Transparency? Yes please!

Access to Information Makes the Workplace Better

By Deena Stevens

I’ve been hearing one of the current catchwords a lot lately—transparency. And hearing it so much has started me thinking about whether transparency in the workplace is a good thing or a bad thing. There are many different ways a company can be transparent, and just as many ways to be opaque; the sharing of employee salaries, information access, leadership decision-making, company financial status and goals are a few of those ways.

While I’m on the fence about some of the methods to be transparent, I believe transparency for seeing information is an absolute must.

Access to information—knowing how to get to it, reading and using it—is an essential component to being an efficient employee. I think it is poor management when your employees have to stop their work process to ask questions about material that should be available to everyone. Having up-to-date, accurate information in a shared environment creates accountability and makes for a more engaged employee. And that, in turn, helps create a successful company. An open form of governance and compliance helps ensure participation and trust. It’s a good operational principle.

Using a dynamic software platform to house all shared material allows relevant information to be readily available to everyone in a timely and user-friendly manner. Being able to easily see where the others in your group are in the project process is a positive that can’t be stressed enough. Keeping data relevant and accessible allows for transparency, saves time, keeps projects moving forward and eliminates bottlenecks.

Transparency isn’t something that can be purchased via a software platform, and it doesn’t magically happen just because rules and regulations within a company’s operating standards have changed or been updated. A lot of things have to be in place for true transparency to work. Here are a few essential steps to have in place to promote openness in your workplace:

  1. Make sure employees know the company’s values and goals.
  2. Give your employees access to the information they need to do their job. I can’t stress this enough—employees who can’t do their jobs because information is hidden from them will always fail.
  3. Create a common goal to keep the data relevant.
  4. Create good workflows.
  5. Trust employees to make decisions and let them know which decisions need approval.
  6. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for and who they should go to for problem solving and support.
  7. Share results. Keep an open environment where employees can feel safe sharing when something worked and more importantly, when something didn’t work.

When these core principles of sharing, cooperation and transparency are in place, success should also be a part of your company as it moves forward.

Here at Onspring, we are encouraged and supported to be transparent with our work. And more importantly, our use of the Onspring platform for every part of our business—tackling projects, sharing information and workflow dynamics—makes a lot of that possible. If your company has the right steps and procedures in place, Onspring will help maintain the values and goals, platform workflow and information transparency that I feel are essential to true achievement in the world of business.

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