transparent business largeIt's folly to think that a business culture can be built around secrecy. Not only does it create distrust, but it can also cause problems between colleagues and with clients.

[quotesright]That's why the greatest asset that any business can have is that of transparency. [/quotesright]

Transparency can help create an atmosphere that encourages change and openness. You aren’t forced to hide problems – you’re forced to confront them.

But it’s easier said than done, so to help you, here’s how you can build a transparent business in the 21st century.


Why Go It Alone?

Companies trying to change their culture and existing ways of managing and interacting face major hurdles. As professional business coaches and trainers, we have the programs and methods that will help you quickly emerge with newfound energy, employee engagement, and dedication. 

Get in touch and let’s chat about your goals and objectives. USA: 877.433.6225


Respect Your Colleagues and Clients

[quotes]Why is transparency in business important?[/quotes] It's a way of being able to show that you're willing to trust your team, and can help your clients or customers trust you in return.

Start by offering respect to your colleagues and clients by being open and truthful with them. Lies or obfuscation are more obvious than you think.

By being open, you can gain goodwill, and goodwill leads to trust. Your colleagues will believe you when you're honest about problems, and they'll respect your integrity. [quotesright]They'll want to work harder to resolve issues. [/quotesright]

For your clients and customers, they'll believe you when you say you've got fixes to issues they might have. They'll believe your estimates and respect the fact that you've been honest about it.

[quotes]Goodwill takes time to earn, and it's easily lost.[/quotes] By respecting your workers and your customers through transparency, you can build it and build a positive reputation for your business while you're at it.

Set Culture Expectations at the Top

It's important for your colleagues to see that your company culture is a top priority that stretches from top to bottom. If you want transparency to be a priority, it absolutely must start at the top. (Managers, CEOs, supervisors, business owners – this message is aimed at you.)

It's easy, and quite natural, for managers to want to shield problems at times to prevent morale from slipping. [quotesright]Unfortunately, that can just spread rumor and controversy through gossip. [/quotesright]

Rather than being secret, be open with your staff. If things are going bad, talk to your team. If things are going well, praise them and be open about it. This sends a message to everyone: It doesn't matter what your role is, it's better to talk about things than to hide them away.

Communicate Better

For a business looking to be transparent, communication isn't just about being honest about problems. It's about being honest about what your company actually stands for.

[quotes]Your reputation is built on the actions your company takes.[/quotes] Rather than being silent, your business needs to learn the art of communicating with its stakeholders.

Start by ensuring that it's easy to communicate, both internally and externally. Cut down walls between different teams and make it easy for A to speak to B, or B to speak to C without toes being stepped on.

[quotesright]Make your teams work together. [/quotesright] If you've got a sales team, they should be speaking to marketing. Likewise, it's important for clients to be able to get through to your staff, and to you, if they need to.

Have the right customer service team in place to be able to respond and react, whether it's a simple question about a product or service, or if you've got something more serious to deal with.

And if the worst happens? Don't panic, and don't go radio silent. Follow the important steps outlined below to help you effectively manage a crisis in your business.

Make Information Available

How well is your company performing right now?

Businesses don't often like to reveal information on their performance, beyond what they're required to do by law. [quotesright]Unfortunately, not being transparent about your performance can lead to problems you hadn't considered. [/quotesright]

For your staff, they're not going to be productive if they think that information about the company's finances or performance is being hidden. They're more likely to seek out new opportunities elsewhere.

As for your clients or customers, why should they stick with you if their money is at risk?

You don't have to lay out everything onto the table, but you should be open about your successes, and your failures – to a point. We're not suggesting you do a full, public post-mortem every time there's a problem.

What we are suggesting is that you make information available before you have to so that everybody involved in your company's success can feel invested in it.

Remember to avoid these five mistakes when you have to deliver bad news, whether it's to a client or to your colleagues.

Use Social Media Effectively to Build Your Image

Social media is often the best way for a new business to build an identity with its target audience. It can help you interact with customers and clients, both new and old.

[quotes]It's also a good way to demonstrate your business transparency.[/quotes] You can be open about your activities, your projects, and your performance directly to your target base.

You can also use it to share content, like videos, that show the culture behind your business. If you're supporting a charitable cause, that's something that you can publicize on social media.

[quotesright]Why not show off your staff, too? [/quotesright] Office photos, depicting your teams at work, can show that your business isn't a fortress of secrets – it's an open place to work.

Need some more social media ideas? Check out our top 10 tips for business digital marketing.

Build a Transparent Business for Success

Building a transparent business means building a culture for your business that rewards, rather than penalizes, transparency.

It means being open to your clients, your colleagues, and your customers. It means leading by example – there's one way of working for everybody. It means not shying away from the truth or from your mistakes.

[quotesright]It also means not being afraid to change what it isn't working and being open to suggestions. [/quotesright]

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