Transparency at Work

6 things that leaders can do to promote transparency in the workplace

Image of Emma Cullen
Emma Cullen2017-12-14
Leaders play an incredibly important role in shaping company culture and the workplace environment. Leaders can take steps to encourage transparency in the workplace.

But why specifically transparency? A transparent workplace nurtures an environment free from fear, encourages employees to be open about their achievements and mistakes and can overall create a safer, more positive environment. If you’re looking to promote transparency in the workplace, read on! We have outline 6 different things you can try to promote transparency in your workplace (with some great templates that will impress everyone)!

1. Make transparency part of company policy

The first, and arguably most important step that a leader can take in order to be transparent is to make transparency part of the company policy. Taking this active step will speak volumes about you as a leader and show that you really care about your employees.

If you do not have the authority to implement transparency on a company-wide scale, you can take steps to implement transparency within your team. Consider holding a workshop where you and your team can talk about what transparency is, why it is important and how you can take steps to implement it into daily office life.

Use this template to plan a transparency workshop for your team:

Transparency in our team

Transparency in our team

2. Confront difficult situations

Leaders will face difficult situations that they need to deal with. It’s up to the leader to decide on how they want to deal with these situations. Whether you need to confront gossip or rumours about the organization, transparency can be used to defuse these types of situation. It will establish that you, as a leader, are not afraid to be open and truthful and will set a clear precedent that employees can come directly to you if they have any questions or worries.

3. Hold an “ask me anything” session

Give your colleagues the chance to ask any questions to you by holding an “ask me anything” session. This activity will give people the opportunity to ask questions they wouldn’t normally have the chance to ask. If you are a leader in a larger organization this type of exercise can be particularly important as employees maybe have never had the chance to meet you, let alone ask you something.

For extra transparency and accountability, use Mentimeter to run your “ask me anything session”. This gives employees the chance to ask questions in an open environment where they can get answers. Use this template to conduct your own session:

Ask me anything

Ask me anything

4. Provide access to information

Within an organization there is often a lot of information that is not available to employees. Often this information is not made public because it is sensitive or for some other reason. However, there might be information that can be shared with employees, but isn’t. In order for you, as a leader to be transparent, you should consider if more information should be available to employees, and provide access to it.

5. Always have a “why”

As a leader, you probably have a make numerous decisions on a daily basis. When you’re making decisions be mindful and where appropriate, let people know why you have made certain decisions in certain ways. This not only gives your team an insight into your thinking, but it also helps to create an open environment for discussion. Your team will be more understanding of why you make certain decisions, and will be able to question you if they do not agree with how something was approached. Remember, that you should always be open for challenges and feedback. Think of it as a chance to develop and learn and not an attack on you.

6. Involve people in decision making

What’s even better than explaining your decision, it to involve others in the decision making process. You can do this in a number of different ways. Sometimes a quick poll on a subject can be enough to get input from others, in other cases you might want to hold a workshop or brainstorming session in order to make a collaborative decision. This approach to decision making does not only make you more transparent as a leader, but can also help you come to better decisions for your organization. Test out this template in order to get feedback from your team on your ideas before making a decision:

Idea feedback workshop

Idea feedback workshop

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