Management Transparency Is Not a “Nice to Have”—It’s The Expectation

November 19, 2020

Management Transparency Is Not a “Nice to Have”—It’s The Expectation

In a study by TINYpulse, analyzing 40,000 anonymous responses from employees at 300 companies around the world—one golden cherub of information stood out above all the rest: Management transparency is the top factor in determining employee happiness at work. The top factor—the number one, the tippy-top, the ultimate determining variable. 

You may have guessed any of the following might have ranked first:

  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Flexibility
  • Co-worker relationships
  • Or a whole host of other vital aspects of work-place satisfaction

Employees value these also, but the numbers are clear. What people really want at work is transparency. In other words:

  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Openness (even to criticism)
  • And clarity 

We might not all get to sit at the leadership table of our respective organizations. However, we definitely all want to know what happens there. Employees wonder about what leadership says and decides upon at the meetings we’re not privy to. In other words, the meetings that determine the fate of our roles, futures, and the companies we pour ourselves into. 

The Big WHY

If you’re like me, at every organization where you’ve worked long enough to make friends, you’ve inevitably ended up in a conversation where fellow employees are questioning something. We want explanations for decisions announced, changes in benefits, changes in quarterly goals, why one of the founders did or didn’t do something, why someone got let go, or employee promotions. I could list one hundred more examples. 

Workplace gossip, venting, conspiracies, and all other forms of mini-conferences among colleagues, especially those who are close, is par for the course. But as a leader of an organization, you want these happy hour conversations about work being centered around “what” or “how—definitely not “why.” Simon Sinek even wrote an entire 250 page book on the topic. It’s a great book. If you’d like to save the reading time, I’ll share a little shortcut with you: It’s primarily about transparency. 

If at all possible, why the company decided to do something–how they reached a certain conclusion or set a certain goal—should be widely known. Once it is, the focus of conversation amongst teammates moves forward to “how” or “what.” 

  • How to adjust and move forward? How to help? Or how to grab a metaphorical shovel and pitch in? 
  • What does the change really mean? What can we do to prove our worth? Or what is next year going to look like?

Management Transparency

Transparency not only keeps work conversations focused on the topics you love having your team talk about. More importantly, it keeps them committed to the mission at hand, feeling valued daily, and around for the long haul. 

According to a Wepow article, “employers need to focus on transparency as their key to higher levels of employee retention”.  Even as a remote organization, a revolving door of new faces in Slack and Zoom damages team morale. It gives the underlying sense that everyone is replaceable, and the question of “should I be looking for new work opportunities” ultimately creeps in for everyone still there.

On the other hand, regularly celebrating someone’s 4th-, 7th-, or 10th-year employment anniversary on a monthly all-team call speaks volumes about company culture. Without explicitly saying it, you send two incredibly powerful messages: “people love working here,” and “we value our people here.” A focus on transparency will definitely help if you want to regularly celebrate these long-term work anniversaries. 

What Constitutes Modern Leadership Transparency?

Gone are the days when a manicured email update from the CEO about goals, projections, and the future outlook equates to true transparency. Employees these days want to know why, they want to understand why, and they want to trust the source of information—they want authenticity. Beyond that, they want to be able to contribute to the conversation themselves.

Well, leadership—you’re in luck! There’s a new workplace communications tool designed to help with exactly that—easily shared and highly-transparent comms—it’s called, Voodle. Voodle was designed for asynchronous video sharing. To sum up, this allows the entire team to create and digest 60-second videos relating to all aspects of work and organizational culture. Since it’s entirely based on the sharing of short-form video, the transparency is baked into this virtual cake. With video, you immediately absorb more nuance and have a greater sense of trust about a message.

Voodle + Management Transparency

Voodle allows both the CEO and the eager new employee to truly share themself—their 3-dimensional self—quickly and easily with the entire team. For instance, this allows everyone to hear from the CEO exactly what is being done or why a change is being made.

  • Hey team, it’s your friendly neighborhood CEO, Carla. I just wanted to take a minute to share a quick company update about a change in our Q3 goals. Also, there’s a new product we decided to launch, and launch soon, so we can be first to market with an exciting new offering. Let me explain some of the details… 

Or, exactly who the new employee is. 

  • “Hi, I’m Brian, I’m the newest sales rep, I love scuba diving, Rom-coms and I’m learning how to speak Mandarin. I used to live in Thailand so please send me photos of all the Pad Thai or Khao Soi you ever eat. I can’t wait to get to work!”

The new generation of talent arriving in the workforce is not here to put their head down and take orders. Furthermore, they are eager to commit to the mission and pitch in however they can. However, to fully do that they want access behind the curtain. They want to know what happened at the leadership meeting.

WHY Voodle

Voodle allows leadership to send a quick 60-second video to the entire team. Leadership can share a recap of their weekly call: what was discussed, what’s changed, how the sales-quarter is coming to a close, and most importantly—the WHY behind all of those things.

Whether you rank transparency as your number one factor for work-place happiness or not, it’s become crucial for leadership to take it seriously. It’s easy to pay transparency lip-service, and assume publishing a quarterly report or giving a monthly update equates to transparency for folks, but this wave of new technology and new employee talent demands more–and voodle is your solution. 

Here are 5 use-cases for exactly how Voodle can increase your organization’s transparency:

  1. A weekly voodle update from the CEO—replacing the dreadful sunday email. 
  2. Weekly or monthly leadership meeting recaps about what’s going on.
  3. Regular metrics updates with necessary context—regardless of if it’s good or bad news. 
  4. Create a “ask me anything” channel here team members can submit questions and watch answers from the leadership team.
  5. Using a shoutout channel to celebrate wins and give credit where it’s due.

Use Voodle for FREE

Sign your team up for Voodle for free today! Our integrations and use across devices allow your team to work whenever and wherever they work. Use Voodle to keep your team aligned and up to date on your leadership’s vision. Above all, your team wants authenticity and transparency. Voodle offers the asynchronous facetime everyone craves.