How Transparency Changes Business

“Transparency done right will help you recruit top talent, retain exceptional employees, and foster innovation throughout your company, and every organization can benefit from that.” – Katie Burke, VP at Hubspot

We started Bamboo Nine to show clients that an ethical agency can exist and survive in this competitive marketplace. We don’t create ‘stories’ to explain our actions and results. We believe in complete transparency. We have nothing to hide and we are keen to build trust with our employees and clients. You don’t buy a car, but are not allowed to see or own the keys, so why should our business be any different? By sticking to our own morals and business ethos, we are proud of where we are today and our position in the market place. We do things properly and take the long-term approach, which gains us respect and results.

As humans, we are naturally drawn to people who are transparent because transparency fosters trust. It is appealing in a raw, human sort of way. It is how we make friends. As you get to know someone, you develop an increasing transparency with them and this is how trust is built and maintained within a friendship.

And it is the same with business.

We believe that the more transparent a business is, the more they will attract people. Transparency is one of those subtle things that can make a dramatic impact on a business. So, let’s take a look at how complete transparency will gain your company success.

Harvard Business School and Transparency

“Companies can’t innovate, respond to changing stakeholder needs, or function efficiently unless people have access to relevant, timely, and valid information”. – James O’Toole and Warren Bennis of the Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business School encourages companies not to fear transparency. Instead, businesses should embrace it as an opportunity to improve their services and increase their customer loyalty. A recent study from Harvard Business School looked at the concept of transparency in a restaurant setting where the cooks and customers could literally see each other during the food prep and dining experience. The results showed a striking improvement in both customer satisfaction and the speed of customer service when the cooks could see each other. This is a fascinating study of the power of transparency, and it indicates that customers are happier when they feel they’ve been made part of the process.

Business Leaders
It starts at the top. As a business leader, you should set the example for the rest of your team. Be transparent. Most high-level managers want transparency from their employees; honesty, admitting error, and respect for colleagues. But it needs to start with the business leader. The last thing you want is for your business to promote double standards. Transparent leadership is the key to fostering a culture of trust between leaders and their employees. Employees who are kept in the loop and understand their role in the overarching purpose and goals of the company are, understandably, more likely to put their trust in their employer. Being a transparent business leader makes you more approachable and, at the end of the day, you will succeed in building a positive work environment.

Communication
Communication is key. The way you communicate with your team won’t just impact performance, it can have a substantial impact on team morale too. A whopping 39% of employees report that they don’t feel appreciated at work. Of 30-to-44-year-old employees, 80% find it “considerably annoying” or “a deal breaker” when their boss doesn’t trust or empower them.  The way you communicate with your team won’t just impact performance. It can have a substantial impact on team moral too. Remind your teams what your end goal is, what the key principles that you base your decisions on are and how they can be a part of bringing the company closer to this vision.

Better Engagement
Promoting open communication fosters employees that are more engaged employees are, the more productive their work. And a culture that values transparency in the workplace breeds engaged employees. When it comes to engaging employees, it’s best to be open about company matters. In fact, Harvard Business Review’s 2013 employee engagement survey revealed that 70% of those surveyed say they’re most engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategy. Being transparent in your workplace is the best way to build credibility. Being completely honest and approachable will ultimately give your employees a great sense of trust that leads to a more unified team and a healthier work culture.

Admit Error
Admitting fault is seen as a strength rather than a weakness. It earns respect. The more open and honest you are about admitting error, the higher the chance of resolving it quickly without getting into major trouble. Be sure to admit error and encourage other team members to do so.

Relationships 
Encouraging more transparency in your workplace can lead you to build more fruitful relationships with your team members. By building healthy and mutually respectful relationships with your team members, you are being more productive in achieving your goals and your team members will feel appreciated and valued.

Productivity 
In a positive, transparent culture, people will be more comfortable and they are going to work harder for the company’s success. Productivity is one of the most amazing benefits of fostering transparent leadership that can prepare your company to reach new heights of success.

Transparency in the workplace is the key to success for any business. By having a transparent workplace, you are fostering a culture of productivity and creativity. We would encourage you to work towards a goal of full transparency in your business as we have found that employees who work in transparent workplaces are more likely to bring their valuable experience and expertise to your business and stay. Transparency promotes trust and trust promotes loyalty. That’s why, here at Bamboo Nine, we have a 97% client retention rate. We promote transparency and it promotes us!