The Key to Good Leadership: The Importance of Transparency
Leading with transparency requires a willingness to be honest and open with your employees, but according to the American Psychological Association, only 52% of workers believe their employer is open and upfront with them.
Transparency in leadership, the presence or lack of it, can make a difference in employee wellness and job performance and is often reflected in your company’s workplace culture. It becomes the building blocks for open communication and accountable behavior in both leaders and employees.
What Does It Mean to Lead with Transparency?
In being a transparent leader, you should keep your team in the loop and let them know what’s happening, whether good or bad. Encouraging an honest feedback loop is also important. Surprises are now tiring and we want to work in an environment that eliminates unknowns and promises to deliver the truth.
Keep in mind that your employees want to relate to you, know that you have experienced the same problems, and learn how you’ve overcome your hardships. Social media has played a great part in changing the level of transparency we expect from others as well. Leaders don’t need to be perfect, but human and, at times, vulnerable. Some tips we have include:
- Establishing a policy for leaders to be transparent about business developments and decisions.
- Conducting regular meetings with your teams or the entire company, making sure everyone is informed.
- Encouraging employees to give honest feedback or establish anonymous surveys.
- Adopting an open-door policy and take the time to get to know your employees one-on-one.
Trusting Yourself and Being Trusted By Others
Building and establishing trust helps you shape your workplace cultures whilst bringing out the best in your teams. Once you start consistently implementing transparency, you can expect to see the following results.
Teamwork becomes easier. Team building through transparency allows everyone to openly share their perspectives and opinions. Everyone can discuss how to strategically match people to handle certain assignments based on specific performance requirements alongside strengths and weaknesses.
Improved employee performance. Greater transparency in the workplace allows employees to learn more about one another and can grow to work toward solving problems faster. Leaders who share struggles or special considerations a project has allows your team to be more efficient and effective when solving problems and finishing tasks.
Promotes trust. Being transparent strengthens your leadership as your team starts trusting you both as a person and as a leader. Others around you can access this respect too; your team members are more willing to promote your trust, helping you eliminate any preconceived judgments that others may have of your leadership style which they have yet to experience.
The first step towards achieving transparency in leadership is understanding the importance of it. When you lead with transparency, you set a standard for the rest of the company to live by. While it may be hard, nobody is perfect, but your team will see that you’re trying and trust you more for it.