By Paul Yung
Transparency is an expression that gets tossed around a lot these days, one that many leaders could find challenging. How can you tell whether you’re being transparent enough?
How much is too much?
We all have experienced frustrations being on the outside looking in; expected to implement directives from our “superior” with no understanding of the “why” behind the decision. When decisions are made behind closed doors, and organisational leaders don’t prioritise open communication, the organisation’s rank-and-file tend to fill in the gaps with the available information and create opinions and reasons for the “why”, if none was provided to them. This kind of closed approach to leadership causes bafflement, raises resistance to change, reduces trust and undermines efforts to generate employee buy-in and influence behaviour.
Organisations and their leaders can’t accumulate knowledge in this day of rapid communication and dissemination of information across the internet and social media platforms. They can’t afford to be perceived as covering up or hiding key information relevant to their people and the public.
Transparency allows employees to be more honest about their viewpoints, expressing them in a public dialogue. The more honesty and openness you encourage in the context of your team, the faster you’ll be able to work together to achieve a common end goal. A lack of openness and transparency has negative PR implications for organisations, but more importantly, it corrupts an organisation’s and leader’s trust and credibility. Without trust, you can’t lead. Leaders who want to influence and impact those around them need to create and encourage a transparent and open communication flow and collaborative learning environment.
Hence here are three best practices that can be done to improve your organisational transparency.
Create A feedback Culture: If we want to encourage a culture of transparency and honesty in our organisation, we can start by making it safe for our people to push back and challenge us.
Show sincere appreciation: Openness and transparency are not just limited to sharing information with your people. Be open about the contributions of everyone in the organisation.
Learn from the losses: Allow yourself to feel the human emotions of a loss or a failure that affects the business, talk about it together, and move forward. Don’t allow business lows to jeopardise your relationships.
In summary, recognize business victories in different ways to strengthen leadership, unify a team and foster loyalty. When you celebrate the wins, and learn from the losses in business together, you’re driving motivation and establishing connections between the workers invested in your business’s success.