Want to create an engaged workplace? Be transparent.

August 10, 2017 Deb Broderson

“I think the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful.”

-Howard Schultz, Former CEO Starbucks.

Searching for a low- to no-cost way to improve employee engagement at your organization? Consider management transparency.  According to SHRM’s 2015 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey, 52% of employees felt that management’s communication of business goals and strategies was important to job satisfaction, but only 26% were satisfied with their company’s ability to do so. 

Employees like to understand the “big picture” regarding business goals; and they also want to know what’s expected to reach those business objectives.

As an executive, you should share available facts and statistics about the organization’s goals that will help your employees do their job. Distribute numbers, set expectations, and define clear objectives. Also, be honest about potential barriers and the organization’s plans to address them. Transparency is not reserved for the top tiers of an organization; it should be part of the process of developing engagement from the top of the organizational chart to the front-line employees.

Some organizations have a “need to know” mentality; they only share information with some employees in specific positions. However, sharing information enhances employee engagement.  It’s important to remember that, in the absence of information, employees make up the “facts”—and the “facts” that they create are often far worse than the reality of the situation.

Start adopting management transparency today and share:

  • Business Objectives – Relay your company’s mission and purpose to help employees understand the relationship between their jobs and the larger goals.
  • Employee Engagement Goals – Share the company’s interest in creating a culture of engagement and how they plan to achieve this. Employee feedback will be invaluable.
  • Management Decisions – Update your team on decisions made during management meetings in a timely manner and take questions. If you don’t have an immediate answer, make an effort to learn the answer and respond quickly. This will create a culture of inclusion where employees feel like they are involved in implementing the decision.
  • Pending Changes – Be forthright about company changes and how the changes will affect the day-to-day as well as the big picture. Be ahead of the grapevine to avoid speculation and fear.

Transparency will help create a culture of engagement, by letting all employees know that your organization values commitment, appreciation, and collaboration.


Looking for more ways to be a better boss? Read our eBook, HR Executives’ Guide to Mastering Employee Engagement.

Read our eBook

About the Author

Deb Broderson

Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.

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