Transparency was the flavor-of-the-month a few years ago until it got pushed out of the way by concepts like collaboration and innovation. Even though executives may not care as much about transparency, it's still important to lower-level employees.
In fact, many employees feel their organization’s workplace practices are ineffective—an assertion supported by 44 percent of a recent Fierce Inc. survey of more than 800 corporate executives, employees and educators across a wide variety of industries. Respondents claim that their company’s best practices actually hinder employee productivity and morale. Another 47 percent reported that their organization’s current practices consistently get in the way of desired results, rather than optimize the overall success of the business—a primary function that a company’s best practices are meant to fulfill.
While these practices are established with the best intentions, it’s clear that most are missing the mark when it comes to supporting the needs of their workforce. When asked which practices hold their organization back, nearly 50 percent of respondents identified a lack of company-wide transparency and too little involvement in company decisions as key areas of concern. In addition, nearly half of survey respondents identified the most beneficial practices as those that encouraged accountability, development and individual empowerment within the organization. It’s clear that in order to implement practices that are beneficial to the individual—as well as the organization as a whole—companies must foster an environment where individual efficacy is encouraged and where communication is both elicited and valued.
While the survey supports the notion that today’s employees are seeking transparency within their organization, it doesn’t stop there. The results also indicate a widespread desire for businesses to elicit diverse opinions from all members of the organization around which company practices need to be modified or adjusted, such as:
- 70 percent of respondents said they would candidly approach decision-makers within their organization if they felt that a company practice needed to be re-evaluated or adjusted.
- Among respondents who reported limited benefits from their organization’s current practices, less than one third felt that their company was willing to change practices based on employee input and feedback.
“These widely accepted practices are not only ineffective, they are costing our companies billions of dollars, driving away our most valuable employees and customers, limiting performance and stalling careers,” said Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce Inc. “This survey should encourage managers to question the practices in place and actively engage their staff in creating new policies that are geared more toward transparency and employee empowerment.”
Does your company promote transparency? How are employees empowered at your workplace? Please let us know in the comments.