All Articles Leadership Communication Pull back the curtain with business transparency

Pull back the curtain with business transparency

Surveys of institutions and startups alike reveal a trust gap that only transparency can begin to solve.

2 min read



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A senior leader asked me recently about the challenges of juggling two opposing yet desirable outcomes: confidentiality and transparency.

I certainly understand the dynamics of the push-pull that happens in companies around these ideas. And, I coach executives to lean hard towards transparency. Why? Because when people feel informed — and trusted with information — their commitment to the organization, it’s leaders, their colleagues, and their customers grows.

We’re experiencing a trust gap. The Edelman 2017 Trust Barometer found that 53% of respondents believe “the system” — government, business, media and nongovernmental organizations — is failing them. Only 15% believe “the system” is working today.

TinyPulse’s 2017 survey of startup cultures revealed that leaders in those startups believe their work culture is healthier than employees do. Employee ratings of transparency, being valued and happiness were lower than management’s ratings (nearly a full point each on a 10-point scale). Not a huge gap, but a gap nonetheless, and one that needs attention in these organizations and probably in your organization.

In today’s three-minute Culture Leadership Charge video episode created exclusively for SmartBrief readers, I share how one client “leaned hard towards transparency” and built trust and engagement at the same time.

How transparent is your business to its employees today? How have you seen transparency build engagement?

Subscribe to my free twice-a-month newsletter. Subscribers enjoy free resources including a preview of my Amazon best-seller, “The Culture Engine,” which helps team and company leaders create a powerful, purposeful, positive, productive work environment.

And, subscribe to my YouTube channel, where you’ll find more short, crisp, and clear episodes of my “Culture Leadership Charge” video series.

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