Is Your Business Communication Transparent?


August 26, 2019 10:19 pm Published by

business communication

Business Communication Transparency Tips From A Top Business Coach

As a business coach, the longer I work with companies that are trying to scale up and grow their business, the more I’m struck with the importance of honest, transparent business communication. I’ll always strive to help companies with their leadership skills, their vision and strategy, hiring and developing the right people, and their cash management. Great communication, however, has to permeate all of those areas. If the messages about what you want your company to be aren’t getting through to your employees, you need to transform your communication skills.

Is Your Business Communication Transparent?

As a business coach, the longer I work with companies that are trying to scale up and grow their business, the more I’m struck with the importance of honest, transparent business communication. I’ll always strive to help companies with their leadership skills, their vision and strategy, hiring and developing the right people, and their cash management. Great communication, however, has to permeate all of those areas. If the messages about what you want your company to be aren’t getting through to your employees, you need to transform your communication skills.

I’m not suggesting that you are lying to your employees. I am, however, asking if the way you communicate with them is honest and transparent. Are you providing your workers with all of the information they need to know or are you being selective: Only telling them about the good news and the “feel-good” information? Are you keeping challenges and struggles close to the vest?

Why Is Transparency Important?

The concept of transparency has become increasingly important for businesses today. One of the key factors for hiring and retaining great employees is providing a workspace where employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. A big part of that comes from feeling involved with what’s going on in the company. In fact, 15Five recently highlighted the Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report from the Society for Human Resource Management which showed that “Communication between employees and senior management” was among the top five most important aspects of job satisfaction.

Sharing the Good and the Not-so-Good News

Good, transparent communication needs to go beyond sharing glowing reports of sales goals or revenue statistics. It also means being honest about missed goals, challenges from competitors, and obstacles to success. I’m not talking about turning your company meetings into “doom and gloom” sessions. I am talking about being transparent about the challenges your company is facing. That kind of communication can build a sense of togetherness and bind your team together. And on top of that, openly discussing a challenge or a roadblock can stimulate ideas about how to tackle the problem.

The Balance Between Being Transparent and Appropriate

Being transparent in your internal corporate communication doesn’t mean that you share everything with everybody. Certain pieces of information simply aren’t appropriate to share broadly. You’ll still need to apply discretion about what you share.

What Needs to Change?

Having a regular schedule for disseminating communication can go a long way toward creating an atmosphere of openness and transparency. Written/digital communication should happen on a regular schedule. The same thing should happen with “all hands” meetings. Make them regular and informative.

The other thing to consider is your style of communication. Be candid and straightforward. Nobody wants to sit through a propaganda session. Talk about things that matter to them. Don’t talk down to your employees. And, whenever possible, make it a conversation. Solicit input (but make sure it’s clear you’re after positive input—it’s not an open “gripe session”). Often employees simply want to know that their thoughts and concerns are being heard.