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Workers Want More Transparency From Employers – Three Tips on How to Provide it.

by Kimble Co-founder Mark Robinson

A survey we conducted this month at Kimble found that three-quarters of employees in the US don’t feel “in the loop” about how the organization they work for is performing.

Three out of four say that, while they care about the success of the business, they don’t feel they are well-informed about how it is doing. Less than a quarter report they have insight into the financial performance of their employer.

Most don’t know the revenue, the forecast or even the headcount of the organization they work for – and almost half are not confident that the small amount of information which they do have access to is reliable.

Business leaders want employees to be engaged and committed and to share information about what they are doing – but that is a two-way street. If the employers don’t trust the employees with information, the reverse may also apply.

Sometimes visibility and sharing information can be something that everyone pays lip service to without it meaning much on the ground.

The process of making this a reality starts at the top of the organization. Leaders have to set out the road map of where they want the organization to get to, and they have to consistently share that with all the members of the team.

Here are three steps towards creating a culture of transparency.

1 Aim to give all employees a sense of what the goals are for the organization as a whole.

This should be expressed in a numerical way. For example, a chicken soup company mission statement is to become the most successful chicken soup producer in the state. How are we going to measure that? How much soup do we need to sell and at what price?  Business leaders have to create a metric that represents this and share that with everyone in accessible ways. This enables everyone to get involved in the effort to achieve it.

2 Have regular company-wide meetings to share the numerical information about what the goal is and how the organization is performing against it.

Company-wide meetings can be held using technology which allows people to tune in remotely or catch up later. Every department should contribute to these. Break down the company-wide target into a “performance cascade”. If we are aiming to sell this much soup at this price, we need to approach this number of new outlets, we need to get our marketing material in front of this many people, we need to be scoring these levels of customer satisfaction when we test our soup. How is everyone doing in their part of this team effort?

3 Be positive and focused.

This exercise is about creating a motivated team so it should accentuate the positive. Telling everybody in the organization that they are falling behind on their targets is not going to be helpful.  And equally, to understand the goal, they will need some context. But keep the focus narrow. This exercise not about creating a blizzard of irrelevant information that is going to bore everyone and cause confusion.

Communicate clearly, highlight the successes and announce strategies for improvement in areas that are proving more challenging.