, work plans, set reminders and appointments. This was you can wisely plan group meetings knowing when and where your team will be. Lastly, keep track of team and employee goals by using an app like Wunderlist.  

6. Give and Receive Feedback

By far the most important element of transparency is taking the time to give and receive feedback. Employee reviews are a common practice in the workplace but there is a right way to execute them and a wrong way. Employers, this is not your time to tell your team everything that they are doing wrong. You should be doing that at the moment when the problems occur. By allowing problems to build up, you are demonstrating that you do not know how to deal with them head-on. Also dropping a load of negativity on your employee all at once is unpredictable as you do not know how they will take it. It may create ongoing insecurities for them and will certainly not motivate them to work harder.

Consider this instead: use the review to highlight their successes and ask them where they think they need to improve. Then ask them how you can help them improve. Ask them how you can help them reach their goals and ask if there is anything else you can do to improve as well. By asking for feedback yourself, you are creating an open dialogue and learning how to be a better boss.
Your employee’s successes and failures are a complete reflection of your job as an employer and leader. If your employees are not energetic, comfortable, trusting or creative the problem may lie in the level of your transparency.
Transparency feeds into your work culture and what your clients see. If they see your employees happy and confident, they will feel better about working with you. More about that next week when we continue the discussion of  “A New Level of Transparency”.
That was it for this week’s podcast. Just as a reminder, our weekly podcast comes out every Tuesday on YoutubeSpotifyGoogle Podcast and Apple Podcast.
As always you can email me at trish@knowledgebroker.ca with your comments and ideas. 
Our job at Knowledge Broker is to cultivate an open source of information. Knowledge is power and creates experts and understanding. Do you want power? Connect with us here on our website or on social media at “@knowledgebrkr”.

My knowledge becomes your asset and my hard work is your vehicle to success.”
JOSHUA CAMPBELL (@knowledgebrkr)
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Centre, Brokerage
249 Avenue Road • Newmarket, ON L3Y 1N8
Phone 289.231.0001






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