4 ways transparency can boost your team’s happiness
This blog post is a guest submission from Melissa Thompson, an expert in productivity, entrepreneurship, and health.
A research study in 2013 conducted with over 40,000 responses showed that above all, transparency is the number one contributor to employee satisfaction in the workplace. A culture of business transparency is essential to building a culture where people are motivated to come to the office every morning. A lack of transparency can negatively impact morale, performance, and even your company’s bottom line.
monday.com has infused a culture of radical transparency both in their product and company culture. Part of monday.com’s success is thanks to four practices in transparency that Roy Mann and Eran Zinman have championed in the workplace.
I decided to implement their four transparency ideas and I found out just how happy my employees could be. Spoiler alert — they were much happier.
1. Share your calendars.
Calendars have been an essential tool for my organization and a visual queue of progress, planning and efficiency. So it’s no wonder sharing our calendars team-wide was essential to cultivating transparency. Time management is another benefit I’ve seen at my company, where viewing my co-workers’ calendar has helped me more effectively manage my time.
And honestly, none of my employees liked the fact that it used to take them up to 2 days to schedule meetings with me or my management team. This instantly took away scheduling stress and increased the happiness of the whole company.
2. Let employees in on big data.
A rookie mistake that I’ve often made is underestimating the value of visualizing big data to my team on a daily basis, leaving information scattered and hard for everyone to understand.
With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the workplace, there has been an explosion of big data software to help businesses share things like their topline revenues, marketing spend, customer acquisition cost and strategic business goals with employees.
“When my employees have been able to visualize how their actions further widen the company goals, I’ve found that they have a broader sense of purpose and in turn, work towards the right metrics,” said Michael Corkery, President of Pool Guard USA. One powerful example of how big data can motivate employees is through our in-house internal business intelligence tool represented in over a dozen live dashboards at our headquarters.
These screens are impossible to miss and update each employee in real-time on how customers are engaging with the product, how fast the team is responding to queries, and how much money the company is earning at any point in time. It gives employees a radically transparent picture of exactly where the business stands.
3. Use a project management tool that’s visual.
Imagine a digitized version of a white board or idea web. Unlike to-do lists, visual management tools can centralize communication around tasks, are easy to follow, colorful and give a bird’s-eye view of a project. I’ve found that there are multiple benefits to this, including effective planning and task assignment for each team member based on a few main goals outlined on the project board.
Many of these tools can also be updated in real time during meetings, leaving no room for miscommunication when it comes to progress, timelines, task assignments and meeting deadlines. Projects which once appeared to be hundreds of individual monotonous to-dos, now appear as much more manageable, achievable contributions.
4. Open forum meetings.
Long, inefficient meetings are a dreaded reality of business, and I often used to see them as a necessary evil — but it doesn’t have to be this way.
We worked hard to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings getting scheduled — adopting tactics such as unobtrusive messaging apps and open door policies to ensure an open flow of communication. I’ve found that removing the barrier between myself and employees not only makes employees feel more comfortable with bringing up important or urgent issues and ideas, but also fosters greater trust.
Some companies have opted to take the open door policy one step further, holding regular open forum and board meetings where employees at all levels are invited to attend and participate. No questions or topics are off the table — from uncomfortable questions about business’s financial performance to confronting a colleague’s rationale on a certain decision.
Facebook, for example, has been going out of its way for more than a decade to share company information with employees via a Q&A session each Friday afternoon, hosted by CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. All employees, right down to the interns, have access to this meeting which covers everything from new feature and product development to strategy.