“Transparency fosters trust. And trust is very valuable in business.”
Transparency is critical in all aspects of life and business. Being transparent with clients and our candidates is the only way to share accountability in the business world. While some might think that being transparency may mean that you have to be brutally honest, that’s actually not the case. Transparency should be approached from a place of integrity. In fact, it’s hard to be successful with high transparency if you don’t also practice high integrity.
Being transparent in a business setting is still easier said than done. When transparency is not practiced properly within an organization, it can lead to a paranoid, micro-managing, blaming company culture. To prevent this, transparency needs to be conducted:
- With a purpose. Transparency just for the sake of transparency is worthless. There needs to be a stated and understood reason behind it. At recruitAbility, it means for us to be honest and direct with our clients, candidates, and teammates so that we can support our other core values of accountability, 0% drama, live to serve, and play to win as a team.
- With a plan. There are many ways to go about being more transparent in business—some will push you toward conflict and others will push you toward progress. Always choose progress. If the transparency invades privacy or if it demeans instead of being helpful, it’s likely not the route you’re ready to take. For instance, some companies have open pay policies, publishing employee salaries for everyone to see. That type of total transparency is great but it’s not something you want to jump into lightly. It takes strategic purpose and planning to set the stage.
- With practice. You and your team won’t always get it right. You’ll question whether transparency is truly the way to go at times. But be open and honest with each other in those moments. Be prepared to learn, to forgive (and be forgiven), to dish out bad news (and take it) directly and graciously.
Hit the sweet spot with transparency and you’ll see some amazing things unfold. Employees who are kept in the loop with the organization’s financials suddenly become more invested in and accountable for the entire team’s success. Clients and customers who are handed hard truths become better partners who share your vision. Your talent pool starts filling with candidates who truly fit your company culture because you’re not hiding who you are until after the hire. You just need to be smart enough to lay the groundwork for success and bold enough to give it a try.