The business world has become more transparent because of technology, and this has some organizations shaking in their boots. It may seem like the safest bet would be to avoid the uncomfortable exposure that technologies like smartphones and social media have brought us, but what if embracing transparency could be your best decision yet?
Ben Landers, president and CEO of marketing consultancy Blue Corona, recently wrote an interesting article for Forbes acknowledging this shift toward transparency and the way it makes some business leaders nervous. Many executives in 2016 advanced in their careers via a “keep your head down and do your work” model in which information is proprietary to the senior leadership team. This model is starting to shift, however, in part because younger generations are entering the workforce and in part because it is now easier to access information.
For example, let’s look at Glassdoor, a job-listing site with a twist. Glassdoor allows readers to access company reviews and salary information contributed by people who have worked at a given company. Some reviews are great, and some are scathing. By aggregating this information, Glassdoor gives readers a peek into a company’s culture – a view that can be hard to find before one is actually hired. In reference to this type of transparency, Landers writes: “It’s time to deal with discomfort head-on because the world will never go back to the way it once was.”
At Waggl, we believe transparency is transforming business, and we embrace that change. Like Glassdoor, we want to promote external transparency into the workplace and foster internal transparency among employees and leaders. Transparency will be key to helping employers understand their greatest assets: their people.
Landers also makes the interesting point that a company’s blog can be turned into a PR channel through which which awards and achievements are noted and executives write about the culture. This is a controlled channel that allows a company to write about itself. It is a sort of top-down approach to transparency. Meanwhile, companies like Glassdoor offer transparent channels that allow stakeholders and employees to share their perspectives, insights, and ideas about a business.
People now have the ability to voice how they feel about where they work, and the decision-makers are taking notice. For example, Landers improved his business as a result of the new transparency-oriented culture: In his article, he explains that a negative review on Glassdoor caused him to make a positive change to his company.
Open and transparent cultures are important. They connect employees to what they do every day, and they boost the bottom line by producing happier, more productive workers.
A version of this article previously appeared on Waggl’s blog.
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