Friday, January 27, 2023

How 4 leaders build more transparency in their company

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

The future of work requires companies to prioritize transparency. It is key to building trust with employees and customers while meeting modern expectations. But to reap the benefits, you need to make transparency the foundation of your corporate culture.

Why? Culture influences habits and behaviors, and also influences the policies and decisions of many leadership teams. When transparency is woven into your culture, it affects every aspect of your business.

As employees and customers navigate the post-pandemic world, you need to take bigger steps to maintain a transparent company culture. Here’s what other leaders are doing to increase transparency in their own companies:

1. Set clear goals that are built collaboratively with teams: Bob Marsh, Chief of Revenue at Bluewater

Difficulties quickly arise when passing goals from the top of the org chart, explains swamp. It can leave employees in the dark about how their contributions fit into your business strategies and question whether they have a say in their own work. Resistance will soon ensue, and as a result you may be faced with a myriad of problems (e.g., department silos, employee withdrawals, routine executions).

“When everyone is involved and has a voice, it’s much easier to get everyone behind getting results as a team,” says Marsh. “Once goals are set, transparency is needed to help people understand where they stand as a team so they can celebrate success together or steer the right course.”

Marsh also believes that such an approach to goal setting helps create a coaching culture, as managers are clear about the objectives and can explain how day-to-day work contributes to results.

The transition to a collaborative approach to goal setting is not without its challenges. You have to find a balance. According to Marsh, it’s not about building a consensus to bring your entire team together to develop goals. You don’t just leave something behind because an employee doesn’t agree with what has been proposed. Input is important and can help shape your decisions. It can even bring to light an idea that would otherwise go unnoticed. But the leadership has the final say in the final decision.

2. Offer customers practical advice from deep expertise: Barbie Adler, founder and president of Selective Search

As a leader of a matchmaking company, Adler understands the importance of building a business based on integrity, transparency and trust. Clients put their trust in her team to help them find love, which means they should feel comfortable sharing the most intimate aspects of their lives. And because clients rely on Selective Search team members for their expert advice, holding back doesn’t lead to success.

Transparent advice should be woven into your service, as well as into every interaction a customer has with your brand. The Adler team demonstrates this through ongoing coaching sessions with the company’s clients.

“Once we start working with a client, our Meet Your Future™ process brings an even deeper level of transparency to the relationship with clearly defined steps, comprehensive timelines, and detailed documentation of progress,” says Adler. “As clients work closely with their matchmakers, the meaningful impact of transparency becomes even more evident through our ongoing coaching sessions. These open discussions provide valuable, direct and honest feedback to identify dating trends and patterns that may be holding back relationship success at long term relationship.”

3. Develop strong processes to set expectations among team members and partners: T. Scott Law, founder and CEO of Zotec Partners

The most effective way to build transparency into business is to do it through your processes, according to Law.

“Through strong processes, our internal team members and external partners know exactly what to expect from us and when to expect it,” he says. “These processes give our healthcare providers customers clarity about the entire financial experience. And with that transparency comes trust, alignment, and overall satisfaction and success – a true partnership.”

Building, validating and evangelizing processes requires a methodology by law. At Zotec, team members must: (1) document what they are doing, (2) ensure they understand the process and recognize its overall meaning, and (3) hold themselves accountable for proper implementation.

The law certainly recognizes the preliminary nature of trials. The Zotec team is always looking for ways to improve its processes as technology and talent change within the organization. With strong processes, it’s rare for something to get off track. If so, Law explains that it’s easier to adapt and adjust accordingly. Processes are placed between people and technology for a reason: they hold the two together.

4. Work on operational transparency through internal and external communication: Shobhana Viswanathan, Head of Marketing at Mavim

Until Viswanathan, creating operational transparency requires effective communication. Leadership teams should share revenue goals, budgets and business strategies with employees to drive performance and strengthen engagement. They also need to communicate a company’s mission, values ​​and purpose — not to mention the value of products or services — to customers and partners.

“I lead a global marketing and business development team across three continents,” says Viswanathan. “It is important for me to communicate the business goals and strategy to the team so that I can build trust and get the best performance. Transparency can help the team feel engaged and committed to the business goals and empowered even in hard times.”

Of course, transparency does not mean sharing every detail. Leaders need to know when to share and when to hold back. Effective communication means achieving balance and providing context for decisions. This way people can see for themselves why things are the way they are. Internally, Viswanathan holds regular town hall meetings to encourage questions, facilitate discussion and build trust. She also uses the scrum methodology to identify pain points, manage change, come up with solutions, and so on.

Transparency is what employees and customers expect from companies today. By following the advice of these four leaders, you can build greater transparency into your business and maximize your success.

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