How Do I Make My Company More Transparent?
What does being transparent mean in business? It signifies openness and willingness to be straightforward about the company and its operations.
Companies that value accountability and transparency share information on their performance, internal processes, sourcing, pricing, as well as their business values like their mission and vision.
Transparency in business also means a willingness to be upfront when there are issues the company is facing, as well as the steps being taken to resolve them.
Here are a few ways your company can apply transparency.
Define and Follow Your Core Values
A company that is aiming to improve transparency must identify and follow its core values. These values can help guide the leaders in decision making. Solidifying the company values also makes it easier for employees to exemplify them. Part of transparency in business is making sure that everyone in the business is onboard with the move towards accountability.
Address Issues as they Arise
Companies can also be candid about their experiences. Trust is built externally as well as internally. When a business is forthright with its issues and how these are being addressed, consumers and employees alike can be assured that things are being handled the way they should be. When nothing is being kept in the dark, it is easier to foster a sense of trust. It also creates a sense of loyalty between customers and the business.
Share Information Freely
Another way to improve transparency is to be upfront with employees. This means sharing information with them, both good and bad. One of the advantages of transparency is that it builds trust within a team. Rather than letting employees get wind of news through the rumor mill, show them that the company is willing to share information with them and keep them up to date. Regular meetings to check in with employees is an easy way to loop them in, as well as having managers relay information and updates to their respective departments.
One easy way to share information and run a transparent organization is by having a public org chart.
The Benefits of Transparency in Business
Trust and transparency in business make it easier to attract strong talent to the team. In a search for new candidates, culture fit matters just as much as hard skills. People want to be a part of a company that is straightforward about its values, priorities, and salary expectations. This way, transparency becomes an effective asset in the acquisition of talent that would drive the business forward.
The importance of communication and transparency in business is also evident in the way it facilitates improved operational efficiencies. Sharing information within an organization keeps everyone on the team on the same page. Transparency makes it possible for a department to operate smoothly as expectations are managed, goals are set, and progress is regularly shared. These are issues that make it possible for a team to avoid unnecessary conflict that could potentially snowball into bigger issues and create roadblocks later.
Being transparent in business also helps foster better relationships with customers. In general, companies who are more forthright with their results in quarterly or annual reports are more successful than those who are not. This is because a majority of consumers would be willing to spend more if they knew that their patronage was going to a company that values transparency in business.
The Disadvantage of Transparency in Business
Honesty is usually the best policy, but caution must also be practiced when your organization is working to become more transparent. It is possible for too much transparency to backfire on a company. For instance, it makes it easier to create a culture of blame. When team members are presented with the facts of an issue, it may not be so easy to see why it happened. However, it will be easy to see what the issue was as well as who caused it. It could also create work conditions where employees feel as though their autonomy is being threatened.
It is important to ensure that transparency in business operations do not go overboard. Companies must find the balance between “too much” and “just right” in their business transparency strategies.
Creating Success Through Transparency
Over 90% of consumers rank transparency as one of the essential factors where brand loyalty is concerned. This is yet another important indicator of why transparency is important in business. Financially, it plays a significant role. But transparency is also a vital way to build trust, which is just as crucial in the success of a business.