The Benefits of Transparency in Business
Here at Big Golden Pineapple, we try to be as transparent as possible. Whether it’s with our customer base, our shareholders, or our colleagues, transparency is an essential part of our philosophy. This is because if each team within a business knows what the other teams are doing, the entire organisation is more likely to work cohesively together.
You shouldn’t just be open about your strategies either – it’s sensible to be completely transparent about things like your budget too. Knowing what each department is spending money on, particularly the marketing team, can help your colleagues understand where you’re focusing your efforts, and more business strategies can reach their potential.
Transparency can furthermore lead to each team fully appreciating the successes and failures of other parts of the business, which can in turn mean improved loyalty to the company, with staff becoming invested in the outcomes of every department.
To help you learn more about transparency in business, we’ve explored five of the biggest advantages to using this approach below:
1. Keep Your Business Motivated
In your workplace, do you know how other teams are performing? Unless you work in an incredibly small office, chances are you won’t know what other departments are doing. Not a lot of businesses have a high level of transparency, but if they were to implement this strategy, individual staff members would likely be more invested in the success of each department, as well as the company as a whole. If you think about projects your team is currently involved in, even if you’re not playing a large role in the project, because you know all about it, you’ll undoubtedly care about the outcome.
The teams within a business generally work in silos, so different parts of the organisation won’t have a lot of engagement with each other. Once you start breaking down these walls, you can encourage collaboration between departments, as well as boost employee motivation and interest.
2. Prevent Duplicate Work
Duplicate work can be an issue in any department, just like anything that can be referred to as ‘failure work’, which also includes things like redoing work and missing opportunities. But there’s no real excuse for it happening – if people talk to each other about what they are working on, duplicate work would no longer be a problem.
Once you’re aware that duplicate work is an issue, you can address it, and prevent such things happening again in future. You can put measures in place to stop unproductive work, and ensure that transparency is an integral part of your business culture.
3. Encourage Collaboration Between Teams
A lot of teams within a business are interdisciplinary ones, made up of people with specialist skills, who work together to achieve common goals. And what better way to facilitate collaboration between departments and within teams, than to be completely transparent? Sharing what each team member is doing means that others can volunteer advice or support, particularly in areas they are more skilled in.
One way of encouraging collaboration between teams is to try something called ‘pair programming’. Within the software industry, this is a fairly common practice, but is seen less often in other sectors. The idea behind pair programming is that each programmer will bring a different set of skills to the table, and if they work together, tasks will be completed faster. Colleagues will learn from each other too, while the continual oversight will mean that fewer mistakes should be made.
4. Budget Better
When it comes to your budget, if you’re not transparent about how much you’re spending, money could be invested into projects that are doomed to fail. You need complete visibility in terms of your budget, so that everyone is paying close attention to where the money is going. Some businesses take this one step further, and publicly publicise their budget. Although this sounds like a bold move, it does mean that everyone is held accountable for their spending, as anyone within or outside the organisation can see these metrics.
Clearly seeing where money is spent can also lead to conversations about how to be more strategic about your business budget. You can openly discuss ways in which your company can develop and grow, allowing all employees the opportunity to contribute ideas.
5. Make More Balanced Decisions
Although true democracy, where every person has an equal say, doesn’t really work in business, as you need someone to steer everyone else in the right direction, there are ways to make better decisions. If everyone understands the rationale behind a particular decision, and are offered the chance to submit feedback, better, more rounded decisions can be made. When suggestions are given, this can offer valuable insights, and potential issues may be picked up on.
To give an example, say you were trying to come up with a strategy to increase your social media followers. You may wish to try an A/B test, but are not sure which metrics to compare. If you’re transparent about your intentions and general strategy, this allows others within the business to contribute, so you end up with more creative ideas. This is especially true if you involve people from other departments, who might know more about other stages of the customer journey. As you’ll hopefully be provided with deeper insights into the mindset of your audience, this can result in a more balanced approach.