​Transparency in the Workplace

How Much is Too Much?


Often times, employers find themselves in a dilemma with how much company information they should give out. On the one hand, employers who are upfront and honest with their employees usually yield an atmosphere of trust, productivity and better employee engagement. However, too much transparency can lead to a competitive disadvantage for the company, risk of a negative public image and less company data security.

Where should the line be drawn?

Advantages of Transparency

Better communication and engagement

Transparency can only generate productivity when everyone is held to the same standard. Clear communication is needed for transparency and can be easily obtained through company meetings. When information is delivered effectively, everyone will feel as if they are a part of the team. This should come immediately when onboarding a new employee.

Better business

It’s important for organizations to not only have trust with their employees, but with their consumer base as well. Consumers will be more loyal to a brand they understand and trust—so companies shouldn’t be afraid to share what they are doing.

Improved company goals

Employees can work more efficiently when they have the ability to discuss their views. When information is shared within, company goals and objectives can be easily supported. By bring employees to the conversation, employees can understand what they need to do in order for the company to succeed.

Even though transparency has many positive attributes, there are some difficulties with transparency that organizations should be aware of.

Challenges of Transparency

Employees feeling alienated

When businesses demonstrate full transparency, they can become susceptible to being compromised by people within who could feel alienated. Employees may not be comfortable with a wide open policy that shares their annual salary.

Risk to company data

Organizations must realize that it could be hard to be transparent and keep some data confidential such as related trade secrets. Furthermore, too much transparency can be a competitive disadvantage in the business environment.

Public Image

By being too transparent with your company, it can create a negative public perception. Be aware that released information could be unclear, altered, or misinterpreted, which can lose customer trust.

Transparency can be a hard concept for businesses to grasp, but it’s not impossible. When looking to implement more company transparency, companies should first make it a priority. Discuss with your employees and supervisors about its benefits and how to integrate it into company culture. In this process you’ll be developing as a team and creating a unique work culture as well. Encourage all employees to come up with creative ideas to positively change the direction of the company. Many people enjoy being challenged and feel appreciated to be a part of problem-solving.

In many instances, transparency is frequently ignored but it can significantly advance productivity. Some organizations work in the cloud utilizing shared Google Docs, which can decrease confusion, and each employee has access to vital documents. It is integral for employees to know their level of productivity so they can make improvements if needed. Some companies are transparent by measuring the performance of employees and are available to be seen. At the end of the day, see how much transparency would work within your company.

Remember, when businesses make a choice to be open to their employees, they will always be rewarded.


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