A Transparent Workplace Secures Authentic Worker Engagement

July 18, 2017 Rachel Illingworth


A few years ago, an open-concept restaurant kitchen took part in a customer service study. Customers in this study rated their (very visible) food preparation and customer service 17 percent higher than a regular restaurant, where they couldn’t see their food prepared. Additionally, when the customers and cooks could see each other, cooks got 13 percent quicker at serving the customers. Lesson learned: Transparency is a potent tool.

In business, transparency means having “openness, communication, and accountability”. Transparency is operating in a way that makes it is easy for others to see the performed actions. Today, making your organization’s communications clear is an important step towards a solid Customer Experience (CX). And in much the same vein, making your executive leadership’s communications clear is vital to creating a positive Worker Experience (WX). When a company’s leadership governs with transparency, the company will see a rise in employee trust and communication.

A step in the right direction

A company that wants to start down the road towards transparency can start with something as simple as a personal “thank you” to connect to your employees. It’s essential that company leadership give positive feedback on a regular basis, because it helps build a personal relationship with workers. In support of that, a recent psychology study stated that 65 percent of unhappy workers would rather have a better boss than a pay raise. It goes to show, positive reinforcement goes a long way when it comes to having happier workers.

Step two: collaboration opens communication

Collaboration opens up communications, erases silo and clique behavior, and eliminates employee isolation. Leaders who often communicate face-to-face or via video conference instill a transparent workplace culture. Leaders and managers who use tools like Google Hangouts (with chat and video capabilities) will go far in creating the collaborative and open environment of their dreams.

Transparency generates engagement

Equip your employees with the right means and information to sustain and grow CX. The more they know about their business’ strength, the more engaged they’ll become. And engagement can lead to growth in productivity — as much as 38 percent more.

Engaged workers want leaders who are honest and open with their company’s future. Your employees need transparency from their leadership. Guide workers through their own obstacles by communicating how you’ve overcome past and present hardships. This kind of mentorship can lead to employees who go above and beyond their job descriptions. You’ll gain workers who are leaders themselves.

We know that happy workers = happy customers, and we call it the Virtuous Cycle. If adjusting your company’s approach to workplace transparency can build worker engagement, think about all the ways we could benefit from the other Virtuous Cycle outcomes — like worker productivity and customer awareness. If you’d like to talk with us about a free Virtuous Cycle Diagnostic Workshop, we’d be more than happy to help.

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