Three Tips for Building Transparency in the Workplace

Building Transparency in the WorkplaceWhen it comes to creating a healthy, vibrant workplace culture, transparency is a must. When your people know you’re honest, open and upfront with them, they’re more apt to be successful and feel good about their jobs. Surprisingly, however, in a 2014 American Psychological Association employee survey, only about half say employers are being transparent. Many of us leaders would like to think that we’re being candid and communicating in ways that promote transparency. When it comes to building a professional environment that effectively values and upholds transparency, it’s you—the leader—who must set the precedent and put into place systems, policies, procedures and expectations that will nourish and sustain a candid culture.

Here’s how to build greater transparency with your people:

1. Create Effective Avenues For Providing Feedback

Make it a two-way street—both for you to deliver feedback to employees and for them to feel they can give feedback to you.

Ways to increase employee feedback may include:

  • regular, not just annual, performance reviews that focus on both positive feedback as well as opportunities for growth and improvement;
  • company-wide recognition programs that highlight positive behaviors, such as a “Caught ya doing something good” campaign or a formal awards program;
  • team consults, where you leverage the feedback from other team members who can guide and coach a fellow team member; and
  • real-time feedback, such as dashboard featuring performance data and goal achievement.

2. Tackle Issues And Tear Down Walls

By this, I’m talking about that proverbial “elephant in the room,” swiftly and tactfully managing conflict, and providing ways for others to manage conflict in safe, healthy ways. When you show you’re not afraid to tackle problems and address barriers, this courageous albeit necessary practice communicates to others that you don’t tolerate secrets, hidden agendas, rumors and other dishonest mindsets and behaviors. If you’ve hired the right kind of people, they’ll follow and respect this example you’ve set. Over time, they will fully embrace transparency, too.

3. Use An Accountability System

The beauty of using such a tool is that it provides insight into what’s working and what isn’t within your organization. In fact, the data and metrics speak for themselves, painting a clear picture of what is going on with people’s goals and performance. Everyone participates in it, everyone sees it, and everyone knows the truth. Whether you use the MAP System or another proven method for accountability, know that having such a structure is essential for effectively monitoring, measuring and addressing performance. It’s vital within a culture that consistently values, creates and upholds transparency.

How do you manage the stress tied to giving negative employee feedback?


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