October 04, 2021

Transparency in Leadership: Why it’s So Important?

Sam Caucci

dalai lama

What is the meaning of leading with transparency? 

Most employees rank transparency at the top of their list when it comes to what they care about most. Here are the benefits and how you can start being more transparent as a leader.

What are the Benefits of Transparent Leadership?

Transparency and trust in an organization foster higher levels of performance. Once leaders and their teams begin to focus on transparent and consistent communication, relationships can develop naturally and authentically. Building on top of this foundation of trust allows people to work together better and helps the development of the team, building momentum, making it easier to retain high-performing employees as well as attract new talent. 

Transparent leadership also contributes to greater employee advocacy. When leaders are open and honest with their employees, they make them feel valued by being receptive to their feedback. Showing employees how much the organization values their contributions builds a sense of loyalty and trust which nurtures employee advocacy and also helps build the employer’s brand. 

Showing genuine interest and appreciation will work to humanize leaders, and make them more relatable in the eyes of their teams. A transparent leader who presents himself or herself as a human being, just like anyone else, is more likely to receive greater support from employees and peers. As a result, a leader’s negative and constructive feedback is more likely to be received positively by employees.

Leaders who can focus on these areas will position themselves for success when motivating their teams to perform their best at work, while simultaneously building strong relationships vital to the success of the organization and its future. 

How to Become a More Transparent Leader

If you’re interested in becoming a more transparent leader, it will require certain changes to your managerial approach. As with anything, it will take some time for these benefits to begin to spread throughout the organization, but you will see that the results are well worth the extra effort. 

Build up connections using frequent check-ins. 

Checking in with your team and committing to frequent one-on-one time with your team members will help foster trust through open and honest dialogue. And the frequency at which this dialogue takes place is just as important as what is being discussed.

Building trust does not just rest on your intentions, it is also built through frequency and learning the little things about your employees. Employees want to know that you have their back, and this can only manifest through regular check-ins and individualized communication. 

Simply meeting with your employees once per week for ten minutes to simply ask them what they are working on and how you can help can go a very long way in building that foundation of trust. 

Weave transparency into workplace culture.

Most employees want to work for individuals who are authentic and transparent. However, a lot of leaders out there struggle with being consistent in this area. 

Many of them fear that in being transparent they will come off as less authoritative or directional. This is just not true. People value the chance to connect with their leaders. 

Building trust takes consistency and commitment. Effective transparency means leaders need to be able to openly share both good and bad news. Practicing effective communication, active listening and giving out clear, high-quality feedback goes a long way in creating an environment where positive and open dialogue can thrive.

Leaders need to be able to exhibit behavior they want to see at their workplace within their teams, that they can imitate and be able to openly share problems they are experiencing and lessons that they are learning. Leaders should also keep track of how their team is performing and what issues should be addressed and where they will require change. When leaders are able to accomplish this in a constructive way, it will help build stronger trust. 

On the other hand, when leaders are not open to discussing challenges facing the organization, or when the things that they say don’t match up with day-to-day experiences, you start to lose trust. Once trust is lost it is very difficult to rebuild. 

Allow experimentation.

Fostering a sense of trust with employees requires you to build a positive environment where all members of a team feel compelled to openly speak and problem solve. Successful leaders give their members the space, autonomy and feedback they require to be successful in their respective projects. 

But if there is an environment where there is a strong fear of failure, this can prompt behaviors that minimize the effectiveness of a team. Without trust, employees remain guarded, less engaged and less likely to explore beyond their comfort zone. Leaders should work to empower their employees to experiment. Being flexible shows your trust in your team and vice versa. 

Instead, focus efforts on fostering an environment that helps empower team members to succeed. Give them a safe space to explore, experiment and take risks. These can all result in success for the organization, increase profitability and attract talent. 

Resources to Create Transparency

At 1Huddle, we offer cloud-based employee gamification software that can easily adapt to any employee training or gamification strategy you want to implement at your workplace. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime and at the push of a button. You can use our game platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 

Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your workforce? Leave your information in the Talk To Us Page and schedule a call.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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