What words come to mind when you hear…workplace transparency? For me, it means working for a company that shares everything with their employees and is very clear about their goals. Many companies start out trying to have an open work space but as they grow from 5 to 50 to 5,000 it becomes more difficult to include the whole team on this type of openness – although it can be done.
How open is your workplace? Are you comfortable asking what your coworkers are working on, what their salary/bonus is or getting face time with the boss? I was interviewed recently on HuffPost Live about this very issue. Working at a company that is open and attempts to utilize team work is a growing trend. However, if your office hasn’t taken the measures to become fully transparent you should be the one to set the tone.
Learn to Ask: Normally when an employee feels out of the loop it means they most likely haven’t done the obvious and that’s to sit down with their boss. They assume their boss is too busy or not interested in having the one on one. My advice, don’t be afraid and just ask…9 times out of 10 your boss will appreciate it. Schedule a meeting and simply ask to see what has been going on and where the company is headed. This is also a great time for you to see if there is any additional responsibilities you can take on that could lead to a promotion or a raise down the road. If possible, schedule these meetings at least once a quarter. Being clued into the company and having private time with your boss will help you strengthen your relationship and also help you do your job better.
Lead by example: As a boss, you need to be the one in charge of setting the tone of transparency in the office. Whether it’s sending a weekly email update, planning meetings or stopping by an employee’s desk to chat and learn about their projects. Creating an environment that includes open discourse will connect your employees to you, the company and more importantly to each other.
Create Partnerships: Feedback and knowledge-sharing are essential to any business. Look at your weekly team meeting as a way for you to learn about the different channels in your business and how your coworker’s contacts or methods can help you. Did Steve from digital mention setting up a social media strategy…isn’t that something you wanted to do for your client? Take advantage of these meetings as a time to figure out how your different channels can work together.
Understanding the business: A business will only run as long as the higher-ups translate their intentions to their employees. What are their goals for the company this quarter, next quarter and the years to come? Having an open dialogue about how an employee is essential to that growth will help the company get there faster.
Being Vocal: One of the features employers look for during the hiring process is personality. Employers want people who are honest, eager to learn and can give feedback. You should never dance around the truth or hold back on your opinions. Always speak your mind and don’t wait around for the next meeting or opportunity. The sooner you give your feedback – the sooner you’ll be helping the company.