How to Create Workplace Transparency in 4 Simple Steps


January 30, 2020

Jacob Thomas

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There's been a lot of talk about company culture and employee satisfaction in recent years - with good reason! The more enjoyable your organization is to work for, the more effective your staff will be at their jobs and the longer they'll stick around.

Woman is transparent with man at work. They recognize each other on Kudos for clear communication and teamwork.

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There's been a lot of talk about company culture and employee satisfaction in recent years — with good reason! The more enjoyable your organization is to work for, the more effective your staff will be at their jobs and the longer they'll stick around.

But here's the thing: you can't achieve peak employee satisfaction without true workplace transparency. The two fit together like a hand in a glove.

Keep reading to learn exactly what workplace transparency is, why it's so important, and how to achieve it at your place of business.

What is workplace transparency?

According to Glassdoor, workplace transparency means "operating in a way that creates openness between managers and employees.”

In other words, it's an honest, two-way conversation between a company and the people who work for it, which leads to greater levels of trust, better communication, and increased engagement amongst staff members.

Why is workplace transparency important?

So why is workplace transparency so crucial to business success? Are there any benefits to fostering openness and clear communication at your place of work? In a word, yes! Take a look at these surprising statistics regarding workplace transparency:

  • According to Forbes, 50% of workers feel that the organizations they work for are being held back by a lack of transparency.
  • Furthermore, 46% of employees state that a lack of transparent communication from leadership has driven them to seek a new job.
  • A Harvard Business Review study informs us that 70% of workers say that they're most engaged in their job when senior management communicates openly with them.

These three stats show us that the modern worker both craves workplace transparency and is more effective in their duties when they receive it.

How to create workplace transparency

Now that we’ve covered the what and why of workplace transparency, let's get to how to create and foster it in your workplace.

1. Commit to workplace transparency

The first step towards enhancing workplace transparency is to simply commit to it.

Fortunately, this doesn't need to be difficult. By telling your team what the direction of the company is, why their actions matter, even the financial standing of your organization, you'll be able to win the trust of your employees and improve internal communication.

So, commit to transparency, openly talk about the state of your company and/or department, and share organizational goals with each member of your team. This can be done in company meetings, one-on-one performance evaluations, team-wide emails, etc.

This is the first step towards true workplace transparency.

2. Empower your team members

Don't just encourage your team to communicate more often. Empower them to take initiative and make their own decisions. This will show them that you truly trust and respect their unique skill sets and decision-making abilities. It will also hold them more accountable for their actions.

For example, rather than having to approve every single business-related purchase, you could give your team leaders an annual budget and trust them to spend organizational funds wisely. This is a surefire way to boost workplace transparency.

A side benefit of employee empowerment is the boost in productivity that your team will undoubtedly experience. When your staff can make their own decisions without running them by you every time, things will get done quicker — guaranteed!

3. Invest in the right tools

Modern technology makes it easy to improve workplace transparency. Communication apps like Slack and Yammer and project management software such as Trello and Asana make communicating with employees a breeze.

One often overlooked tool that can also help with workplace transparency is an employee experience software like Kudos. It allows companies to foster company culture and boost employee engagement via recognition tools and analytical insights.

Want to know what your team thinks of a new organizational initiative? Send out a quick survey and then share the results with your staff. Ready to boost employee engagement and retention? Publicly reward exceptional performance by recognizing them in a team email, at your next team meeting – or with an online tool like Kudos.

When your team feels like their hard work matters, their voices are heard, and that management is comfortable sharing company details with them, workplace transparency will flourish.

4. Seek ways to improve communication

Finally, it's always important to seek new ways to improve communication. What can you do better? How can you increase organizational openness and transparency?

Perhaps it's as simple as investing in new software as we mentioned above. Maybe you just need to encourage openness at your place of business during team meetings and in personal evaluation sessions. It could be something more drastic like hiring new employees who are more naturally inclined to transparency.

Whatever your situation — even if you already feel like your organization is fairly transparent — be on the lookout for new ways to boost workplace transparency.

Boost workplace transparency today

Workplace transparency is important for modern companies to embrace and demonstrate. Doing so will increase employee satisfaction, reduce staff turnover, and boost team productivity. Fortunately, you now know exactly how to achieve true transparency at your place of work!

Originally published January 2020. Last updated November 2023.

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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