Transparency; it’s not just a phase in the business world.
According to Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo, who spoke on the subject of transparency at the Great Place to Work annual conference in Dallas, Texas; the notion of being completely open with employees is something that must be viewed as part of a strategic communication plan. Costolo told Fortune, “Scaling communication as a company grows is key for success.” He added, “It’s important to be able to measure communication against strategy.”
As the leader of your organization, how willing are you to open up to your employees once in a while? Is this notion of employee communication foreign because you’ve been managing to keep a lid on things for so long, you have no idea how transparency can fit into the success of your business?
There are a few reasons that secrecy seems to be so prevalent among leaders. Most of these reasons center on outdated values and fears that have no real value in today’s business climate.
Leaders worry about the negatives
It only takes one disgruntled employee venting on a company review site or a social media network to create drama. This is the reality of the connected world we live in today. Leaders can either pretend to look the other way and hope that nothing negative comes up, or they can be proactive and find productive ways to deal with things. It’s far better to know about potential negative issues, via a real-time, internal employee communication platform, than to let things fester.
Leaders are used to letting others handle things
One rut that leaders get into is allowing other people in the organization to share the bad news with employees. Or they merely assume that someone is gathering feedback from employees and building a plan to deal with this. Leaders should and can take the helm of their organizations by responsibly managing change and being open with employees. When a leader can effectively communicate with employees and the message is coming from the top, it helps leaders garner respect from others.
Leaders may find it difficult to relate to subordinates
Another common reason why leaders fail to open up to employees much is because they have trouble relating to them. This is natural given that leaders are operating on an entirely different level. They see the organization as one large living and breathing thing, while employees only see one small picture of their part. A big fear that by opening up and being human around others somehow this reduces the image of the leader.
None of these concerns are productive to your company. As a leader, it’s up to you to start embracing transparency and finding controls to deal with employee feedback and communication.
Why is open communication good for business?
It’s easy to ask why open communication is worth the effort? An Accountemps study showed that one-third of employees believe that poor communication from management is a primary cause of employee morale issues at work. Almost 40% said that effective communication is the secret to success.
How to keep the doors of communication open as a leader
If you are wondering how to transform your organization to one that is more transparent, honest, and open to two-way communication — the key is to start changing your own behaviors.
Learn more about who works for you
One easy step you can take is to make it a point to walk the halls of your own company and get to know the people who work for you. Observe how engaged employees are in their roles. Look for ways that they go the extra mile. Recognize people for their efforts.
Evaluate communication channels
Find the best methods for bridging communication gaps in your company. Talk with human resources and front line managers about how they generally learn of employee concerns. How are managers conveying feedback? Are they unhappy with the current system? One study suggests that nearly 70% of managers are uncomfortable with giving employee feedback. Letting employees vent in a safe manner helps.
Open things up
Secure a simple to use, two-way employee feedback tool that enables your employees to have a voice, and a way to respond in a safe and secure method. Create email messages and broadcast new developments, changes, and challenges of the business. Include everyone in the process of making the company better.
When open dialogue is established in a company, this has a huge impact on morale, and retention of employees. Knowing what employees are experiencing and giving them a voice helps to prevent any negative issues from cropping up.
Written on behalf of Thymometrics, a disruptive new breed of employee feedback solutions, that provides real time, always-on surveys and feedback technology. With revolutionary yet simple tools, Thymometrics empowers employees whilst providing managers with deep insights and useable data to improve their business culture, well-being and profitability. Thymometrics has its headquarters in the UK with offices in New York, USA and Barcelona, Spain. For more information, please visit thymometrics.com.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.