The Challenges That Come With Transparency
Considerations when providing open access to information.
Hybrid work involves people working remotely, so it makes sense to learn from fully remote companies. One of the key ways that the most successful remote work companies build trust is through transparency. Increased transparency improves morale, lowers job-related stress, while increasing employee happiness, engagement and boosting performance.
There are some challenges that come along with providing open access to information.
- Not defining boundaries and intentions can have serious consequences. All the worst elements of a toxic workplace-political maneuvering, backstabbing, offensive behavior, and even harassment-can hide behind the guise of "honesty" (e.g. "I was just being honest") if the boundaries and intentions of transparency are not crystal clear
- Understanding the risk that information could be distorted, misunderstood, or misrepresented
- Acknowledging that being transparent may take more time and resources and may slow organizational processes
- Being aware that organizations that practice full transparency may be open to attack, vulnerable to those groups that feel frustrated, underrepresented or alienated
- Accepting that it can be difficult to learn how to balance transparency with keeping some information private, such as competitive trade secrets or other unique information.
Review the information you can share to become more transparent in your company. What can you start sharing? What can you share more of?
1. Your company’s revenue, growth, and profit numbers
2. Most internal correspondence (e.g. exceptions for personally sensitive information)
3. Information on promotions, pay increases, and career ladders
4. Company or departmental spending
5. Employee arrivals and departures (with respect for sensitive information)
6. Product and service roadmaps
7. Mistakes, failures and learnings
8. Company, team and individual targets/OKRs etc