A More Transparent Company Culture
From police forces using body cameras to Whole Foods sharing salary information, more and more companies are looking into creating a more transparent company culture to build trust and create high levels of employee advocacy.
The Definition of Corporate Culture
A company’s culture sets the tone in so many ways. Your workplace culture defines the boundaries for how things truly get done on a day-to-day basis. Your culture shapes the way employees think, behave, and work.
New employees must learn the cultural norms to be “accepted as a member” and effective leaders must hire, promote, and reward employees who behave in way that aligns with the desired corporate culture.
A More Transparent Company Culture
Think of a more transparent company culture as one where timely information flow is embraced, knowledge sharing is the norm, and data is available to all. This means that every employee can access information about where the company is going, how the company is doing and where they stand. In some companies, it includes sharing calendars (even that of the CEO’s).
What You Can Gain with a More Transparent Company Culture
For many who are more used to keeping plans, information, and finances close to the chest, such openness is at first uncomfortable. Many things should be kept within the Executive Team or to a select group of individuals who can handle the truth, right? But here is what an open and more transparent company culture can do for your organization.
We know from assessing organizational cultures that cultural transparency helps to improve five key areas:
Without trust, it is difficult to create the vulnerability and cultural accountability required for a high preforming team.
In fact, a recent study from Wakefield Research found 92 percent of respondents said they’d increase their discretionary effort and improve their performance if their goals were visible on a company-wide basis. Another 37 percent said their performance would increase if they better understood the overall goals of their company and their peers.
Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of employees reported not clearly understanding the overall goals of their business — not a great foundation for increased performance.
Ensure that individual, team, and company performance is being measured using the critical few relevant, aligned, influenceable, meaningful, and timely metrics that carry the most weight. Then make sure that results are visible and easy to understand.
Transparency helps to create a mutual respect and an overall desire to improve so coaching toward better performance is natural, desired, and supported. This enables coaches to be more targeted, specific, timely, and team goal-oriented.
The result is that employees feel ownership and satisfaction in their ability to contribute to the company’s success. Sharing breeds individual and collective accountability and reduces back-channeling and gossip at work.
The Bottom Line
Perhaps the Dalai Lama said it best: “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” How transparent is your company culture? You will know you are moving in the right direction when your employees believe that:
To learn more about how to create a more transparent company culture, download 29 Ways to Build and Maintain Trust as a Leader
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