This article comes from Entrepreneur.
There is a lot of talk about transparency of leaders and companies, but how transparent should you be?
There are many benefits to being transparent, and one of the most pertinent is that of trust. Trust cannot be cultivated if transparency is not something which flows from the top tiers of the organization. If you commit to transparency, it has to be something which everyone takes seriously; otherwise, that trust will be lost. Without trust, it can be difficult to motivate your staff to take risks and even tougher to empower them to make the best decisions for your business.
While you may wish to maintain a culture of transparency, keep in mind that no one person needs to understand everything to do their job well. There’s no point in overloading a new junior employee with all the facts that a staff member of 10 years understands. It’s too much information for anyone to handle at once, and it’s likely not necessary for them to carry out their role effectively. Your staff can easily become misinformed and unnecessarily stressed about things that don’t concern them in the first place.
You can successfully operate a transparent company without revealing everything. Transparency isn’t an all or nothing scenario. Find a comfortable middle ground that works for you, your leadership team and your employees. Keep an open door policy in which team members have the ability to ask questions — even if the topic isn’t something you can provide immediate answers to. As an employee, there’s nothing worse than wondering where you fit into an organization and how you can make a difference. Make sure your team knows that communication is key.
At the end of the day, you want to ensure that your team can work together collaboratively. If everyone is on the same page, you and your employees can operate alongside each other to reach your mission and company goals. Studies show that nearly 80 percent of engaged employees have trust in their leadership and their vision. With solid employee engagement and a highly collaborative work environment, nothing is off-limits.
If your goal is to increase your transparency among leadership, it needs to be communicated from top to bottom — and back up again. It’s a two-way street with information being passed around as necessary. And, most importantly, it needs to be seen as a company-wide priority by everyone for habits to change. You may need to consider new technology to enable the effective dissemination of information throughout the organization so everyone can stay in the loop.
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