It's really annoying when a co-worker keeps sticking his nose into your business. "What are you working on? How are you doing? What are your plans?" All this chit-chat makes it harder to work. It's even worse when it's a manager doing it -- looking for a reason to criticize. Or, maybe it's because both your co-workers and bosses already know the value of transparency, open communications and working as a more integrated team.
People who share information are stronger. It's a simple truth, especially today when information moves fast and loose and companies need to adapt to any number of different situations every day.
A few years ago Oscar Berg wrote that transparency is "about sharing all the information the receiver wants or needs, and not just the information that the sender is willing to share. It is about putting all facts on the table, even when some of them are uncomfortable. It is about being honest and open about what actions are taken, by whom and on what grounds."
Transparency means knowing what's going on around you, it's about sharing. And sharing is caring.
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Opening yourself up to profits.
Transparent organizations profit. There's a reason why a lot of companies make their salaries public, try to implement a more modern and open structure or are experimenting with more open goal-setting techniques. It is because they know that if they become more open, if they set an example, they become a better team.
Leaving specifics aside for a moment, any sort of transparency comes down to sharing. The best way to have a transparent organization is to make sharing and transparency part of your core values and make sure everyone in the company knows that.
To implement this core value, use some open reporting methodology like status reporting every day. Daily PPP (Plans, Progress, Problems) type reporting is as good as it is easy and simple, and takes only a few minutes a day. Also make sure everyone in your company knows your goals. Use SMART goals or OKRs to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction.
Transparent leaders win.
All this is also in the interests of leaders as well. Transparency builds trust. Trust builds confidence and engagement. Glenn Llopis writes that, “We are all living during a time when people want and expect their leaders to be more human, less perfect and at times a bit vulnerable."
It's no wonder that many politicians try to have a image of being "likable," as likable leaders are easier to follow for most people and inspire employees try harder and do more. The reason here is that to be really open, you're employees must feel secure and trust their leaders.
David Gebler says that “for employees to trust in transparency, they must first feel safe: physically, financially, and emotionally. Undue pressure and fear of losing one’s job make it difficult to take the risk of admitting mistakes or weakness. Employees must feel they have a personal relationship with their leaders to the point where they would feel comfortable having a conversation that involves some risk.”
If you trust your manager and co-workers, you no longer see them as nosy but as engaged in your life. And that makes you stronger.
Not so nosy after all.
So those nosy co-workers who are trying to know what you're doing at all times? Maybe they're not so nosy after all. Maybe they're trying to be better teammates, develop a stronger team and get more work done. And maybe you should help them.
Remember, to reap the full benefits of transparent organization, you only need to do four things:
- Be open;
- Be interested in others;
- Be ready to explain yourself and answer tough questions; and
- Be an example to others.
As long as you keep this in mind and follow it systematically, you'll succeed. And in a few months time you'll understand that transparency has become a habit you can't live without. And then you'll profit.