According to a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association, only half of workers believe that their employer is open and upfront with them, and about 1 out of 4 say they don’t trust their employer. This is obviously problematic for the organization that cares about employee morale, and ultimately productivity in the workplace. Leaders that communicate openly and honestly with their employees can expect workers to be more motivated and effective in their jobs.
“This lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers,” says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance.”
At Local Eye Site, openness and honesty with employees is something we strive for and aim to make a cornerstone of our company culture. One example would be regular communication about the financial goals and performance of our company. We are a privately held company, so we have no obligation to share our financials, but we regularly meet with employees (typically quarterly) to discuss how the company is performing. I’ve found that even during times when we have less than stellar news to share, the employees want the truth and are motivated by the knowledge of how their contributions impact the top and bottom lines.
Another benefit of financial openness and communication is that our employees have a better understanding of how their job performance impacts our big picture. For example, our entire team is part of the push to meet revenue goals that we all regularly discuss. The pursuit of sales isn’t something we only discuss with our sales team. We invite our marketing, IT and operations teams into these discussions as well. Our experience is that every department is motivated by an understanding of what it takes to grow and pay the bills.
What naturally flows are employees that take responsibility for the money and resources they use and motivation to ask themselves how their performance can personally impact the growth of our company.
“It’s clear that an organizational culture that promotes and supports openness, honesty, transparency and trust is key to a healthy, high-performing workplace,” says Ballard.
Once everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done, and goals are achieved, it’s crucial that contributions and successes are recognized and rewarded. We actually set weekly goals at Local Eye Site, and reward the entire team when we achieve them. Recently we had a firm come out and wash the cars of everyone in the company as a reward for a company financial achievement. It was fun, and the employees loved it!
I understand that some things should remain confidential, but where appropriate I think it’s good to be open and honest about exactly what you need to accomplish with every employee, department, and the big picture of your company. Being transparent about goals, successes and failures and rewarding appropriately is a cornerstone that I think has fueled a great culture at Local Eye Site.
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