Transparency in the Workplace

Hello! This post is inspired by a recent Bufferchat (a weekly Twitter discussion facilitated by the folks at Buffer), which focused on the topic of transparency in the workplace. It got me thinking about the benefits of being open in the workplace. Read on for more!

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Is transparency in the workplace important?

Being open and transparent in the workplace, allowing others to be aware of the decisions being made by leaders, helps people buy into the organisation’s vision and goals.

Through sharing their vision and creating open lines of communication between all levels of staff, and across departments, leaders can create a workplace culture that  makes staff feel valued. This is important because people who feel valued are more likely to be productive. With boosted productivity and professionalism in the workplace, informed staff believe their employer values them, and will want to better perform in their role.

Should you be transparent with everything in the workplace?

This is often a hotly contested question. Personally, I take the view that there is a need to balance transparency and privacy. The decision to share something in the workplace should be taken on a case by case basis, using a set of established standards. These standards should be set by leaders in the organisation.

Aside from privacy, another factor is information overload. Giving people too much information can be detrimental, just like under-informing them. Also, in cases where not all of the relevant information is known, giving staff only half of the picture can be worse than not providing them with any information at all.

How can you be more transparent in the workplace?

There are many ways you can foster transparency in the workplace. A couple of examples are; starting a regular staff newsletter that allows staff to see how the organisation is reaching their goals, and facilitating cross-departmental shadowing or information sessions that allow people to learn how other teams work.

Finally, one of the key themes I noticed from the above mentioned Bufferchat was a desire for transparency around HR activities. While HR generally requires a degree of discretion, given its activities involve individuals, making information available about upcoming recruitment activities might be one way to foster transparency in this area.

Until next time,


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