The Importance of Transparency in Business

Does your company support transparency in business? I recently explored the importance of understanding the fact that for a business to expect to facilitate change, it has to come from within. Part of making that happen is to support and encourage transparency in business at all levels.

As an employee, do you feel like the company goals and objects are transparent and available for all? When new projects are given to your department, do you understand how the success of the project wlll move the company as a whole forward? Do you feel like you can ask any one of the leaders for clarification on the company’s direction? Are you encouraged to share your ideas?

As a business leaders, are you willing to entertain the ideas of the employees in your company? Do you share the 30,000 foot view and how each department plays into the five year plan with all of your associates?

In the past we may have accepted “Because I said so” as a reason for your work but today, employees want to understand the whys and wherefores. They want to understand how they fit into the overall success.

When employees believe in the transparency in business they feel more aligned, engaged and connected to the company and its success. The blog Experts Exchange offers a clear explanation for what transparency in business means:

In its simplest sense, business transparency means clear, unhindered honesty in the way that s/he does business. But it’s more than that. One business dictionary defines transparency as a “lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making.” The same source describes it as an “essential condition for a free and open exchange whereby the rules and reasons behind regulatory measures are fair and clear to all participants.” Meanwhile, another source defines transparency as “the full, accurate, and timely disclosure of information.”

It goes beyond the Open Door policy.

Why is Transparency in Business So Important?

ROBERT CRAVEN, Entrepreneur Magazine contributor and CEO of MegaFood offers several reasons why transparency in business is so important. Just like corporate change starts from within, transparency in business also starts from within as well as from the top:

Transparency starts from within. If not everyone in your company believes the company — or CEO — is transparent, then they’ll have a hard time portraying transparency to the marketplace. Be an open book company, and do things like hold town halls to update the entire staff on progress, risks and opportunities.   

Being transparent supports your brand and helps consumers understand what you stand for as a business.

The added benefit comes when looking to recruit and retain your best talent. The best candidates are going to want to work with a company that is open, honest and focused with what they stand for. They want to feel like they will be working with a company that is aligned with their values. Once employed, they want to feel like they are making a difference and the ideas they share will be listened to and considered. In an age when workers no long hang around for their 20 year gold watch at retirement, you might keep a few of the best ones longer if they believe in the company they work with.

transparency in businessAnne Ney of Ghergich & Co  shared an infographic that speaks about creating company change. As part of that graphic, there is a section on the value of transparency in business. Click the image to read the entire article.

Whether you are a leader or looking to be, remember the importance of becoming a business that is transparent – both with employees as well as to consumers, vendors and the community.

IMG_5268cJJ DiGeronimo, keynote speaker for women, based in Cleveland, presents keynote addresses on women in leadership, diversity in business and advancement for women.