Greater Transparency Increases Employee Happiness
Perhaps the most critical quality next-generation talent desires in a strong leader is transparency. High-potential employees do not just want to be told what to do at the office.
This group wants to know why they are doing what they are doing. They want to know where they fit into the bigger picture of the organization. And, they want to know what they have to do to keep progressing.
Next-generation talent sees their work as being only part of their lives. That being said, they want to work for transparent leaders with who they can be open about work and other issues, as well. Being open and honest with this group will go a long way in building trust and employee engagement, as well as productivity.
Strong Employee Performance Starts with Authentic Leadership
Attracting and retaining the next generation of talent will be critical to the continued success of your organization. These folks want to work for strong leaders. Being a trustworthy, effective communicator with transparent expectations will separate the strong leaders from the weak leaders in the eyes of the next generations. This is critical in leadership development — so take the time to work on these traits. After all, they may be what separate you from your competition.
For business leaders, this will not be a passing fad. These generations will be affected deeply for years to come. In 2020, someone who was six years old and forced to socially isolate and finish school from home will carry that memory for a lifetime. It will be quite some time until sociologists and historians piece together exactly how everyone was affected. For great leaders, it is not necessary to understand the exact impact, only to understand that there was, in fact, a generational impact.
This is where leveraging emotional intelligence is critical. Simply being emotionally aware will be recognized, understood, and appreciated by one’s followers.
Lead with Open Communication
Becoming a transparent leader is much more difficult than it sounds. Most folks who came of age in the 20th century as business people became used to a less-than-transparent situation. Information was power, usually shared only on a “need-to-know” basis. Not a wise decision. And most people simply did not need to know. Or at least that is what ownership felt.
The newest generational cohorts in the workforce were rocked by the Great Recession and the societal changes brought on by COVID-19. In many ways, they were victims of poor company culture with no transparency and uncertain communications and information. These generations came of age when many things were totally transparent. If you want to shop for car insurance, you can go online and compare prices. Certain companies even will show you a lower price from a competitor. Transparency.
Everywhere except in the workplace the newest generation of workers can experience transparency. It will be a leadership superpower to change from the need-to-know mentality and be transparent.
There are many reasons why organizations fail to be transparent. The first and most obvious reason is that they did not need to be. Keeping information close to the vest was a luxury for a select few managers. Having this information all to themselves was a form of power, and this power was not to be shared with “common folks.”
Controlling information is no longer power. In fact, it probably never was. This is one sure-fire way to hamper clear communication and corporate culture. Only the most powerful and most secure leaders will have the courage to lead with authenticity. No longer can there be a Wizard of Oz pulling the levers “behind the curtain.”
Become a Great Company with a Transparent Culture
Becoming more transparent and building an authentic relationship with each team member boils down to having a sense of security and being confident enough to share information. Building your 21st-century superpower of transparent communication requires trust — both giving and getting. As a leader, you need to be trusted, and being transparent is a great way to develop trust.
With our leadership development program, you can prepare your future senior leadership to provide honest feedback and clear expectations to promote workplace transparency.