Transparency and Trust – HR Development Capsules
As you will be seeing in this series there are several elements that are key to having a good organizational climate. A good organizational climate is a key to successfully helping employees develop their skills and grow with and within the company. Building transparency and trust are essential to setting a healthy framework with your employees.
This term can have different meanings for different organizations. The definition that encompasses every organization is: “Running a business in a way that produces straightforward communications between managers and employees”. The core of transparency is in not keeping any valuable information from your team. Regardless of the nature and outcome of the information you must share it and make them aware.
A successful, happy, and productive workplace enables information free flow, which empowers employees. Information and knowledge traveling in all directions and including everyone involved in company growth is proof of a transparent workplace.
Them knowing all relevant information can help them look out for the wellness of the organization. Also, feeling included means they will feel more identified with the company. This means they will get themselves more involved in the processes and complete projects successfully. And your goal as a manager and your company’s goal should always be being successful.
Transparency is a process that is built and strengthened with time and work. So you may be wondering “what can I do today to start building trust within my organization?”. There are many techniques you can implement, but today I will share 4 tips
Encourage your employees across the hierarchy to involve themselves in the company’s processes. Urge them to ask questions and speak their minds out. Continually inform them of your company’s objectives and goals, and the strategies you will need to implement to achieve them. Be open about addressing controversial topics. Be honest with them at all times.
It is important that everyone in your team feels comfortable expressing their concerns and doubts. You will need to offer them a safe space that is open to dialogue without confrontations or repercussions. For example you can implement anonymous feedback or private spaces.
Openness is just the tip of the iceberg
Being transparent requires free access to information, but this may not be enough. The amount of information and the industry’s technicalities can be intimidating to some people. You should always make all information horizontal and understandable across the hierarchy. Providing clarity about what the information means for all the different people that comprise your organization.
Ask your employees what is it they want to know and understand. Then, establish a process to make all the information deliverable and digestible. This may involve interdepartmental collaborations and interdisciplinary projects that will most definitely help your organization successfully reach its goals.
Our leaders and managers need to understand this is a really important factor. Everyone in the organization must be open to giving and receiving honest feedback. To receive and provide suggestions and opinions. As well as doubts and concerns. However it is important we take the time to encourage a healthy and safe space for this feedback as well.
Nobody likes to be kept in the dark. If something important or worrisome is happening with your company and is not “good news” you need to communicate it. Being aware of the “bad times” will make them more cooperative and understanding when you take difficult decisions.
Hiding information will only set the ground for lucubration, and people will frequently assume the worst. Rumors will spread like butter and create anxiety and tension. Sharing the bad news sets a foundation for trust, which is our next topic. Both transparency and trust are tightly linked.
The company’s success is hand-in-hand with work team trust. Sadly most organizations have a low trust culture. In order to improve your team’s trust, you need to have open communication, transparency -like I mentioned before- and your team must know each other very well. And by knowing each other I am not saying they know every personal aspect of each other. I am saying they know their skills, strengths, and weaknesses in the workplace. This in order to complement each other to achieve mutual goals.
The type and level of trust you establish with your team are also determined by the style of leadership you decided to use. Some leaders and managers decide to develop an emotional-based trust to increase organizational trust. The trust you develop with your team impacts how well you inspire and motivate them. Show them with actions what your words meant and even in uncertainty, they will trust you. It’s unlikely your employees would engage and identify with the organization if your actions and words are not connected.
I’ve mentioned it is important your team members know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. And an important start to establishing a good team and organizational trust lays in everyone doing their part. Making sure everyone in your team has the skills, knowledge, and experiences to reach team goals. Once every team member knows what the rest are made of it is easier to commend and trust the rest.
Be Self Conscious
Acknowledge your weaknesses and mistakes. Show your team you know what and when you did wrong and make it up to them. Also, reinforce them when they succeed or do something outstanding. Building trust is about establishing credibility among your team. Set realistic goals and make it public when they are achieved.
And remember, congratulate in public and correct in private. Always aim to build and strengthen your company’s trust and transparency.