in Internal Communication, Collaboration & Teamwork — 8 min read

Team building exercises and retreats can only get a company so far when it comes to building healthy and long-lasting relationships between employers and employees. In reality, transparency in business may be the true key to becoming successful.

Transparency goes far beyond the mere sharing of your company’s financial, ethical, and operational information with the public. It also refers to employers and members of their staff being open with each other in the workplace.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of transparency for your company. You’ll also find some ideas on how you can start being more transparent with your employees today.

business transparency with all hands

Why Is Transparency Important?

The benefits of a transparent business can vary somewhat based on your specific industry and sector. In general, though, transparency in any business drives exponential progress and promotes all-round satisfaction for employees and employers. 

The following are some specific benefits that transparency can provide to your business:

Increases Employees’ Commitment to the Company

Doesn’t every employer want employees who are committed to their business long-term? One of the best ways to encourage this is by being upfront and honest with employees right from the start. 

When employees have the full, unbiased picture of a company's processes and visions, they are more likely to be loyal to the business moving forward. 

Since they know what they’re working toward and what they’re helping the company to do, they’ll feel more motivated and focused on achieving their goals. They’ll also feel the need to go above and beyond what they might ordinarily do to meet those visions. 

Increases Productivity 

Nothing brings down a business more than a lack of appropriate information about how the company is doing or what the company’s goals are. 

When the customers, employees, and employers have access to information about the company’s current status and what higher-ups are hoping to accomplish, there’s a good chance that they’ll experience more motivation and be more productive on a daily basis. They’ll work harder to help the business achieve success and will feel more committed to their jobs.

Increases Profitability 

Increased productivity promotes the smoothness of a business’s day-to-day operations. It can also increase profitability since employees are working harder, getting more done, and are more likely to come up with ideas that help the company grow and increase revenues.

A transparent business is more likely to be more profitable because customers tend to patronize such brands more frequently. Research carried out in 2016 showed that 94 percent of customers are likely to be loyal to a transparent brand. Also, 73 percent of customers were willing to pay more for a product that they regard as completely transparent. 

By increasing transparency with your employees as well as your customers, you can foster stronger relationships and increase the likelihood that they’ll stick around long-term. 

Creates Positive Publicity

For businesses both large and small, bad publicity can lead to loss of customers, loss of integrity, lack of employee retention, and their shares and market value plummeting. 

The best way to avoid these would be to embrace transparency from the onset, rather than after a scandal. Transparency and radical honesty with everyone who’s part of the team will give a business the integrity it needs to build people's confidence. 

Remember, your employees will be more likely to stand by you and continue putting their best foot forward if they feel that you’ve been honest with them right from the start. 

Improves Alignment

It's easier to teams work in a unified direction when a business operates transparently. People are more likely to work towards a goal when they believe it's geared toward progress for them and the company in the long run. 

One way to implement transparent goal-setting practices is by using the OKR (Objectives and Key Results) methodology. This approach helps your employees to get clarity on the company’s goals (or Objectives) and understand what metrics (or Key Results) they should be striving to meet on a regular basis. 

Using OKRs provides transparency into the company’s larger goals, and also allows team members to identify specific, individual goals (and Key Results) that help them contribute to the business’s larger mission. This can further increase engagement, motivation, and productivity for all team members.

When companies make their Objectives and Key Results clear to the public along with employees, that can improve their reputation. It allows for greater trust and a stronger sense of loyalty from customers, which is also great for a business’s profitability.

Improves Employee Retention

The term “employee retention” refers to an organization's ability to successfully keep its employees around long-term. Remember, it takes up a lot of resources if you’re continually training and bringing in new employees because the old ones fail to stay on the team.  

People are more likely to stick around and be loyal to employers that they fully trust. One of the best ways to foster trust is to be transparent right from the start. Especially with your company’s goals and expectations for workers. 

Policies and company cultures that provide a transparent work environment are important for the worthwhile retention of a company's employees. They also save money and allow businesses to devote their resources to other practices that grow the company and increase profitability.

Start Working Toward Transparency in Business Today

Transparency may seem like a vulnerability or a liability to your company at first. In reality, though, it’s a strength that can lead to a highly engaged, active workplace and increase employee retention rates in a significant way. 

At the end of the day, it’s in your best interests as a leader to run a transparent business. Keep the information outlined above in mind and you’ll have a much easier time working toward increasing transparency.