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The Importance of Transparency in Business for a Healthy Company Culture

The Importance of Transparency in Business for a Healthy Company Culture

Companies have changed the way they do business. A rigid hierarchy that restricted the flow of information and negatively impacted employee communications used to be the norm. Communication between employees and their supervisors was often limited, and the importance of transparency in business was practically nonexistent.

Fortunately, Corporate Social Responsibility programs are becoming increasingly popular. CSR is defined as “the way a company holds itself socially accountable — to itself, its stakeholders, and to the public.”

These programs have contributed to a shifting cultural trend of transparency within organizations.

With transparency becoming a fundamental value for more and more companies, it’s no wonder that the status quo is changing. People are looking for options that will offer them openness and clarity.

This sense of accountability required from companies directly impacts four key components that create a healthy company culture:

● Communication
● Respect
● Shared goals & achievements
● Public credibility

The Link Between the Importance of Transparency and Performance

By creating a work environment where you encourage your employees to express themselves freely, and by sharing valuable insights with them, you can improve your employees' performance. What they absorb in the long term is the freedom to contribute to problem-solving techniques, without the fear of being judged, misunderstood, or worst case scenario — fired!

Lack of the importance of transparency and communication is often the main cause of employee burnout, causing your most valuable team members to jump ship and look for better opportunities.

Another consequence of not being a transparent company is the loss of consumer credibility, considering the amount of information that people expect businesses to disclose nowadays, especially big companies.

Note: In a survey of 400 large companies (100k employees) titled “The Cost of Poor Communications," SHRM reported an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees.

One way to reduce high turnover and improve employee retention is by improving internal communications and investing in the employee experience within your organization. Implementing an operational communication platform can help unite your team, improve company culture, and strengthen overall morale.

4 Organizations with Awesome Company Culture

Buffer

Buffer is a famous, pro-transparency company that helps customers build their brands and grow their businesses on social media. If you visit their website, you will notice their commitment to openness.

As a team, we view transparency as an effective way to work remotely and establish a culture of trust.

How are they achieving this?

Buffer actually reveals the salaries of all their employees within the organization. By providing general access to a publicly-available spreadsheet, Buffer reveals the pay rate of each employee by name, from co-founder and CEO Joel Gascoigne to all team members, engineers, content crafters, and “happiness officers.”

They even explain the experience and path that employees had to take to reach their current salary. Neat huh?

2. Patagonia

Known for its environmentally friendly and sustainable values, Patagonia is making a difference in informing people about their products.

If you ever decide to shop from their website and you click on the item you're interested in buying, you'll be able to follow the origin of the product all the way from the beginning in California. It will show the entire journey, from where their design department is to how it ends up in your closet.

You can even listen to the designers tell you about their fabric choices. For instance, you can learn how they used a fabric that was made out of recycled polyester to reduce the footprint of the product. Or how they chose a material that can be brought back for us to recycle.

This company has set sustainability standards so high, and yet, they are living up to them. They even go as far as to discourage their customers from purchasing too many of their products. Transparency? Check.

3. Moz

Moz is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company, delivering its services through software, education, and community. The way they practice transparency is by putting detailed financial and customer data on their blog. But that's not all!

They even make their annual reports accessible and open to the public. Of course, they also try to make these reports more visually appealing by using infographics and catchy subject lines, to save you from the usual boredom of reading a report.

Hopefully the transparency of these three companies will inspire you to offer skills you would want to teach your employees. Upskilling can help promote a culture of transparency and accountability. Simply because, as Buffer states on their website, "It's the right thing to do."

4. 1 Hotels

When 1 Hotels was looking for an internal communications platform to replace WhatsApp groups, they implemented Beekeeper to create a more transparent, inclusive company culture.

Using Beekeeper, team leaders can create one message to post in Beekeeper that is visible by all hotel teams. They hold daily morning rallies where the team reviews recent posts and updates in Beekeeper to make sure everyone is on the same page.

With this added transparency in the workplace with Beekeeper, employee engagement at 1 Hotels has increased, and turnover has decreased significantly.

What’s exciting about Beekeeper it emphasizes my values as a senior leader at a hotel. The thing I’m big on is really celebrating successes, transparency in communication, and making sure that no one is left behind so to speak.

- Hans Schaepman, General Manager, 1 Hotels

Discover how 1 Hotels uses Beekeeper to create a transparent, inclusive company culture.

Ready to build a more transparent company culture? You need the right tools to help you get there. Download our eBook, “How to Choose the Best Team Collaboration Software” to get started!