In this time of uncertainty, we are certain about one thing – the impact of transparency in an organization. Research overwhelmingly suggests that transparency is a low impact way for leaders to make a significant impression on employees.
In our current social justice climate, we see many examples of how positive changes can occur when leaders are willing to be transparent and own up to mistakes. From implementing new policing strategies, standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, exploring opportunities for reparations, to addressing the inequities in our healthcare system – highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic – it is clear equity is a result of transparency.
How does that concept translate into the workplace? Transparency provides the opportunity for every employee to have access to information within an organization. A key strategy for improving transparency is effective communication.
Many leaders are holding more employee town halls and providing more opportunities for employees to weigh in on how their organization can be improved. More leaders are willing to listen to their employees, not just collectively, but also individually. Valuing that individual perspective improves equity. We view equity as removing barriers to ensure that each employee has the necessary access needed to achieve their potential.
Equity is made possible when leaders are willing to invite everyone in the conversation but also make them apart of the solution. Hearing perspectives from all sides can be an immensely powerful tool.
Here are some examples of how leaders can increase transparency to directly impact equity:
- Ask for input: Employees want to feel needed and giving them the opportunity to provide input into organizational decisions meets that need and builds trust.
- Admit mistakes: While it can be difficult for leaders to admit that they were wrong, employees will view leaders as “human” and will develop more confidence in the leadership.
- Give employees the “why”: Sometimes leaders may feel they do not need to explain their actions or decisions. However, when leaders provide the “why,” employees are more likely to buy in and respect their perspective.
Improving transparency is not a difficult task. It requires commitment and humility, which most leaders possess because just like every other employee, they too want to do a good job. Take the first step today to increase transparency within your organization and I guarantee you that the rewards will far outweigh the risks.