Imagine this true story. The CEO of one of Fortunes Top 100 Best Places to Work is struggling with how to keep his company profitable in the worst economy ever. He blogs to the intranet blog, “Employees, it’s 2am and again, I can’t sleep. The economy is bad and our sales are dropping. I know we’ll make it through but we need to find new ways to help our customers and to save money. I’m not sure what the answer is but I could use your help.”
The next day there were hundreds of responses from employees about ways they could increase sales and save money for the company. Employees rallied around helping the CEO solve his problem. They were energized, felt like they had the power to make a difference, and knew their feedback would be heard. They were engaged.
Yes, transparency is about being open and honest with employees, about inviting them into high level discussions, and about being an open book, but it’s a lot more than that. When senior leadership is committed to transparency they are better communicators from the top down. They’re better at keeping their employees up to speed with where the company stands, and they tend to be more open to hearing feedback from the ground up.
Do you know what you get when your employees feel like they’re educated on the future of the company, part of the conversation, and able to voice their opinions? You get a passionate, engaged workforce who will go above and beyond to help the company achieve their goals.
What the best companies out there understand is that transparency isn’t about being fluffy with employees, it’s about opening the lines of communication and allowing employees to feel like they’re part of the bigger picture.