There is a lot of talk about transparency of managers and companies, but to what extent can it be achieved? If your team knows everything, they can feel more involved and be more active in the development of the company. But sharing too much information can also be embarrassing and even harmful to the company’s culture and employee engagement. So how do you define how far you can go in transparency with your teams?

The benefits of transparency

Transparency has many advantages, and one of the most important is building trust. Without trust, it is difficult to motivate your employees to take risks and even more difficult to empower them to make the best decisions for your company.

In a transparent organisation, your team feels valued because it can participate in the decision-making process. It is kept informed in real time and no longer wonders, often in a sterile way, about the ins and outs of a decision. The whole team can work together to solve a problem and the sense of unity in the face of adversity galvanises minds and gives meaning to the tasks to be performed.

Transparency in the right way

Even if you want to maintain a culture of transparency, keep in mind that no one needs to understand everything to do their job well. There is no point in overloading a new employee with information. It is normal for an employee with more than ten years’ seniority to know more about the company’s operations, its objectives to be achieved, its room for manoeuvre. Your employees can easily become misinformed and unnecessarily stressed about things that do not concern them in the first place.

Providing your employees with sensitive information, such as financial data, information on salaries, margins and turnover, is traditionally considered risky. However, many business leaders, particularly in startups, believe that openness and equality are needed. If you wish to engage in a transparency approach, you can already set up a remuneration grid known to all. This gives the rules of the game and clearly shows everyone’s possibilities for development.

Keep the dialogue focused

You can successfully run a transparent business without revealing everything. Transparency is not a scenario at all or nothing.

The best thing is to find a comfortable common ground for you, your management team and your employees. It is about setting up an open door policy where all team members have the opportunity to ask questions, even if you cannot provide immediate answers. As an employee, nothing is worse than asking where you are in an organisation and how you should progress and differentiate yourself. Make sure your team knows that communication in all circumstances is essential for you.

The first steps towards transparency

Transparency must be considered a priority at all levels of the company if habits are to change. You can consider new technologies such as collaborative platforms to enable the effective dissemination of information throughout the organisation so that everyone can be informed. Studies show that, if they are committed, nearly 80% of employees have confidence in their leadership and in their objectives to achieve. With strong employee engagement and a highly collaborative working environment, everything is achievable.

Gone are the days when managers claimed to know everything. Honesty and thoughtful transparency strengthen the trust and common commitment of a team, foster collaborative work to serve a common goal and give meaning to the work accomplished.