workplace transparency for remote employers

Workplace Transparency for Remote Employers: Why It’s Important & How to Create It

Transparency is one of those buzzwords that’s often thrown around with respect to the workplace, whether remote or onsite. Despite age-old ideas that communication isn’t necessarily intended to flow from executives to entry-level employees, research and experience indicate otherwise. Up to 87% of employees want their employer to be totally transparent while 46% state that a lack of transparency by an employer has forced them to find a new employer. But for workplace transparency for remote workers to exist as an actual benefit of an organization, complete understanding is essential.

What Is Workplace Transparency?

Workplace transparency has numerous definitions, but the most simplistic one is:

Workplace Transparency: An organizational philosophy that involves the free sharing of information from top to bottom in order to benefit the company as a whole.

While this definition may vary from organization to organization, the basic idea is that workplace transparency for remote employers involves divulging information that managers and executives may have originally kept only at the top. By disseminating this information to all employees, information flows freely, which provides another level of trust and fosters an improved company culture.

Furthermore, workplace transparency encourages communication, offers a vision for the future of the company, and adheres to its mission statement. But the level of transparency remains in hands of management.

Why Workplace Transparency for Remote Employers Is Important

Workplace transparency is one of the most vital aspects of a remote or hybrid work arrangement. In many cases, it’s an all-in-one solution that confronts many of the troubles and growing pains of remote workplaces. For managers to apply transparency, however, comprehending both the benefits and challenges is essential. By doing so, remote employers can craft a workplace transparency policy that benefits the organization while limiting the downsides.

Benefits of Workplace Transparency for Remote Employers

Like other tenets of a successful remote workplace, such as engagement, morale, and culture, workplace transparency is equally as important. The benefits are innumerable, but by breaking down individual aspects, you can get a better idea of why you should focus on workplace transparency and prioritize it in your organization. Some of the top benefits of workplace transparency for remote employers are:

  • Enhanced flexibility among employees, as they understand different organizational changes and the inner workings of decision-making
  • Job safety and security among employees, which can translate to improved morale and happiness
  • Improved employee engagement because employees feel like they’re part of the bigger picture
  • Streamlined workflow, as workers begin to understand their specific roles and how they gel within the company itself

Challenges of Workplace Transparency for Remote Employers

While the upsides of workplace transparency are self-evident, it doesn’t come without challenges. Most of these are related to the idea of determining the level of transparency without creating animosity or favoritism. But to avoid any potential pitfalls, here are some of the challenges of workplace transparency for remote workers:

  • Unconscious bias: Unless you make every aspect transparent from top to bottom, you may be using unconscious bias. You can counteract this by offering bias training among upper-level workers.
  • People refusing to buy into your plan: When everyone knows what everyone else is getting paid, some may feel slighted or unappreciated. This can lead to animosity or a refusal of people to buy into your overall vision.
  • Creating a transparency policy: You have plenty on your plate already with projects, clients, and boosting revenues. Adding a transparency policy to the list can detract from other work.

Tips to Create Workplace Transparency for Remote Employers

After reviewing the benefits and challenges of workplace transparency for remote employers, you should have a better idea of what your transparency model may look like. Yet determining how to create workplace transparency is another issue altogether. While you should certainly brainstorm ideas with managers, executives, and other key decision-makers, using a few of these tips can streamline the process.

Determine the Level of Workplace Transparency

Start out by determining what level of workplace transparency you want to put in play. In an ideal world, transparency would include sharing every bit of information that goes on within your organization. But the truth is that this can often create more problems than it solves, especially if it results in conflict, fear, uncertainty, or doubt. As a result, you may want to figure out your level of workplace transparency for remote employers by asking yourself a few questions, such as:

  • Do you want to share the salaries of everyone in the company?
  • Are you going to share every aspect of the finances of the company?
  • Do you let employees know about potential layoffs or furloughs, even if they may not happen?
  • Do you release meeting minutes to every employee?
  • To what level do you want transparency to exist? Do you have a limit to what information you’re willing to share?

Decide What Topics You Want to Cover as Part of Your Workplace Transparency

Workplace transparency for remote employers isn’t all about divulging salary information or where the company is headed. It’s a diverse topic that digs deeper into the operations of the workplace itself. Therefore, you need to determine what topics you want to cover or those that fall under the umbrella term of transparency. Some basic ideas might include:

  • Communication and communication channels: The idea here is to decide what communication to share with the entirety of your staff and how to provide that information. Determining what files, supporting materials, and other information are you willing to give to your staff and how to do it are essential. Plus, you need to provide a communication solution so that no one is left out of the communication channel.
  • Financial situation beyond salaries: In both times of prosperity or sagging revenues, you need to decide what you’re willing to tell employees. The financial situation of your company has far-reaching implications on your employees, how long they’re willing to work with you, whether they should ask for a raise, or whether they need to look for another job to support their family.
  • Chain of command and decision-making processes: While unilateral decisions were once the most common way that companies operated, transparency necessitates that you discuss the chain of command for the sake of decision-making. Not only should you discuss how decisions are made, but you may also want to involve more employees in the process. This will foster trust and you may even get more effect solutions to any issues you’re facing.

The Ever-Changing World of Remote Work and Its Effect on Transparency

Creating workplace transparency for remote employers doesn’t revolve around a few meetings or the creation of a document outlining transparency. It’s a constantly evolving process. As working trends change, hybrid work models grow, and remote work revolutionizes how people earn a living, the need for dynamic changes to transparency may be necessary.

How one chooses to tackle these issues will vary depending on the type of organization or the leadership style. But the more your company focuses on transparency, gathers feedback, and makes necessary changes, the better your organization will function. With improved employee morale and an enhanced corporate culture, prioritizing transparency is tantamount to success.

How transparent is your workplace? Do you think there are ways it could be improved? Connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!



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