Creating a culture of transparency in the workplace
Engagement 4 minute read

Creating a culture of transparency in the workplace

Megan Orr | September 16, 2021

Transparency in the workplace is an essential facet of both retaining and recruiting top talent. It speaks to a positive company culture and can increase employee engagement. Here’s the how and why of it.

Glassdoor describes “workplace transparency [as] a philosophy of sharing information freely in an effort to benefit the organization and its people”. This can include everything from salaries to open feedback. Additionally, organizations that prioritize transparency in the workplace “have increased employee engagement, stronger company culture”, and open communication. Transparency also encourages creativity and ensures employees feel valued.

The biggest source of transparency in the workplace is salaries. 

Offering competitive compensation is an integral part of both employee retention and recruitment. But how can employees know if your salaries are up to par if you don’t offer information about pay scales? Research shows that 69% of employees don’t actually know what fair pay is for their role because of pay secrecy, while approximately 60% of employees in another survey assumed that they were compensated unfairly. 

If your company has chosen to keep salaries a secret, know that it may be costing you elsewhere: namely, in talent. 

Salary transparency is a great way to ensure equity, encourage employees to work harder, and attract high performers, with nearly all (98%) of job seekers surveyed by Glassdoor saying they would like to see salary ranges on job postings, and 72% saying that compensation is one of their top considerations before accepting a job offer. 

Transparency in the workplace can also be integrated into performance reviews and feedback. 

Another great way to create transparency in the workplace is through feedback loops. Allow employees to both have a clear view of how performance reviews happen at your organization, as well as the opportunity to provide feedback for themselves, their peers, and their managers. 

Transparent review processes can help foster trust and accountability. Additionally, transparency in the workplace can be implemented through creating clear growth opportunities and pathways, which give  employees insight into how to advance their careers within your organization. 

Transparency in the workplace should also be part of your hiring, interviewing, and onboarding processes. 

Along with including salaries in job postings to increase transparency, you can also add information about your hiring and onboarding processes. 

Many organizations now include information on their careers page about their interview process. As an example: 

  1. Submit your resume and cover letter to our hiring manager. You will hear from us within two weeks if we’ll be moving forward with your application. 
  2. If we do move forward, we’ll set up a phone interview with you. If applicable, you’ll be asked to provide samples or examples of your work. 
  3. The next step is interviewing with the hiring manager (your direct supervisor) and department head. This is a longer interview, usually up to an hour, where you will be asked specific questions about your competencies, as well as given scenarios to respond to. We also encourage you to come prepared with specific questions about the role. 
  4. Moving forward, you’ll be asked to provide three references
  5. Congratulations, you got the job! You will be sent an offer letter to review and send back to our hiring manager. Once you accept, we’ll coordinate sending you your work computer and onboarding package.

Employees are increasingly suspicious of organizations that don’t have transparency in the workplace integrated into their company culture. It’s important to implement transparency at every stage of the employee journey—from hiring to performance reviews, all the way to offboarding—to create a culture of openness and employee success.

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