February 6, 2020

Transparency in corporate culture

An open approach to information (transparency)  helps foster engaged employees and happy customers

Employees are the backbone of a company. Their engagement, productivity, and happiness are critical to the organisation’s success. Because businesses are constantly changing, it is vital to keep transparency among your employees and keep them up to date at all times so that they understand what’s going on and will continue to share the organisation’s ideals.

The best starting point is to encourage honest feedback and communicate your viewpoints with one another. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 70% of employees are most engaged when their superiors continuously update and share company strategy with them. This builds trust and sets the stage for better growth and innovation.

When an employee knows or feels that you, as a leader, are counting on them, they are automatically motivated to perform their tasks right. This builds confidence and often helps enable them to perform at a higher level and go beyond their role expectations. Hence, sharing information within a team or your workforce as a whole allows for new perspectives and better insights. It also makes problem-solving more effective and creates a good work ethic.

Transparency goes further than just being open and honest within your company, it also applies to your customers.

A company dedicated to the openness of information is perceived as having nothing to hide, which helps consumers make better and more reliable decisions. Think about it, wouldn’t you want someone to be transparent with you? Imagine if your best friend knew something that was important to you but he or she kept it a secret. That’s not how any of us ant to be treated.

The same context applies in business. When you’re making a purchase, most of the time you will scroll down to check the reviews and online ratings of the product or service to see whether others think it is worth it. According to Entrepreneur.com, people have grown to rely very heavily on these peer reviews — 88% of consumers now trust such opinions, which are freely available everywhere.

With that being said, we also expect companies to be just as honest regarding their goods and services. Consumers these days are pressing businesses to provide as much information as possible to the public in order to allay any doubts or suspicions.

Consumer demands for openness are only going to increase given the availability of infinite sources of information (and misinformation) online.

Businesses need to better prepare themselves and realise that both positive and negative news about what they are doing is potentially just “one click away” from millions of potential customers.

Given the higher expectations consumers now have from businesses, transparency has become a make-or-break factor for any successful business. While it may be challenging for organisations to adapt to this new era of openness, in the long run, it will foster a desire for betterment and strengthen their relationships, increasing customer loyalty. Nonetheless, nothing is off-limits, so rather than limiting your potential, take a step out and be prepared to inform “anyone” out there who might be interested in your venture.

Culture: An important factor

One of the most important factors, when you are growing your business, is developing the right culture in your workforce. Many companies today owe their success to healthy interaction with all their stakeholders, who have ongoing expectations and needs they need to be fulfilled.

This strategy of engagement needs is essential in a rapidly changing business environment, steered by new technology and featuring more agile competitors. Environmental concerns also must be taken into consideration. At the same time, the need for transparency within companies should not be taken for granted.

Ultimately, there’s a lot more to a successful business than simply sourcing materials and making and selling products.

Organisations these days are often finding that they need to demonstrate how to make the impossible possible by utilising the correct measures and creating a pathway to progress.

There are many ways to approach the creation of the pathways that your people can follow. One way to do this is to be open to different learning approaches. Building engagement through transparency will help secure a better future for your business, once everyone is working on the same wavelength as you.

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer and Managing Director at SEAC – Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Center. She can be reached by email at arinya_t@new.seasiacenter.com. Explore and experience our lifelong learning ecosystem today at https://www.yournextu.com