The customer-first philosophy is alive and well in the world of business. But how do you make your employees truly buy in? One way is to improve your organization’s transparency.
“If you truly want to achieve the service quality evoked by the ’customer first’ vision, you need an employee-first strategy and transparency in the workplace is an important first step,” Jeanne Meister writes for forbes.com. Millennials are known for wanting to work in transparent workplaces, but they’re not alone. “All employees, not just our youngest, are eager to work for companies that demonstrate transparency and communicate this with a distinct vision, a culture of straightforward communications and clear expectations,” Meister writes.
Here are three tips for improving your organization’s transparency:
1. Post important information where employees can access it.
Start with the basics: “The company’s history, ownership structure, management hierarchy, basic product/service lines, and major competitors, as well as the company’s mission, goals, core values, and competitive advantages in the marketplace,” Eric Chester writes for eremedia.com. “Employees should know anything that Wall Street knows about the company.”
Whether it’s on an internal blog or a wiki, available information is a key tenant of a transparent workplace. Andre Lavoie, writing for entrepreneur.com, describes staff-written blogs as another solution to providing information. “Not only does this demonstrate transparency to potential job seekers and customers, it also keeps employees involved and up to date on company happenings, successes and feedback.”
2. Recommit to straight communication.
“One of the most obvious vehicles toward an open and transparent workplace is clear communication,” Meister writes, adding that a transparent culture can embrace the thinking that “talking still works.” This can be done at weekly meetings that discuss performance and goal-setting. ”Sharing these insights with the whole team lets coworkers know how they can help each other, and it also means each member learns from the others’ experiences,” she writes.
Make sure you’re being inclusive when you do so. “Make a point to include the entire company in the process of defining company values and what it means to be a part of the team,” writes Jacquelyn Smith for forbes.com.
3. Empower employees.
Encourage everyone to think like an owner. “Having each employee believe they are an equal owner in the company is very important for this type of culture to work,” Smith writes, quoting Marc de Grandpre of KIND Healthy Snacks. “Leaders can mentor their teams to develop this type of thinking.”