Best employers secret #7: Transparency and information sharing

In the last blog in the series the 7 secrets of the best employers, we discuss the importance of transparency and information sharing within organisations and why organisations shouldn't be afraid to be transparent.

Employees need to know

When employers share useful information within the organisation, it encourages employees. Transparency and information sharing allows employees to see the influence they have on the performance of the organisation.

Our experience has shown us that the most engaged and committed organisations share information with their employees on such topics as customer satisfaction, sales figures, revenues and expenses. When organisations share such insights, work can be compared to playing a ‘game’, which is both worth playing and winnable.

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In order to fully engage in the game of work there does however, have to be a visible and accessible scoreboard so that you can tell if your strategy is succeeding or not. By incorporating organisational goals into the scoreboard it allows employees to immediately see how far the organisation is off winning that particular ‘game’. In knowing how far off the organisation is from a particular goal, employees are also given a tangible end point that can provide an extra motivational push.

After all, is it realistic to expect someone to keep playing a ‘game’ that never ends?

Keeping employees in the dark

One of the most common pitfalls that organisations fall into is keeping employees in the dark and omitting information from them. Keeping employees in the dark creates a situation where employees are nearly oblivious to the impact they make, both on an individual and team level. In doing so, organisations are having an adverse affect on one of the four biggest influencers of engagement and commitment (“The work of my team contributes to the success of the organisation”).

It is vital that employees are able to access the relevant information they need in accessible forms like the intranet, and not in gigantic management reports. Too many organisations are afraid that the information they share could make its way to competitors, and thus create a culture of ‘need to know’ or secrecy.

Whichever way the situation is perceived, it is a little unrealistic to expect someone to play the game of work without providing them with the information they need to know the score. For organisations, it is key that the benefits to employees and the organisation are taken into account and that the situation is analysed from an employee’s perspective.