The Complexities of Workplace Transparency and How to Overcome Them


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How does your team approach workplace transparency? While many businesses may have reason to keep certain aspects of their internal operations quiet, this type of attitude can breed distrust and unhappiness amongst your team members.

Workplace transparency is one of the key factors in keeping employees happy and motivated, and it can elevate productivity to new heights if it is executed properly. This article will discuss how to encourage and implement workplace transparency and how to overcome the challenges that come with it.

What is workplace transparency?

Workplace transparency can provide a clear indicator of a company’s integrity. For a company to be transparent, those working within it must be able to share information freely.

Workplace transparency extends to how your organization relates and communicates with its partners and customers as well as what it feeds to the public. It is a joint effort from everyone on your company’s team, and it requires constant collaboration and encouragement to maintain a culture of transparency. This means your company’s executives and the rest of the team members will need to work towards setting boundaries of what you can and cannot talk about while providing a safe space for discussion.

Boundaries are a crucial part of creating a transparent workplace culture, so your team must determine the appropriate boundaries that will encourage people to communicate without both causing harm or fear of reprimand. To do this, each team member must have a solid grasp of what it means to be transparent and how to execute potential conversations with care and tact.

The complexities and challenges of workplace transparency and how to overcome them

Workplace transparency is something that all companies should work towards, but accomplishing it is no easy feat. Some of the factors that pose challenges against fostering a transparent working environment are:


A company that is unable to fulfill a previously announced goal or goes through something that can mar its reputation will likely doctor its reporting to avoid embarrassment. This creates the biggest barrier to keeping a workplace transparent, and for many, it is the most difficult obstacle to conquer. While it entails that those in question admit that they failed or made a mistake, it’s a tempting fix to simply adjust any KPIs or sweep certain situations under the rug. Addressing this will require a commitment from all levels of a company to adhere to honest results. One potential concrete solution is through automated reporting, where low performances are discussed with a clear focus on how issues are solved, and any conversations regarding a team member’s career or credibility is left at the door.

Lack of project management experience

Placing projects under team members with zero project management training, unfortunately, leads to a lack of transparency regarding these projects. Such situations directly impact the quality of reporting on a project. Unskilled project managers may very likely be overwhelmed by the number of tasks to fulfill and ultimately sacrifice transparency reporting in favor of getting things done. This becomes counterproductive if you’re trying to foster a culture of transparency. To combat this, companies can provide a set structure for all project managers using a reliable digital tool that automates reporting on their project progress.

Remote work

Because employees do not work in a shared space, it can become more difficult for them to stay in the loop or stay engaged with their company. If you have a remote working team, communication can become challenging unless you rely on effective digital tools for better collaboration.

Cross-functional collaboration

This happens when your teams are composed of members from different departments. This is an excellent opportunity for high-performing individuals with different functional expertise to work together and tackle major projects. However, if not executed properly, this type of arrangement could be chaotic to stay on top of, and it could put company information at risk of being unknowingly leaked. To combat this, teams must report to a single thread or secure platform to keep all pertinent information in one place.

The challenges in remote work

Advances in technology have allowed many teams to work remotely, and it doesn’t look like the trend will die down any time soon. Analysts are predicting that remote work will still be prevalent after the coronavirus pandemic as companies save time from physical travel and cut down on the costs that come with maintaining physical offices.

However, while remote work does come with several benefits, it can take a toll on workplace transparency. In-person meetings with the entire team are replaced with quick video conference calls. Apart from the technical issues that remote working teams can face (i.e. lack of equipment, poor Internet connection, etc.), team members are also more prone to poor communication. This in turn can lead to a lack of workplace transparency due to information that can get lost in translation. This is especially true for those who are working in cross-functional teams.

The benefits of a digital workplace software

The right digital workplace software can be a gamechanger for both remote and cross-functional teams. Digital workplace software tools are designed to provide your team members with a platform that allows them to seamlessly communicate and collaborate with one another. You can easily receive updates regarding projects and keep all your files in one secure place.

To encourage workplace transparency, add team members to your chosen digital workplace software and use it as a unified space to communicate freely. Team members can also share important files, project details, and ideas on work improvement without fear of being compromised.

Transparency is key to improving your overall workplace. It boosts employee morale and accountability, fosters trust between your brand, your team, and your customers, and shapes the performance of your organization. By aiming for workplace transparency and supplementing your efforts by using the right digital workplace software for your team, you can encourage an environment where you can openly communicate and work towards the company’s best interest.

Chintan Jain
Chintan Jain is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Kissflow. He is a digital marketing practitioner with deep experience in working with Web Solutions. Chintan writes extensively on topics like digital marketing, work management, and the digital workplace on various business and technology platforms.


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