Yes, we’ll definitely be transparent about:
- Purpose; our “why”; what problem we’re solving
- Strategy and direction
- KPIs and how to get there
- Prioritization of projects, deliverables, and activities
- Decision processes
- Employee happiness and well-being
- Roles and responsibilities
- Status, progress, timelines, changes, dependencies, SWOT
- Financial status and forecasting
- Contractual obligations (see note1 below)
Note1 on the contractual obligations: It’s great to publish what we’ve agreed with customers, with vendors, and with subcontractors regarding scope, time, cost, quality, legal implications, payment etc. However, some contracts might contain agreements about things like mergers/acquisitions, and take-over of employees. Be careful what you do here.
Maybe we’ll be transparent about (consider this with your peers and your team):
- Contractual obligations (see note1 above)
- Salary and bonuses
- IPOs and mergers/acquisitions
- Disruptive changes, e.g. relocation, takeovers, new markets, discontinuation of products
- People performance and successor planning
No, we’ll not be transparent (see note2 below) about:
- Selected private circumstances/matters
- Staff issues
- Plans of budget cuts or firings; but we’ll involve you as soon as we can
- Matters that need to be announced to the Stock Exchange; but we’ll involve you as soon as we can.
Note2: When we’re dealing with issues with that kind of huge impact, we have some legal and some organizational obligations. Legally we have to comply to the rules of the government, the regulatory bodies, and the Stock Exchange. Also, HR jurisdiction can play a role here. Organizationally, we do not want to infuse unwanted or untimely fear or nervousness. However – and very important – we’ll inform and involve everybody carefully when the timing is right.
Will it work?
Yes, if you discuss the rules openly, adjust them over time, and base them om trust and understanding.
Step 2: Be transparent about your transparency
Publish the transparency list and guide, and use it actively. Refer to it, when you make decisions on communication and dialogue.
Step 3: Adjust as the culture evolves
Over time the list will evolve and change, as trust, openness and transparency is something you and your team must develop and practice together. As the culture evolves in this way, a need for updating the guide will be needed. Most likely the requests for more transparency will rise.