Transparent Communication

Concept of team unity and teamwork idea as a business metaphor for joining a partnership as diverse ropes connected together as a corporate symbol for cooperation and working collaboration.

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Transparent communication is the act of both good and bad information being shared upward, downward, and laterally in a way that allows all to see the why behind the words. A workplace with transparent communication is a more collaborative and trustworthy workplace, with information being openly shared between employees and across levels of the organization (Hutchison, 2020, April 8). Transparent communication also allows employees to be more innovative since they are more informed. Additionally, transparent communication encourages others to communicate openly and increases the sharing of ideas (Hutchison, 2020, April 8). Essentially, transparent communication allows the workplace to be collectively informed about the true happenings within the organization and align their actions accordingly.  

Two ways to increase transparent communication in the workplace are to be timely in communication and align communication and actions with the unit’s and the university’s missions (Hutchison, 2020, April 8). Employees appreciate being in the loop soon after their leaders or coworkers learn information. Communicating to employees or coworkers in a timely manner gains their trust, gives employees time to absorb the information, gives them a full picture of the situation, and gives employees the information that may affect their job, thus allowing them to adjust their work if needed. Straightforward communication about the unit’s mission will give employees a clear understanding of their goals (Hutchison, 2020, April 8). Increasing transparent communication in the workplace can lead to happier employees in a more collaborative environment, allowing the unit’s work to be done more efficiently. 

At a Glance

Transparent communication is the act of both good and bad information being shared upward, downward, and laterally in a way that allows all to see the why behind the words. 

Benefits of transparent communication:

  • Increases collaboration
  • Enhances trust 
  • Increases innovation  
  • Encourages people to communicate openly 
  • Increases the sharing of ideas  
  • Allows the workplace to be more informed 

How to increase transparent communication in the workplace:

  • Inform employees or coworkers soon after learning the information
  • Answer questions promptly, honestly, and include reasons why
  • Align communication and actions with the unit and university’s mission

References

Hutchison, J. (2020, April 8). Psychological safety and transparent communication at work: Strengthening collaboration and innovation. [Video]. Zoom. https://worklife.msu.edu/events/psychological-safety-and-transparent-communication-work-strengthening-collaboration-and

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