Transparency Leads to Trust in the Workplace

by Nancy Owen, PHR

Do your employees trust you? Twenty-five percent of employees do not trust their employers, according to a recent American Psychological Association Survey that polled over 1,500 U.S. workers. A whopping fifty percent of them felt that their employers were not giving them all the information and true facts needed to be successful in their jobs.transparency blog3

Transparency: We can most likely attribute this statistic to the lack of transparency in the workplace. When leaders are transparent with their employees they develop a culture of trust. Most leaders only give positive information and are hesitant to give the true facts, good or bad. When your employees have a solid understanding of the company and its objectives, they can easily fit their roles into the goal of the organization. Giving information will allow them to feel part of the plan and will allow them to trust the leaders and the company. They want the truth, good or bad so they can adjust to it just as the organization does. Your employees want to know the whole picture and they want to understand how the jobs within the organization fit into that picture. When you are transparent with your employees you allow your employees to see the same vision and ultimately work toward the same goals and become part of the success of the company.

Engaged Employees: A culture that practices and allows transparency in the workplace has more engaged employees. The Harvard Business Review has conducted a survey that showed seventy percent of employees they spoke to stated that they were most interested and engaged when their leaders updated and communicated company information and results on a regular basis.

Communication: Your employees will be more likely to share information in a transparent organization. This happens through communication. As a matter of fact, communication starts when the executives of the company share the information. As all this sharing and collaborating is taking place it is improving the workplace communication.

Relationship with the Boss: Employees don’t just leave their jobs, they leave their managers. When employees have been surveyed over and over again throughout the years, Transparency blog7thirty-five percent of them said they were likely to leave their company because of the lack of trust they have for their manager and the information they get from them.

Managers can build that trust with their employees and minimize the turnover rate which will directly contribute to the bottom line. When managers are honest and transparent, more employees will feel compelled to stay with your organization.

Solving Problems: When leaders give their employees real time company challenges, the issues are resolved quicker. By being open and honest about company problems with your employees you will find that they will assist you in finding solutions that work. Employees have a firsthand view considering they process the companies work every day. Giving them the opportunity to be a part of a solution to a problem empowers them with more drive and energy than transparency blog6ever.

Successful Leaders: Create a safe, open and honest place for your employees to learn and grow. In order to create this type of environment you will need to provide more then policies, procedures, handbooks and an open door policy. Leaders can build a strong engaged workforce by having real time open communication with their employees. Be transparent whenever you can and trust that your employees can handle the good, bad and ugly in business. You set the example for the organization and, believe it or not, your employees copy and model themselves after you. It you are open and honest they will be open and honest in return. I think you will find your employees approaching you more and you enjoying what they have to say or suggest.

Surprise!:  transparency blog9Being Transparent also avoids the element of surprise. Employees do not like surprises. They want to be in the information loops real time so they can absorb the information slowly as it unfolds. If you continue to surprise your employees they will slowly lose faith in you and the organization. When they realize that what they thought what was happening was not really happening, they began to lose trust. They wonder what other surprises are coming and they wonder if they really want to stick around to find out.

What does this authentic and transparent environment look like?

  • A transparent organization will have a feeling of trust from the executives of the company to the entry level employee. If you think about it, you really trust your employee’s everyday with large amounts of work that, if done well, can make the company successful.
  • Employees trust each other especially because most organizations that work within a transparent culture also practice a teamwork philosophy.
  • Employees will trust their managers and the leaders of the company if they are given true information, good and bad.
  • In a transparent organization the work is completed with employees working together for the most efficient result, not competing against each other.
  • It is a place where the knowledge is shared not hoarded.
  • It is an organization that empowers its employees to be a part of the solution to the everyday challenges they face.

At the end of the day, you will find that you employ dependable, dedicated, supportive and respectful employee’s whose goals are the same as yours. They want their company to be successful. Keep them informed and you will earn their trust.

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