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3 Keys to Unlock the Benefits of Transparency in the Workplace

Written by
George Dickson
George Dickson

An increasing number of companies and employees across the world are warming up to the idea of transparency and embracing the benefits that come along with it. In fact, a study by Slack found that 80% of today’s workers want insights into how decisions are made at their organization, and 87% of today’s job seekers want transparency in their future workplace.

Still, many company leaders find themselves asking how and what to share when it comes to important topics like budget changes, job performance, and compensation. So, we teamed up with our friends at Pave for a webinar filled to the brim with useful advice for building a more transparent workplace at your organization.

To see the full conversation, watch the on-demand webinar recording: Expert Advice for Building a More Transparent Workplace. 

Transparency at work: why it matters

For employees

Transparency makes it easier to reduce focus on office politics and lets the information speak for itself.

For example, Bonusly embraces internal transparency by making salary bands for any given role and seniority level available to the entire organization. Salary negotiations can be susceptible to bias and can also lead to wage inequities. Having salary information available to all employees helps avoid unequal outcomes and fosters a more equitable workplace.  

For the public

Transparency inspires trust by showing that a company has nothing to hide. Better yet, many of these open organizations have some incredibly valuable insights to share. 💡

In addition to sharing salary band information internally, Bonusly has taken it a step further by publishing compensation philosophy publicly in the employee "Unhandbook." As a result, prospective employees understand how compensation is determined and other companies can even adopt similar philosophies. 

Buffer, another great example, has famously embraced "Default to Transparency" (one of Bonusly's company values), sharing everything from revenue numbers to strategic successes and failures with the public. If you're curious about what's going on at Buffer, you can take a look at the Buffer Blog, where they share all of these insights.

For many organizations, implementing openness at the level of Bonusly or Buffer might be a difficult pill to swallow all at once.

Many leaders are apprehensive about transparency in the workplace, holding the assumption that lifting the veil on their operations would open Pandora's Box. 

With that in mind, you might find it easier to introduce transparency incrementally.

transparency

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How to create a more transparent workplace: 3 steps

Now you might be asking—where do we go from here? You don't have to dive in headfirst to experience transparency's benefits. It's easy enough to get started with just a few useful, yet non-invasive practices:

We’ve compiled a list of three tips from the webinar that every organization can take today to begin building transparency into their workplace culture.

1. Share successes 💥

If you're not ready to share everything, start with sharing your successes! Sharing wins, small and large, amongst your colleagues is one of the most powerful ways to motivate employees and inspire camaraderie.

Model this behavior yourself by regularly recognizing and celebrating the contributions your team makes on a daily basis.

2. Set goals and communicate progress 📈

Setting effective, measurable, and attainable goals is a crucial skill for any employee. Sharing those goals and status updates openly amongst the team helps everyone maintain a good understanding of where each project sits.

3. Make challenges public ⛏️

How often have you faced a big challenge that was easier to solve alone? Sharing the challenges you face with your colleagues can give them an opportunity to offer creative solutions you may not have considered. You might even encourage managers to share their challenges with direct reports during 1:1 meetings to brainstorm solutions, build trust, and set an example for them to candidly talk about their challenges.

The takeaway

Transparency doesn't have to be radical to be useful. You can still benefit from taking a few steps at a time. Once you take those steps, you may realize that stepping out into the light is a great way to grow. 

See the full webinar recording on Expert Advice for Building a More Transparent Workplace.👇

The webinar recording includes:

  • The importance of defaulting to transparency and how it benefits your employees and your business.
  • An explanation of the pillars of transparency and how to implement them in your organization.
  • How defaulting to transparency can help you nail tough conversations with your employees.

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Originally published on August 30, 2022 → Last updated August 30, 2022

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George Dickson

George is dedicated to strengthening organizational cultures with thoughtful leadership and frequent recognition. George formerly managed content and community at Bonusly.

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