Growth January 10, 2017 Last updated January 6th, 2017 2,885 Reads share

Why Transparency Is Your Best Business Friend

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I am not sure I need to remind you this; this is the 21st century. The increasing amount of information available to the public is simply unthinkable. Today, the more information you withhold from the public about your business, the more doubts you create. Of course, the less they are willing to trust you.

Regardless of your ‘secrets’ being exploited, the success of your business, the ease at which you manage disasters and corporate reactions to damaging rumours about your business are largely dependent on the quality of information at the disposal of your stakeholders (internal and external). This, in return, enables you to enjoy their unmitigated trust and patronage.

In a nutshell, the more transparent your business procedures, processes and transactions are, the easier it is for you to navigate through the toughest bumps in today’s business world. Reverse that, and you are right on the verge of a disaster. When tangible information about your organisation is unavailable, the public is left with speculations. This usually ends up giving damaging rumours and negative opinions about the business.

More so, it could result in internal problems that will make your business highly vulnerable. Let’s consider the following statistics about information sharing within a business, and its implication on the workforce:

According to a report on Forbes by Try Kiisel, 82% of employees don’t trust their bosses to tell them the truth about the realities of their organisation. This means that everything results to using individual initiatives that discourage teamwork.

In a statistics report compiled by Access Perks and titled – Employment Engagement & Loyalty Statistics: The Ultimate Guide – the following data gives the reality of how information sharing affects businesses and their employees.

  • As reported by BambooHR, 75 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs for merely receiving monthly recognition.
  • According to HubSpot, 50% of employees interviewed say they’ve been well-motivated and their productivity enhanced because their bosses share needed information with them.
  • Temkin Group says 80 percent of HR professionals believe, to promote productivity, employee engagement is an important area of focus for their organisations.
  • Gallup says businesses with quality employee engagement have lower internal frauds and higher productivity compared with those with low or no employee engagement.

These statistics prove that information sharing is central to the operations of a business. Before we consider how transparency promotes business viability, let’s consider some of the myths about corporate information sharing.

The Myths

Information shared with the public could be used against the organisation

What presents greater risks to organisations today are the shades of uncertainty surrounding their business.

It is beyond doubts that getting to ascertain needed information about a business or creating a viral assumption when you meet a hurdle is a couple of buttons away today. So, information needed by the public, stakeholders, and, specifically your employees should be made available to them to checkmate the flow of rumours.

Competitors might use our strategies and ideas

Competitors are constantly monitoring all your moves through several platforms and know exactly the strategies behind your business activities.

However, your strategies are peculiar to you and should always be updated to keep ahead of the trends. Besides, you also need to keep your competitors on a watch in order to ensure you aren’t missing out on the happenings within your industry.

We will lose our selling formula if we share information

With the dynamism of the modern market, a company should be creative, innovative and dynamic in its strategies. If you stick to the same system for too long, you might become a bigger casualty than when you share the needed information with the public.

Leaked information can bring about disasters

This is a sensitive one. But the fact, however, remains that except the information is criminal or dubious, it won’t cause a catastrophe.

Promoting this kind of secrecy encourages frauds and criminality in the corporate world. Recently, WikiLeaks and other popular hackers have made a mess of several businesses and institutional secrets. To start with, if such secrecy wasn’t encouraged, the evils associated with them would have been avoided.

Valuable information will be released at no or ridiculous values

This idea is already obsolete. If your organisation intends to thrive on the internet and enjoy the required media recognition, you need to give out quality information that will benefit and keep your audience satisfied, whether it is presented in the form of quality content or transparent income reports.

Impacts of Transparency in Businesses

If you’ve ever doubted the benefits of running a transparent business, you need to have a rethink. The following impacts of transparent business dealings will also jostle your mind back to reality.

To start with, when you consider the clarity of processes involved in global business names like Uber, Facebook, Microsoft and a host of other thriving multinationals, you will understand the values of transparent businesses processes and dealings.

Facilitates Quality and Efficient Disaster Management

No business likes to be within disaster zones. But, unfortunately, every business will find itself here along the way if it stays long enough in business.

At such times, you can count on your employees, media partners, customers and government institutions that are well informed and familiar with your business to be of a huge help. Consequently, this will help you in managing public perceptions better at such times.

The most painful part for businesses with clouded outlook, however, is that they find themselves stranded during a disaster with little or no supports from others.

Promotes Massive Corporate Goodwill

The best way to attract solid public trust and garner goodwill is to run an open system where your stakeholders can beat their chest for you.

Indeed, it is the way you are perceived by the public, not what you pretend to be, and that earns you the needed goodwill to thrive in your business. Trying to get transparent after you experience a business disaster is rather a corrective approach that gives redundant results at best.

Quality Inputs from Stakeholders and Employees

This can only happen if they are well informed about business operations and organisational processes. You will be surprised to see how much you overlook that your stakeholders and employees can easily pinpoint because they have the right kind of information.

Productive Employees and Efficient Customer Services

The problem with having poorly or wrongly informed workforce is that they will become an instrument for the dissemination of rumours and damaging speculations about the company. And this happens even when they don’t intend it.

If you want your employees to be productive, enthusiastic and give efficient support and services to your customers, equip them with the right information. Together with the customers, they will safeguard the company from becoming a victim of speculative and damaging gossips.

Promotes Customer Loyalty

If your online activities are transparent with quality content, you will enjoy the respect, loyalty and continued patronage of your customers.

If you pretend to be what you are not, offering services that are different from what is promoted in your marketing campaigns, running with slogans and highlights that are clearly not represented in your business, customers will discover, and you will be worst off for it.

But if they discover that you are truthful with your words, promote sincere and true customer relations and give clarity of business processes, they will get to be a part of all your challenges and successes.

Excellent Business Solutions

This is about the best impacts. Businesses with the best solutions and globally competitive outlooks are those that have nothing to hide.

The most simple and transparent your business undertakings are, the more you are pushed to exceed set standards and sustain professionalism. On the long run, transparency comes back to benefit and enhances your business viability and success.

The reverse is also true. The more secretive and obscure your dealings, processes and transactions are, the less viable and trustworthy you are to the public.

Image: business hand pushing transparency button on a touch screen interface

Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro Spilka

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