The Importance of Transparency
Published: May 13, 2016
Author: Soula Yannaras
Whether we are discussing transparency in the world of digital marketing or in the realm of project management, transparency should be the base for all of our interactions and work.
At 3Q Digital, transparency is a foundation upon which we have built a thriving agency. Our executives are fully transparent with all employees, and all employees are fully transparent with our clients. Management maintains an open-door policy and practices full disclosure within the company. Transparency begins at the top; our CEO does not sit behind a closed door, shut off from the rest of the company. Instead, he regularly invites employees to meet with him and discuss our current projects, revenue, client updates, etc. Employees are regularly updated with the clients lost, clients gained, and our overall performance. By creating a culture of transparency, we create a workplace centered on trust and commonality.
Without complete transparency, we would be a typical agency more concerned with the bottom line than creating a prosperous partnership with our clients and with each other.
Why is transparency such an important part of our workplace?
People trust companies and individuals who are transparent.
Who would you rather do business with? A company who doesn’t practice transparency within the internal organization? Or a company who would prefer that everything be out in the open for all employees and potential clients?
Proving yourself successful is more than simply appearing as the great and powerful Oz. A truly successful company is one who will pull back the curtain to expose the inner workings—successes and failures.
By promoting a culture of transparency, we are telling clients that we have nothing to hide. You can trust us with your business because our transparency means that we must continually improve our service to you.
How does a company become transparent?
Transparency starts from within. In order to create a culture of transparency, every individual within the organization or team must strive to be transparent personally. When I am managing a team or overseeing a project, transparency is the foundation of my every interaction. It will only threaten the potential success of a project if I am not transparent with my team or if they are not transparent with me. How would I be expected to be transparent when interacting with clients if I am not the same way when interacting with my peers? Transparency is beneficial in the workplace, but it doesn’t mean that practicing it is always easy.
My first solo planned event for the company was a college welcome reception. Our COO needed a preliminary budget and I thought that I had covered everything on the list, so I presented it to him and it was approved. Two weeks before the event I realized that I wasn’t as careful with the budget as I had thought and it meant that I would be going over the budget if I purchased a necessary item that I didn’t account for. Could I have purchased it and no one would have known? Certainly. Did I need to be transparent and address the proposed change to the budget with Maury? Of course. Was it a minor detail that wouldn’t derail the event? Yes, but if I’m not transparent with the minute details, then why would I choose to be transparent if I hit a major roadblock? If something goes wrong, then I won’t cover it up. Transparency means owning it—the success and the failure.
The bottom line:
No one likes to be in the dark. On my last trip home to Milwaukee, I was discouraged when I booked my flight home and read the fine print. Hidden within the tiny text at the bottom of the confirmation page was a plethora of hidden fees, charges, taxes, and various information that I wish I had known before booking. The same principle applies to a company and their interactions with potential clients and potential employees. Everyone is happier when everything is out in the open. There are no surprises, no hidden agendas, and no causes for concern.