Leaders who are open and honest set the style for successful business with a supportive workplace culture.
Businesses may have many different types of leaders, such as the owner, an executive or a team manager. But regardless of their job title, their role is to be the leader within the workplace.
It can be tough for leaders to manage their role while also delegating and trying to inspire staff members to be the best possible employees. With so many tasks on hand, it is incredibly important for leaders to be transparent with staff and other leaders within the business to ensure decisions fully benefit the organisation and everyone within it.
Transparency is key when delegating tasks and being an effective leader. It can define how a business works or has done so in the past. Being transparent does not have to mean disclosing every figure or personal detail, but being open about the status of tasks, clients or even colleagues on a personal level.
There are four key reasons for leaders to be transparent:
To strengthen relationships
Transparency strengthens the relationships between leaders, their staff and other workers. Honesty is coupled with transparency, and while honesty can sometimes surprise many workers, the positive outcomes in the workplace include heightened morale within teams and in one-on-one relationships. This alone will strengthen workplace culture and improve the atmosphere. It encourages staff members to build positive relationships with their managers, leaders, customers and clients.
To inspire employees
It is great for employees to see those in leadership positions representing themselves in a way that is honest and open. It inspires workers to be transparent with each other and have conversations about work, ideas and tasks. Transparency from leaders provokes positive thoughts in a workplace and can benefit a company or organisation in terms of producing inspired work. Seeing a leader being transparent in their work and communication will inspire staff members to act similarly in their roles.
“Seeing a leader being transparent in their work and communication will inspire staff members to act similarly.”
To increase productivity
Instead of worrying or dwelling on an issue or topic, it pays to talk about it as a leader. Sweeping issues under the rug can cause more problems, so instead confront the issues and be open about them with your staff members. Airing topics eases stress and clears the mind for further work and action. The productivity levels of a team will increase when expectations and objectives are clear. Transparency builds engagement between workers and leaders, and improves the workplace atmosphere.
To heighten wellbeing
Transparency also adds to the wellbeing of a workplace. Leaders who are honest about their struggles and successes, and who share insights into problems, engender a feeling of personal wellbeing in the workplace. Such transparency shows a work culture where openness and employee wellbeing are important. This does not always mean going into personal issues, but sharing experiences such as the peaks and pits of the working week. Being transparent about these leadership issues will encourage employees to talk about any issues that may be affecting them at work.
Jessica Koncz, Founder, Crave New Media
This story first appeared in issue 20 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.