Can your employees see right through you?

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It’s free, it’s simple, and it will give you the edge over your competition.  As a young professional kick-starting my career, I would like to draw your attention to what I value in your organization and why it will work for you to recruit and retain talent.  Transparency in your organizational culture is a valuable benefit that is overlooked by management every day.  So what is transparency?  Transparency comes from the root word transparent defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as:  free from pretense or deceit; easily seen through; readily understood; characterized by visibility or accessibility of information.

As a young professional driven to succeed, full of energy, and ready to take on the world, I want to feel knowledgeable about my organization and be confident that I am informed and aware of what is to come.  Young talent can be a very powerful ingredient in your organization and a transparent atmosphere can help guide, develop, and grow young professionals into the future stars you will rely on.  As much as I expect my supervisor to demand my best performance, I too expect ongoing constructive and honest feedback in order to make improvements and grow my strengths to meet organizational needs.  Communicating to your staff any, changes, be it people or process, is important.  If a piece of information is obtained “through the grapevine” and hasn’t come from management, it can be incorrect and cause employees to feel distrust, which can be difficult to repair.  

Feeling safe, respected, and engaged in my career is far more important than a fat pay cheque and my back against the wall.  As a young professional working mostly at the front end of projects, it is important to me to see where my contribution fits in and how my role is impacting the final product.

 In a cut throat labour market, having a transparent culture could be the factor that keeps your staff loyal.  Take a long look at the youth of your organization. They are the future.  Do they feel they are in a trusting relationship with your organization? Are you doing what you can to be transparent and ensure they feel informed?  Attracting and retaining talent can be challenging in a competitive market. Start with transparency, after all, it’s free!


About the Author:

Coralee is the “rookie” of the office, but she doesn’t let that slow her down! Armed with a Bachelors degree in Human Resource Management, experience working with her family’s private business, and a forward thinking nature she is ready to take on anything that is thrown her way. Coralee has a talent for achieving forward motion. Her fresh perspective and ability to “think outside the box” adds a crisp quality to her contribution in projects. Determined to develop her career in Human Resources, she has landed in just the right spot, rubbing shoulders with a variety of dynamic seasoned professionals. Coralee graduated from Dickinson State University where she competed on the Varsity Athletics Rodeo Team for the Blue Hawks. Coralee is an accomplished cowgirl having competed at various levels of rodeo throughout the United States and Canada. Her love for animals doesn’t stop at horses she is the proud owner of a 90 pound Staffordshire terrier named “Chauncey”.


  1. Aaron Hanson  May 13, 2012

    Good article! My question is.. when could transparency lead to negative results and less cohesiveness between staff? Sometimes businesses have to make less than savory business deals to stay afloat. Or they may have to fire everyones favorite person in the office because he or she underperforms. Would sugar coating the situation to said employee and other staff (and thus decreasing transparency) help or hurt the situation?
    In summary, transparency is often a good thing. But can you think of examples where it could hurt a work environment? And if so, what guidelines should there be for when a business should or shouldn’t be transparent?

    • Peggie Koenig  August 24, 2012

      Great Question Aaron! Transparency is obviously something that must be managed with tact. There are some topics of discussion that are considered confidential for the employees’ or employers’ protection. Some matters cannot be fully disclosed due to possible law suits. In the event that a favorite employee is let go due to underperformance, this matter should be dealt with displaying only the facts, because the details are about a particular individual and that person has the right to privacy. The staff would be informed that the employee is no longer with the firm and has moved on to new opportunities. This is not a lack of transparency, it is respect for the former employee.

      Transparency should never hurt a work environment and if it does, it is not the method of transparency that needs to change. Maintaining transparency can help to avoid scandals and keep everyone honest and this is why I stressed it in this blog. The guidelines of using transparency or not will always be situational to each business and these decisions must be made ethically, and with the company its employees, stakeholders, and community in mind.

      Coralee Bulani

  2. Savannah Kropf  August 16, 2012

    I admire your piece of work, thanks for all the great posts .


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