Five Clear Signs Transparency Is An Issue for Your Company

July 20, 2017

Employees crave to understand the company they spend the majority of their time participating in and building. In the past, it was acceptable for leaders to keep company plans, investments, and initiatives tightly held to themselves. This is no longer the case. Company transparency is gaining popularity and is the difference between employees feeling ingrained in the mission, or left out in the cold as an insignificant puzzle piece.

When it comes to achieving company transparency, where does your business stack up? Have you hit on the perfect combination, or are your team members feeling left out and rudderless? Or do you even know where your company stands on the matter? Here are five clear signs transparency is an issue for your company.  

1. Key numbers are guarded like the Crown Jewels.

If any employee can’t answer how much last year’s revenue was, how many accounts were won and lost, and what your most profitable product is, there is a transparency problem. Leaders who commit to sharing this type of information build stronger connections with every employee, as they feel more included in the company’s inner circle. Keeping sales figures and product performance a secret only serves to disengage staff and create apathy toward their job.

2. Your mission statement and core values are broad and vague.

Examine the mission statement and core values, assuming they are laid out. If you don’t have them, or they are not clear, transparency is an issue. If the company mission is murky, how can employees possibly understand the actions they need to take to work toward success? It’s vital to craft specific mission statements and core values, and talk about them in meetings consistently.

3. Your teams or not cohesive and/or don’t get along.

Transparency builds trust, which leads to tighter bonds. If each team member is focusing on a different goal, or if there are squabbles because of personality conflicts, this could be a sign that transparency is an issue for your company. Address this first by making sure all positions are transparent in their responsibilities. Sharing company goals, successes, and failures is also integral in helping teams gel and work together productively toward a common goal.

4. Few employees share their ideas and suggestions.

Transparency is a two-way street. Team members who feel they are “in the know” are more likely to share their concepts to improve and expand business. Employees who are left out or don’t have their finger on the pulse of the company are less likely to put themselves out there with new ideas. If they don’t know what’s going on, they may not even have any ideas! Smart business leaders measure the creative feedback they receive from employees. If you are not receiving much, you should examine your company transparency to see if this is what is causing this stagnant issue.

5. There are several tasks performed by only one person.

Employees who hold onto certain tasks are doing so for job security. This smacks of a lack of company transparency. Team members who feel part of the big picture are less likely to be intimidated by others understanding their job responsibilities. After all, a single person holding the keys to the kingdom is potentially disastrous to a business. What if the only person with key company passwords became injured and unable to supply them? This is just one example of how “information hoarding” can negatively affect a company. Only by creating an environment of transparency and sharing can management dissuade people of this attitude and create a higher functioning workforce.

Businesses today are moving toward transparency, and that’s a good thing. If you find that your company could use some improvement on the issue, take stock of these measurements and then put actions in place to address your organization’s shortcomings. Greater transparency will yield a happier, more productive workplace that brings greater revenue and a stronger overall business entity.



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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