We can spend hours discussing the finest software solutions for your industry and talking about the latest tech trends that will reshape your niche, but what will always separate the successful from the unsuccessful companies are the people. Behind all that technology, all the innovative digital tools and software opportunities are all the people who leverage those tools to their advantage, and to the benefit (or doom) of your business.
To create a workplace that fosters honest, lasting employee relationships and healthy collaboration, you need to focus on enabling transparency. This single element of company culture, no matter what kind of business you’re running, will make or break the success of your brand. In fact, when done right, you can use transparency as a core element of accelerating success and ensuring longevity for your brand in your industry. You can use it to attract the finest talent in your niche, and to position yourself above your competitors. Let’s see how you can build a workplace based on this particular quality and ensure business success for the long haul.
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Encourage and follow up on feedback
Many business leaders happily hand out performance reviews and organize get-togethers with their employees to make sure they’re on the right track. As valuable as this process is, it’s missing one key component: feedback for all. At its core, feedback is meant to be a two-way street, a practice that elicits honesty and that inspires people to look at issues and opportunities from a wide array of angles. Keeping it a one-way street means that you’re failing to encourage two-way transparency.
Make sure to use feedback in its various formats and find different ways to make people more comfortable with sharing their thoughts. Some will prefer emails, reviews, lists, others will prefer direct conversations. Make yourself available, and most of all, take action based on the feedback you receive – by letting your people know you value their opinions, you foster transparency for the long term.
Create mentorship programs
Some of your veteran employees have accumulated so much wisdom and knowledge that they could skyrocket your brand if you put that knowledge to use. In addition to allowing them to work productively, you should also create a culture of personal and professional growth. Create mentorship programs that will become part of your brand’s DNA, and the norm for all to follow.
Let and inspire people to share what they know, to ask questions when they don’t, and to look for solutions together. By encouraging your employees to learn, but also to teach and share, you will build a culture based on mutual support and healthy collaboration, instead of competition.
Enable visible schedules and assignments
In the simplest possible terms, there can be no transparency without visibility. Can your teams clearly see who is at the office, at what time, and how much time they are using in the conference room for a particular client call? What about internal stakeholder meetings and organizing workshops? Without visibility in how you organize your time, whether on-site or remotely, people will be frustrated, annoyed, and less than productive.
Companies striving to foster transparency are beginning to rely more and more on the best time and attendance software that is designed to ensure company-wide visibility in scheduling. When everyone is in the loop, people tend to become more productive, use their time wisely, allocate tasks in smart ways, and above all, become accountable for their work.
Use PM tools for elevated accountability
While we’re on the subject of accountability, transparency within your business does indeed remind people of what their roles are in your organization. It doesn’t matter if they perform their work tasks from home, in their pajamas, or they come to the office in a suit, they will take their work seriously and attend to their tasks with greater accountability with transparency shaping your culture.
This is why many organizations are using project management tools created with this particular idea in mind. When your entire team can see that you’ve missed a deadline, you are far more likely to learn from your mistake and ask for help if you need it. Then again, you will also know who to turn to if you get stuck, and use all kinds of software features to stay on track with your work.
Whether you work remotely, or you have an office-based workplace, your teams will thrive only within a culture that is built upon honesty and openness. By sharing their concerns, by seeing that you value their input, and by empowering active collaboration and growth, your brand has the opportunity to slowly build a culture of transparency that will benefit your current staff, future employees, and your overall reputation in your industry.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist and contributor to bizzmarkblog.com. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.