Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Building a transparent culture, part of Motivating and Engaging Employees.
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- If you want to build a strong positive work culture, it has to be built on a foundation of transparency. Transparency refers to widespread knowledge of what's happening in the organization and why it's happening. When every employee is well informed and has access to all relevant vital information, trust in leadership is maintained. Here's why this issue is so important, if you lack transparency, employees ask questions. And their assumptions aren't always positive. If they lack clarity about the direction you're moving, or if they lack knowledge of company performance, they'll fill in the blanks on their own.
And it doesn't have to be that way. With transparency, employees feel more a part of the team. They feel more focused and connected. Let's talk about what it means to build a transparent culture. Consider these four key practices that will help create and support transparency. First is timely sharing of all planning and performance information. By planning information, I'm referring to strategic plans that include all long range goals for the organization. Employees want to know their goals for the current quarter, but understanding long term plans adds needed context.
By performance data, I'm referring to all normal revenue and profit information broken down by business units, geography's or however you normally report it to your board or investors. There are many ways to stay connected with this type of information. From newsletters to emails to internal blogs. The more employees know how you're doing and where you're going, the more they trust leadership and stay motivated. Next, the leadership team should strive for more partnering and less dictating. Let me be specific.
There are times employees do not need to be a part of the decision making process. There are other times when employees should have their voice included in the discussion. And there are still other times, when they should be able to make a decision and govern themselves. All three approaches are appropriate at different times. My advice here is when in doubt, and when you have time, always strive for more inclusion. For example, use of surveys or focus groups can provide representative input from even a large employee base in a short period of time.
Even at the strategic level, if you provide mechanisms for input, you might be surprised at the useful insights you'll gather. It's also important to provide access to the leadership team. This is a classic way to engender trust and support transparency. At the individual level, this means you need to say more than my door is always open. You have remind people to stop in. You have to drop by their place informally as well. At the organizational level, occasional use of Town Hall Meetings, should be the norm. Whether they are live or electronic.
These forms allow leaders to stand up, take questions and be held accountable. Another great practice is to prepare managers to answer tough questions. For example, if a manager must tell the team that the company is cutting back on overtime, the types of questions that they might receive are predictable. If the budget is so bad, how can the company afford to build the new office building? Are the executives taking a pay cut too? The manager needs to know ahead of time how to effectively answer these questions. This is particularly true any time you need to share difficult information.
if you don't come clean quickly and fully, it almost always causes unneeded problems later. The modern leader knows that building great relationships and teams is about sharing information widely, not hoarding information. When you openly share planning and performance data, provide good access to the leadership team, and own up to tough decisions, the team will experience higher trust in you, and stronger engagement with their work.
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- Assessing employee engagement
- Providing autonomy
- Building a transparent culture
- Modeling desired behavior
- Using monetary and nonmonetary motivators
- Fostering accountability
- Developing career paths for employees<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.