How & Why to Build Transparency in the Workplace (With Examples)

How & Why to Build Transparency in the Workplace (With Examples)

It’s better to prevent disengagement than deal with disengaged employees – and one of the ways of doing that is establishing trust and transparency. Workplace transparency and trust go hand-in-hand, but the impact of open and honest communication doesn't end there. 22% of surveyed employees say that too much chaos at work negatively impacts their productivity. The same study shows that understanding how an individual's work contributes to the company's success is closely related to higher efficiency.

A free flow of information and transparent communication can counteract this productivity roadblock. It also makes employees 1.6 times more likely to feel trusted by their managers.

By transparency in the workplace, we mean consistent conversations between leadership and employees, covering everything from goals and performance to the decision-making process. 

This article discusses how to build a more transparent workplace culture where honest conversations and mutual respect are part of the daily routine.

How to build transparency in the workplace

Share information regularly

Creating a transparent workplace culture means allowing information and opinions to flow freely. Sure, you can’t hand out sensitive data to everyone and anyone. However, there are plenty of things you can (and should) talk to your employees about to show you value open, honest and effective communication.

These are some of the things you can commit to sharing, starting today, to encourage transparency in the workplace:

  • Clear expectations about employee performance and responsibilities
  • Updates about changes in company procedures and metrics
  • Company performance management cycle
  • Reasoning behind big decisions
  • Mistakes and miscalculations
  • Team or company setbacks
  • Feedback to direct reports
  • Salary information

Build a strong and consistent feedback culture

We advocate using the tools available to make our jobs easier. You shouldn't have to add more hours of unproductive meetings or another shelf of files in the office to understand employee sentiment if there's a faster, digitized way to collect feedback – and there is. 

Psst: Studies show you can save 3.6 working hours weekly by automating tasks.

Peoplelogic is a workforce analytics and performance management system. It empowers managers and teams to reach peak performance, satisfaction and work health levels with data-driven insights. One example of how it can promote workplace transparency is by setting up a powerful feedback loop.

A good company culture where opinions matter shouldn't limit itself to performance reviews once a year. Here's how Peoplelogic can help you make ongoing feedback a constant part of your work:

  • Request and provide feedback in easy steps
  • Keep all input organized in one space for future reference
  • Use ready-made templates and best practice tips
  • Integrate feedback sharing and notifications into your Slack workflow
  • Set up all types of feedback – peer-to-peer, manager-to-employee or employee-to-manager

Remember that it's honest and constructive feedback that matters. Lying (even if it's just to make people feel good) will get you the opposite results you're looking for. Still, we suggest starting with the positives and backing each comment with facts and examples when you need to criticize anyone.

Establish open lines of communication

Make yourself available and reachable with an open communication policy. That includes both in-office behavior and online channels, especially for remote or hybrid teams. In fact, implementing technology at the workplace improves trust by 1.4x and transparency by 2.4x.

We recommend Slack for instant messaging and thematically organized threads. You can even connect it to Peoplelogic to exchange reviews without switching apps.

Your teams should never feel like they can't talk to you about:

  • Personal problems that could affect their performance
  • Needing help or feeling overwhelmed
  • Updates on encountered roadblocks
  • Clarification about assignments
  • Mistakes they made
  • New ideas

Provide clear development paths

Growth opportunities and a learning culture encourage employees to keep developing and improve engagement. Provide clear expectations about promotions and career advancement so your workers know what to do to grow. When these opportunities are aligned with personal goals, they're a great way to prevent burnout and improve employee satisfaction.

This is another aspect that Peoplelogic makes easier. You can create clear career objectives and sort them into achievable goals. These actionable individual development plans establish a clear path for growth, a sense of purpose and fairness when employees get rewarded for their efforts.

Research shows that employees who know and use their strengths at work are up to six times more engaged. It's up to the manager to act as a coach and show them how.

Document processes

Only when you document the facts can you share reliable, trustworthy data with others. We're huge fans of documenting everything. It improves accuracy and completion times, minimizes risks and helps to pinpoint top performers or people who may need help achieving their best.

Our ONA graphs visualize how your teams work, complete with internal relationships and informal influencers identification. Peoplelogic automatically collects and analyzes employee activity to give you and your team a comprehensive view of dynamics and organizational health. Combined with machine learning and predictive analytics, it facilitates proactive management.

Lead by example

When employees perceive transparent communication at the senior leadership level, they're much more likely to follow suit; a trusting environment follows when you show you don't have to be scared to be vulnerable and openly share mistakes.

Don't hide behind closed doors if you want to see more open dialogue within the organization. Trust needs two-way communication.

Following on from our previous section – you may need to act on the collected data before problems arise. A transparent work environment also involves openly asking your employees about potential hardships that might lead to ineffective processes. Leading by example is great, but you may have to actively encourage people to open up instead of only showing them they can.

Why is workplace transparency important?

Source: Freepik

Employees working in transparent workplaces have 8.8 times higher job satisfaction than those with the opposite experience. The advantages of promoting transparency in your business operations don't end there. Here are a few more:

  • Increasing trust: Circling back to what we've mentioned in the intro, transparency in the workplace builds trust, which is inherently interlinked with employee engagement and productivity. Those who feel trusted at work are twice as productive than those who don't. The same study shows that cross-hierarchical trust also positively impacts work-life balance, sense of belonging, ability to focus, satisfaction and stress levels.
  • Reducing conflicts: When you implement transparency, you also increase accountability across teams and their members. Cross-departmental trust improves as everyone knows what their teammates are responsible for and where decisions stem from. Consequently, when things go sideways, employees are less likely to blame others unfairly.
  • Enhancing collaboration: Transparency, accountability and trust are pillars for excellent collaboration. Efficient teamwork is only possible when employees feel they can speak their minds freely without being judged or ridiculed. That makes everyone more comfortable, less anxious and more likely to come up with potentially groundbreaking ideas – you know, those that sound silly at first but turn out to be random sparks of genius.
  • Positioning you as an Employer of Choice: With the high number of overworked and disengaged employees, it turns out that those who feel recognized and cared for by their manager are half as prone to work-related stress, worry and pain. 95% of those thriving in their positions report feeling respected.

Not to mention, organizations with engaged workers have 23% higher profits than those with miserable employees.

Can there be too much transparency? Sure, not everything should always be out in the open. Create boundaries for teams and individuals to help them feel safe instead of trapping them in a feeling of being constantly scrutinized. Frequent interruptions with meetings can also be counter-productive. As with all, it’s all about balance.

Transparency in the workplace: Examples

If you need more inspiration, take a look at these companies and the ways they promote a transparent culture of mutual trust and respect:

  • Buffer is an organization that helps manage social accounts; they have a public page where they share their finances, salaries, sign-ups, customer experience metrics and more. As you can see, they're available for viewing to everyone, not just employees, so clients can always know where their money's going.
  • Float is a resource management software creator dedicated to building a transparent environment. In 2023, they launched their Handbook, dedicated to potential hires, new employees and existing teams. It removed communication barriers in the hiring process and internal and external relationships. They share details about team meetups, internal policies, pay and benefits etc.
  • Kickstarter, the well-known crowdfunding platform, publishes a publicly available charter with its company values and principles. The transparent company also regularly publishes stats about its platform and funded projects (both successful and not).


Building a transparent work culture takes time and effort, but it's more than worth it. The employee experience drastically improves and with it – retention, loyalty, satisfaction, engagement, cooperation... the list goes on.

If you want to add more transparency, improve communication and encourage frequent, honest feedback, Peoplelogic is just for you. It's a platform that uses data to foster a safe, positive work culture, get a better understanding of employee dynamics and accelerate your path toward your big company goals.

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