4 Small Actions to Increase Transparency on Your Team
Transparency has become part of the corporate vocabulary, referring to the extent to which companies share information with their employees, customers, and investors. The idea is that when employees are informed, they feel more engaged and accountable.
Discussions and articles on workplace transparency often focus on the importance of fostering trust, improving communication, and breaking down barriers. We’ve learned of companies that share KPIs, financials, and even employee salaries. While these ideas sound great, they can feel lofty and intimidating. How do you start to tackle transparency in a way that works for your company?
Here are some actions you can take today to increase transparency on your team:
1. Publicize your calendar.
Google and Outlook provide the option to share your calendar with specific people, your team, or even your entire company. I had never shared my calendar before joining CultureIQ, and I have to admit that I was nervous about it. However, being able to see my team’s schedule has proven to be an enormous benefit. Not only does it allow me to schedule meetings more effectively, but it also enables greater understanding of what my teammates are experiencing. I know if someone has a big meeting, or a busy day. Additionally, while not everyone puts personal appointments on their calendars, it is motivating to see that team members are taking time for themselves to do a workout class or go see a show. Try it out with your team and see if it works… just make sure you leave detailed descriptions out of your doctors’ appointments!
2. Sit near each other.
If you are physically near your teammates, you’re more likely to witness their work life. Are they constantly on the phone with angry customers? Do colleagues frequently interrupt each other with questions? While an open workspace would be ideal to facilitate this type of observing, you can also accomplish this by shadowing a teammate for an afternoon or spending time in a conference room together. By watching someone else’s day-to-day, you will have a greater understanding and appreciation of your colleague’s work.
3. Share what you are working on.
Sometimes being physically near a teammate is impossible — regardless, communicating about what you are working on with your teammates is crucial. This kind of understanding can help foster a sense of trust by debunking inaccurate perceptions that someone is slacking off or acting overly stressed for no reason. As an added bonus, if you are aware of your team member’s tasks, you might be able to provide support or input as well.
4. Go outside.
Whether it’s a 2pm coffee run, a team lunch at a restaurant, or even a walk around the block, spending quality time together is proven to increase trust. When you are outside of the office, you are more likely to talk about non-work related subjects. Ask your teammates what their weekend plans are or if they have seen any good movies recently. It’s summer — go get some sunshine with your team!
Workplace transparency can promote communication and collaboration, two culture qualities of high performing organizations. Even a small step — like sharing what you’re working on with your colleagues — can make strides toward a more transparent team.
Originally published at cultureiq.com on June 6, 2016.