<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Find out where you can get a Taste of TAB... our global events blast is on!

The Alternative Board Blog

Communication Lightbulb: Leadership Transparency Builds Trust

Oct. 26, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board

Business leadership transparency is an approach to organizational communication that is characterized by the candid sharing of information, insight into decision-making processes, and conveying high-level issues that affect employees and other key stakeholders within an organization.

Transparent leaders foster a company culture that values a free-flowing exchange of ideas, empowers the entire team to make well-informed decisions, and provides greater opportunity for teams to be more innovative and better contributors to the success of the business.

A recent employment study reports that 40% of managers believe their leaders are very transparent, but only 22% of lower-level employees feel the same. And according to Deloitte, 60% of businesses worry about how their employees perceive their leadership transparency levels.

If leadership transparency is so important, why do so many businesses struggle with it? The answer likely boils down to aging leadership models that are more concerned with control than with building a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration. And breaking from tradition can be challenging, even for new business leaders.

Why So Secret?

Even the most guarded business leaders likely aren’t keeping information close to the vest for nefarious reasons. Instead, they may fear vulnerability, have an overzealous desire for authority, or may possess concerns about how information could be interpreted by the masses. Particularly in highly competitive industries, business leaders might have very valid concerns about competitors capitalizing on their internal information.

But for the most part, poor leadership transparency is a strong symptom of an organization that struggles with communication on multiple levels. It is also one of the leading barriers to a company culture based on respect, accountability, and innovation. Even high-performing employees feel kneecapped by a leadership system devoid of transparency.

Click here to download our communication whitepaper and self-evaluation titled “Say What You Mean: How to Enhance Your Communication Skills as a Business Leader.”

Of course, there will always be issues that might not be appropriate for widespread organizational consumption. Part of effective leadership is being able to identify those situations and tend to them as the exception rather than the rule.

It’s a Matter of Respect

While employees might not share the same high level of commitment as a business owner or leadership team, they do have a vested personal interest in the success of the company. It is important business owners appreciate that employees aren't just cogs in their operational machine and that their teams are generally devoted to the organization’s culture and wellbeing. Beyond compensation, they are emotionally invested in the success of the company.

By evolving into a more transparent leadership model, business leaders demonstrate to their teams that they both respect and trust them with information – good or bad – that is vital to the business.

7 Ways to Foster Transparency in Your Business

1. Create Strong Communication Channels: Implement open communication opportunities in a variety of ways. These might include one-on-one check-ins, town hall meetings, internal newsletters, and open-door policies.

2. Share Your Goals & Vision: Your entire team should understand and align with your short-term goals and your long-term vision for the business.

3. Financial Transparency: This is a tough one for a lot of leaders. Sharing financial information may be uncomfortable, but doing so builds trust. It also seems only fair to let your team know the financial health of the business.

4. Take Ownership of Mistakes: Even the best business leaders make blunders. By admitting to errors, business owners reinforce a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.

5. Seek Input on Decisions: No doubt, your employees have opinions about a multitude of issues surrounding the business. Offer them opportunities to weigh in on threats or solutions. It will empower your people and create more opportunities for innovation.

6. Keep Them Updated: Your team shouldn’t have to guess or be left in the dark about impending changes or challenges. Instead, maintain a policy of continual updates on the things that matter to them.

7. Celebrate Achievements: Recognizing individual and team contributions, for both big and small wins, helps create a positive culture of achievement. Acknowledging accomplishments lets your employees know that their efforts are being seen and heard by leadership and the entire team.

If you are interested in implementing a more transparent approach to leadership, start by reaching out to individuals on your team. They will surely be a great barometer of where you stand now with transparency and where you want to go. The act of including your employees from the onset of your transition to transparency underscores how much you value their opinions and how willing you are to listen. And that is a meaningful starting point.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

How To Amp Up Your Next Business Presentation
Oct. 18, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
PowerPoint is a key communication tool for businesses today. The presentation platform is a versatile tool that allows users to create slide decks and readily share information in a cohesive,...
Leverage Internal Communications to Boost Retention
Oct. 2, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
What are the most effective ways to retain valued employees? Experts point to workplace culture, the quality of pay and benefits, and/or opportunities for advancement within the organization. All...
5 Ways To Lead Your Business Better
Sep. 27, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
One of the most important and effective drivers of business leadership success is intentionality. For a business owner, intentionality refers to having a clear purpose, a well-defined plan, and a...
How to be a Better, Stronger Leader
Sep. 20, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Leaders with a forceful vision and presence are in great demand these days. With the global marketplace in a state of continuing flux, businesses need talented individuals who understand the power...
Not Your Father's Business Leadership
Sep. 13, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Today’s business leaders bear little resemblance to the top brass of yesteryear. Business leadership has evolved significantly over the last 50 years, driven in large part by changes in technology...
What are the 4 Most Common Leadership Styles?
Sep. 6, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Depending on who you ask, there may be as many leadership styles as there are leaders in business, government, the entertainment industry, and so on. However, certain leadership traits are...
Memo to Business Leaders: Take Better Care of Yourself!
Mar. 15, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
There’s a lot of focus these days on employee health and well-being, as there should be. But what about the men and women who lead businesses, either as a CEO or owner? When it comes to taking...
Implementing an Employee Wellness Program Can Boost Retention
Mar. 1, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Does your organization currently have an employee wellness program in place? If so, it’s a good idea to feature this benefit prominently in your open-jobs listing. These days, many job applicants...
Are You Afflicted with CEO Burnout?
Feb. 28, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Business owners and CEOs sometimes think they’re immune to the kind of workplace burnout that affects others on the team. In fact, they are not immune. Business leaders are human, after all, and...
3 Surprising Trends That Will Change the Way You Run Your Business
Feb. 9, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
There has been a lot of talk lately about Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to change how nearly every business owner runs and grows their company. And it’s already happening. The recent...