Fri, June 21, 2024

Forging Ahead Transparently

Basant Chaudhary
Basant Chaudhary June 6, 2024, 2:54 pm
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  • Trust is the ultimate key to better business and transparency is its creator

Does one need to harp upon the significance of transparency in business and management? It should be plain as daylight that transparency regarding one’s business procedures, steps and motives will enhance the trust of clients in the company’s promoters and their products and services. Trust is the ultimate key to better business and transparency is its creator.

Transparency is the way to show your stakeholders that you have nothing to hide, your business is legitimate and you have their best interests at heart. Besides reassuring clients, a transparent business system will boost and maintain your credibility. This is vital at a time when competition is getting tougher by the day and regulatory procedures are also changing all too often.

However, transparency is easier talked about than built. The initiative has to come from the top. The company’s leadership should select internal and external focus areas where transparency is needed the most. Goals should be set for different departments and alignment should be ensured amongst them.  

To make transparency integral to the company’s culture the concept needs to be driven down the rank and file through open meetings or town halls where ideas and suggestions should be sought from all sides. This will trigger a vigorous exchange of ideas. Only then will the entire organisation consider itself a part and parcel of the transparency movement. It is equally vital to discuss the changes being made in the customer or client-facing material because it displays your true commitment to promoting transparency at all levels.

What about the involvement of stakeholders in the process? Seek the views of direct clients and other stakeholders like investors about the openness of your workflow, processes, fees, etc. Do they feel at ease with your systems? If they do, then you are on the right track. Investors interact with several enterprises and can serve as good judges of your transparency endeavour.

While transparency is expected to boost trust in your products and services, strengthen ties with customers, improve communication in the workplace, increase productivity and equip you to deal with changing regulations better, it may, at the same time, make you feel more exposed and vulnerable. Donning the robe of honesty suddenly may make an enterprise slightly nervous, to begin with. But a beginning has to be made. Transparency strikes root as time progresses and, therefore, too much of a hurry may not be the best way out.

It is more than apparent that transparency offers strategic advantages to a company, its employees and customers. This is because the world is prioritising ethical business practices. Transparency is a big step towards ethics.

Commenting on transparency, Forbes states, “Business transparency is the process of being open, honest and straightforward about various company operations. Transparent companies share information relating to performance, small business revenue, internal processes, sourcing, pricing and business values.”
Mostly, we think in terms of leadership, employees, customers and clients when we discuss ushering in transparency. However, the fact is that investors too are affected most profoundly by transparency in business. If you are transparent about the financial status of your business with your investors, then they will be more forthcoming with investments in your company.

Forbes confirms this when it states, “Nothing could be more important than the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors. Investors have what entrepreneurs need: capital and know-how. On the other hand, entrepreneurs have what investors want: a vehicle that offers the potential for a return. These separate entities share common and joint interests: growth of the business.” Obviously, transparency towards investors leads to business success.

Here is some data to highlight the relationship between the transparency-accountability combine in business and the people who work there. According to ZDNet:

“Organisations can reap rewards from being transparent. Nine out of 10 people (89%) said a business can regain their trust if it admits to a mistake and is transparent about the steps it will take to resolve the issue. A similar ratio (85%) is more likely to stick with them during crises.” Feeling part of something bigger with a sense of ownership over their role, employees tend to remain loyal to the company for longer.

Transparency fosters trust and open communication and makes the workplace more pleasant. Relationships between employees and their employers gain strength in a collaborative environment. Support for colleagues grows and bickering withers away. Motivation levels rise.

Benefits abound. According to Entrepreneur: “Internal transparency - the practice of maintaining open lines of communication with employees, and remaining honest about company operations - is positively correlated with higher employee morale (and therefore, productivity). Transparency in this internal context also builds trust, and makes employees feel that they’re working for a company with higher ethical standards.” 

No wonder, enterprises need to focus on unique ways to increase business transparency without further ado. But you will be able to reap a rich harvest only if you practice what you promise. 

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MAY 2024

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