Transparent is all about being a real person, a real leader, and a real company.
> Organization shares every what, why & how about everything they execute, decisions they take. It’s not limited to top management or team leads. It should not be told but should be visible in actions.
> Should know what employees think, how they feel. And it the duty of management to know about this, very few will come and say I am uncomfortable, its your job to know if all are really happy or just the happy faces.
1. How much your employees knows you ?
Organizations usually have random one-on-ones, monthly newsletters, quarterly town-halls, annual day to share thoughts and vision management has for coming time.
What we have achieved in past time, which companies we acquired, which clients we won, which deal we have upper hand on, what milestones we have achieved and where to go next.
Demonstration is done at bigger level, about how these goals will be achieved. Rewarding those who you think contributed towards new step. Encouraging everyone to do their best and help them reach new heights.
But is this all enough or your employees deserve more to know ?
Do you think something is left untold intentionally or unintentionally ?
What if you are telling about metrics very few are interested in and not providing details about the stuff your employees really interested to hear ?
To answer these, you need to put yourself in shoes of employees, and need to think from their point of view.
Many employees may not be encouraged if your profits are increased from 15 to 25% in current financial year which is big thing for management. They want to know if you are planning to go next mile, how we can help you.
What role I can play to reach that milestone and how I am improving in the process ? While management focus on praising about organizational growth, employees are interested about their individual growth.
We happily surprise and celebrate success by rewarding some of the employees. It’s good and much needed, but along with it is must as well to demonstrate why they are getting the Kudos.
While we demonstrate our achievements, we should be transparent enough to explain other side of story as well, which clients we have lost, how much revenue/profits had declined due to these reasons. These will not be taken as negative if you are able to justify the reason and speak the truth.
And if you can’t justify, there is no point keeping employees morale high.
Why you promoted A over B. Obviously, you can’t promote everyone but there must be specifics so that employees not chatter along watercooler.
Some organizations not even share their revenues or profits. Although, employees should not worry for same but their is no reason to not to share when we talk about transparency.
If management has taken some decision, speak in your town halls or any way you get a chance to tell your employees irrespective of designation/title/department.
Especially junior members of team feel unappreciated when policies/decisions or any other thing been discussed only with senior folks. You are not be transparent if you treat employees differently.
We use the word equal employee opportunity, but do we really follow the value or it is just a line to hang on the wall.
Specify everyone’s roles & responsibilities and share in public with all employees. Every employee has right to know what my colleague / supervisor or other team member is doing.
You may be working hard for improving the culture and making it more transparent but if your employees feel the same.
Care for employees in their own style. Share your thoughts about every minute decision you made or rather involve them as well. You never know, who can suggest what.
Our capabilities are unlimited, potential is huge, you have spent enormous efforts in hiring A-players, what if you can’t involve them in taking decisions.
Employees feel appreciated when everything is shared, loyalty is increased which helps more than bigger paychecks during difficult times. Trust takes time to build but moment to break.
Appreciate everyone efforts, it’ll not cost a penny. Help everyone succeed, you will automatically be succeeded.
2. How much you knows your employees ?
Most of the time, organization think that conveying all the ins and outs to its employees means being completely transparent.
But there is other side of story too, that most of the organization failed to get into. Transparency is a 2-way process. As it is important distributing all information freely among all employees, it is equally important to know what your employees think about that.
Are your employees happy with your policies/ decisions you took ?
It may sound ‘Yes’ sometimes by looking into the faces, but is that face real or you are having some blind-spots ?
It’s quite obvious to think that if anybody has some concern, he/she may raise it easily as we value transparent culture. But, is this thinking correct ?
Employees came from different backgrounds, different culture, different working environment. Few may dare to speak the truth, but most of them will not.
We need to understand that we are not aware about all watercooler discussions that employees do all the day and it is very important.
If someone don’t like something in practice, he/she will share it with other colleagues that will make the environment toxic. And nobody wants their A-players to get affected by some toxic fishes.
So, what is the solution ?
You need to ask your employees every time you meet them about their problems/concerns they are facing in a smart way.
If you think, you ask someone in one-on-one about their concern and they will speak, it will not happen every time.
You need to be smart and take out the things that can help you grow in long run. You need to ask smart questions. You required to personally connected with them, need to build trust with them, need to show and feel empathy towards them.
This way, you can figure out a lot. But what if still someone not has courage to speak and is the one whose one concern or suggestion can make or break the things.
You need to ask them in their way not yours.
One process I personally like to have is anonymous surveys. Some may like this idea and some not. But, why I think it is good is because of 3 reasons:
1) Employee speak if they just have to rate answer on scale of 1 to 5 instead of many long descriptive answers (although, suggestions should be made optional)
2) As it is not consuming much of employees time and they know is completely anonymous, most of them will fill it.
3) Management has no reason to doubt the pattern obtained as it is something majority of employees care about
e.g Management may think that employees are so happy that will not gonna think about changing their jobs in at-least next 2 years.
Put the same question to employees in survey – On a scale of 1 to 5, how much do you think you will be working with us ?
Now, If answer has more than 80% employees rating 3 or above, it might be an serious issue.
Like this, we can get many insights that majority of employee have in their minds and can be beneficial for growth of our company.
We make our Culture open so that employees remain loyal and happy and hence go an extra mile to do their work. And vice-versa employees are loyal & honest when organizational culture is transparent.
Hence, we need to understand & implement the tactics what made our culture transparent.