Transparency in the Workplace: The Unsung Hero of Team Motivation

If you've ever wondered what the number one factor in employee happiness is, research sorted that out for you: workplace transparency. 

But here's the rub: only 52% of people believe they work in a transparent organization. Yup, that's right. One in two people feel their employer isn't open and upfront with them. At some point during your career, you've likely experienced that too.

However, things don't have to be this way. In this article, we cover the basics of workplace transparency. Ready to drive your company towards embracing openness, no matter how big or small? 

What is transparency in the workplace?

Workplace transparency is the process of creating an open and honest environment where information is disclosed freely to enhance trust and accountability.

In 1913, organizational transparency was understood through metaphors like sunlight or window, allowing for the inner workings of companies to be seen. Fast forward to 2023, and it turned into a heavily studied umbrella construct.

Transparency in the workplace implies openness, communication, and accountability. If you're looking to build trust with your teams, it's the ingredient that transforms everything. After all, when people feel they can count on their managers and colleagues, science says they're happier and more productive.   

According to a Harvard Business Review study, 70% of people feel most engaged with their organization when leadership consistently updates them and communicates clearly about its strategy. 

But this goes beyond open floor plans, staff meetings, or detailed reports. When transparency is embraced as a company core value, every team member is kept in the loop, understands current company goals and exactly how they fit into the bigger picture. If being in the know is a rarity, workplace transparency turns it into the norm and communicates that everyone is valued.

And while many companies don't turn to transparency and miss on reaping all its benefits because it sounds like an arduous task, that's not the case when you have the right tools. Luckily, you're in the right place to get more info on that. But we’ll get to that later.

The importance of transparency in the workplace

According to our article on HR trends, improving the employee experience is a top priority for People Managers in 2023. The workplace is becoming more about what it offers to people than about what people contribute to it. And transparency at work weighs heavily in providing a positive experience for people.

Below are the main benefits of transparency in the workplace:

Strengthens company culture

According to a 2022 survey by Cezanne, 54% of employees said they would leave their company because of poor culture. Workplace transparency is the basis of creating a strong, positive organizational culture where managers trust, respect, and value their people at all levels.

Importance of company culture to workplace transparency.

When a workplace culture is based on mutual trust, people feel comfortable sharing their feedback, appreciate each other's work, form stronger bonds, and are aligned with the company's values and objectives. As a result, they enjoy coming to work, and the entire company culture thrives.

Increases employee engagement and satisfaction

If a few years ago, transparency was a nice-to-have, now it is an expectation and a competitive advantage. Transparency in the workplace makes for increased employee engagement and satisfaction. In addition, a transparent environment acknowledges each employee's hard work, progress, and accomplishments. 

According to LinkedIn's 2022 Global Talent Trends study, people are 3.2 more likely to be happy at work when they feel seen. When people feel cared for, their job satisfaction increases, contributing to increased engagement levels.

Recognition plays a huge role in workplace transparency.

Drives business performance

According to APA, 93% of employees who reported feeling valued said they are motivated to do their best at work. Transparent cultures greatly emphasize appreciating everyone, regardless of their role.   

Workplace transparency drives business performance.

Plus, companies that value transparency succeed in aligning people with business objectives and help them identify with the mission, vision, and values. When expectations are clear, and everyone is aligned and understands what they are working towards, people perform better. 

Improves communication and team collaboration

Workplace transparency is all about open communication. Collaboration improves when people feel safe sharing their ideas and opinions, especially in remote or hybrid settings.

Transparent cultures also ensure alignment, which, according to Forbes, is considered to be the main factor that influences the outcome of a task or project. 

Encourages innovation and knowledge sharing

When management is open and transparent, people feel empowered to do the same. Transparency in the workplace encourages employees to share innovative ideas, develop new methods to optimize processes, and provide feedback during performance reviews or to colleagues.

In the modern workplace, companies prosper when people feel comfortable bringing forward new ideas. The benefits here are two-fold: people make their own decisions, they’re motivated to be their best versions, and they learn from each other, which are all indicators of increased productivity and efficiency.

Examples of transparency in the workplace 

We’ve talked about what workplace transparency is and the main benefits it brings to organizations. Now, it’s time to discuss some examples of transparency in the workplace that any team can implement to help build trust, foster collaboration, and create a more open and honest culture.

Schedule frequent meetings

The first thing companies can do to promote transparency in the workplace is to schedule frequent meetings. Regular discussions to share information, give feedback, and update everyone on each person’s progress are crucial for ensuring complete alignment and transparency

Encourage leaders to be transparent

Making transparency part of the company policy is a leader's most critical action. This proactive step will speak volumes about you as a people leader and show your employees that you care.

Secondly, you should ensure that management promotes transparency and constantly tries to create a better employee experience. You can only expect your people to be open and honest if managers are transparent and spend enough time discussing plans, objectives, and expectations. 

Openly share information

In most organizations, a lot of information is often kept private from all employees. A transparent leader, however, should prioritize information sharing and try to do it as openly as possible with their employees.

Documenting company policies and making them easily accessible to everyone is a simple strategy to improve openness. You can include regulations, workflows, benefits packages and how to use them, company operations, information about the hiring and onboarding processes, or even salary and bonus information. Access to key company information is vital for creating a relationship of trust.

Have weekly updates

Having constant updates can take many forms: some companies have weekly meetings where they talk about recent updates and upcoming projects. Some prefer to keep everything written in a weekly email or chat message. 

Regardless of the preferred method, having regular updates and keeping everyone in the loop is always a good idea for maintaining transparency in the workplace. You can also invite decision-makers to these meetings and leave an open session at the end so everyone can ask questions.

Engage everyone in open feedback

According to Microsoft, employees who feel their companies use feedback to drive change are 90% more satisfied and 89% more engaged than their counterparts. Therefore, encouraging open feedback is the best way to drive transparency.

Many companies have open channels where employees can ask questions, give feedback, or raise concerns. You can also use the all-hands meeting to encourage bottom-up feedback or run a pulse survey. Additionally, you can always turn to a performance management solution like Mirro, where everyone in the organization can give or ask for feedback freely.

Embrace continuous feedback with Mirro.

Involve people in decision-making processes

Ultimately, involving others in decision-making processes will not only reinforce you as a transparent leader, but it may also enable you to make better choices for your company. Bringing in more opinions and people with diverse viewpoints has two advantages: first, team members will feel more involved and part of the decision-making process; second, you will likely obtain new perspectives and fresh insights.

Ensure workplace transparency with Mirro

Mirro, the all-in-one performance management software, is built from the ground up to promote transparency, communication, and collaboration.

With dedicated modules for translating your company goals into OKRs, providing feedback, and designing your performance journey, Mirro ensures you have the right framework for turning transparency into a core value.

This is an image from Mirro's feed.

By encouraging your commitment to transparency, Mirro increases motivation and empowers your people to make better decisions independently. Here's what Mirro can help you achieve:  

  • Get everyone on the same page regarding mission, long-term goals, and challenges;
  • Enable a better understanding of business performance;
  • Prioritize open communication and create open channels for feedback and evaluations;
  • Make important information readily available and remove gatekeepers;
  • Help teams break away from knowledge-hoarding;
  • Facilitate more learning and deeper collaborations;
  • Build trust, support honesty, and encourage problem-solving;
  • Act as an incentive to do good work.

Wouldn’t seeing all these benefits at work in your company be great?

If you're ready to turn transparency into a core value and strategic competence at your company, get Mirro today. You'll have our support every step of the way. 


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