We all know how important transparency is for a business. This process of honesty and straightforwardness is key to building trust amongst customers and investors. And let’s be honest, in today’s hyper-interconnected world, secrets generally don’t stay secrets for long.
But as a manager, external people are not the only ones you’ll want to build trust with. Before you aim for loyalty from your customers, you should aim for loyalty from your own people: your team.
Not only because they expect transparency, but also because your business will benefit from it; here is how.
Why transparency is important in management
Happy employees don’t leave
Have you ever heard the saying “people don’t quit jobs – they quit bosses”?
Truth has been spoken.
According to reports on employees unhappiness, 31% respondents say the main reason is that they don’t like their boss. And the other reasons? All about managerial issues such as lack of empowerment and recognition.
In short, 100% of these employees are unhappy because of how their boss treats them.
The solution? Don’t be a crappy boss, obviously.
Instead, focus on building relationships and confidence with your team. Show that you trust them in doing their job, share with them, be honest… and they will trust you back.
Transparency is key to keep your team members happy…and to just keep them.
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Cultural fit. It’s a match!
What are you looking for in candidates? Skills and talent, of course.
But that’s not it.
You can hire the best tech in the world, but if he doesn’t share your core values, it’s only a question of time before he leaves (or has to leave).
You must make sure of the cultural fit. It’s a key element of employee engagement and retention.
And being transparent about your company culture will help you to do just so. It allows applicants to know beforehand if they are the right match for your team or not.
By communicating on your team and your values, you will save yourself (and the applicants) a lot of filtering time.
A sense of belonging
The company’s vision, goals and values should not be a leadership exclusive. It’s important to communicate those to your employees.
Once they know what the business is about, it’s easier for them to give a meaning to what they are doing. It creates a sense of belonging.
In times where many workers spend more time with their colleagues than with their own family, co-workers are often considered like a second family. For that reason, the importance of that sense of belonging is pretty much self-explanatory.
Try to have a healthy relationship in a family with divergent goals and values…
When leadership is transparent on that topic, employees are generally more committed and involved in the accomplishment of the company goals.
Which ultimately improves productivity. (yay!)
Except when they disagree with those goals and values. But yet again, this shouldn’t happen if you made sure of the cultural fit during the recruitment process.
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Leaders, managers, workforce… problems arise at all levels in the hierarchy. And while it can be tempting to keep those and try to solve them by yourself, it’s certainly not the best way to proceed.
By communicating on core company problems to the employees, you’d be surprised of how much creativity can arise and the bunch of unexpected solutions that you could end up with.
At a managerial level, sharing relevant information with your team and showing them that you trust them will encourage them to take initiatives.
A transparent management that prohibits micromanagement and encourage out-of-the box thinking is an open door to new perspectives.
That’s how you end up with creative, innovative ideas.
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How to embrace transparency in the workplace
Empower your employees
We just saw that micromanagement is bad for creativity.
So how to empower your employees?
As a manager you should spend time understanding the strengths of your team members and leverage those. Trust them, they are experts. And don’t be afraid to delegate! It builds respect and will free some of your time to work on other things.
Also, keep your office door (and your Slack channel) open and allow a two-way communication. Feedback coming from your team members is as important. They are the one on the field and they often notice problems and opportunities that you don’t see.
Share with your team members and they will share with you.
You’re not the all mighty. To err is human…
Show your team that you’re human as well. Taking decisions is your job as a manager and sometimes, you’ll make a bad one.
When this happens, take responsibility, be honest and explain your decision to your team.
Well, they will know that you messed up anyway. Plus that would only set a bad example. Next time a team member takes a bad decision, you’ll want him to report it right?
Well this won’t happen if you don’t do the same. It’s all about trust and respect.
Moreover, as we just explained above, your team might even come up with a solution to your mistake.
Provide visibility on your team workload
Project management is tough. Changes are constant and can be stressful to deal with.
Your team members are the resources that make the completion of a project possible. You have to make sure that they know what the project is all about, what’s happening, and that they understand their tasks.
Two words: communication and visibility.
Visibility. That’s where a capacity planning and resource scheduling tool such as Teambook comes up.
Such a visual tool lets managers have an instant view of their team workload. Then, if a change comes up, it takes only a few seconds to do the necessary schedule modifications and the related team members are automatically notified of the change.
On their sides, team members have an individual view of their workload and can easily see what’s expected from them.
Being transparent is a win-win situation, really. Your employees feel empowered, they don’t leave your company and they perform better.
Don’t forget, happy employees make a happy company!
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