Transparency is a quality that is invaluable.
This is also the same quality that can make or break an organization. Transparency offers a signal of trust and buy-in for an organization from both with the public and customers and internally with employees and staff. With a transparency-based organizational culture, businesses gain a preventative measure against corruption and unethical behaviours.
So how do you start building trust, respect and transparency within your company?
To help companies and organizations in getting started in building a transparency based culture, here are three strategies your business can implement via CSMwire
- Make information actionable—leave a very evident trail.
When there is uncertainty in the information provided, a trail allows for further investigation. With actionable information, it creates the recognizable notion for staff and employees to follow the information trail to clarify to gain certainty. The trail creates a sense of accountability with those involved with the information.
- Avoid Unnecessary Risk—Develop a procedure to clarify
If there is a sense of uncertainty in a decision, then there must be a culture to clarify and not make assumptions. Recognizing this uncertainty should become a signal for staff to follow the information trail, act upon the information.
- Enable Sharing and Collaboration
Creating an open environment where there is a trust that can be established between staff. Trust within the organization allows for more sharing and collaboration, which allows for transparency in a cross-pollination way.
Using the strategies above to assist in developing a newly established transparency-based culture within the organization, it helps in creating rules when handling data. Data can often be viewed as an invaluable resource to an organization, and when it comes to data that has been “mined” from an organization’s social web platforms, some rules need to be implemented to maintain the trust and transparency newly and recently built.
Below are four rules in ethically handling data:
- Creating personas instead of using the real person
With mining data, it can be quite detailed and specific. To ensure that it is being handled in a respectable and ethical way, broad personas should be developed to represent the individuals the information was collected from. This respects the individual’s privacy and protects it all in one go.
- Limited access within the organization
This rule may seem contradictory to the strategies in creating a transparency culture within the organization. However, the reality is, sometimes it’s better to have some aspect of “human firewalls”, especially in the case of dealing with customer’s data. Limiting access allows for a lower risk of leaking personal information, and it keeps those with access accountable. The transparency culture can be maintained by openly expressing the reasoning behind limiting access to staff
- Disclosure of use
Best practice is to let your customers know that you’re using their information. It is their information after all, and it’s only fair to let them know what it’s being used for and what is being done with it.
- Ethical Sourcing
Partnerships are a very natural occurrence in business. When partnering, it’s important to ensure that these partners understand and respect your transparency-based culture and rules surrounding data handling. While working together, both parties should ideally be committed to following the rules put in place.
The era of secrets is over and transparency, truthfulness and honest will eventually rule in the form of successful businesses.
Written by: Kathryn Lee