Earlier we spoke about transparency as an organisation value. Now is a good time to understand what is required for an organisation to be considered transparent.
Firstly, we know that internal communication works as a tool to exert transparency. Furthermore, it is the solution to any uncertainty of who works with and for the company, and it promotes a positive work environment.
Being transparent with our work team is key. Naturally, we will always share certain information in an “intimate” way before making it public; it’s ideal that all communication be channelled from the inside out. For this reason, it is a process that, to the extent possible, companies must standardise and automate in order to enjoy its benefits:
- Create a sense of belonging
- Increase the team’s motivation and commitment
- Manage different professional profiles and personalities in order to make the most of them in benefit of the group and the organisation
- Keep information up-to-date in company operations
It’s not about having everything all the time, but rather about reporting important facts, be it achievements or defeats, so that the team can celebrate or make improvements, and so that all employees are a part of this.
While internal communication focuses on facilitating the flow of information within a work team, external communication aims at improving the brand’s image and nourishing relationships between the organisation and consumers, providers, shareholders and the population in general.
For an organisation to be perceived as transparent, there must be coherence between the internal and the external, since there is nothing more damaging to a company’s image than the feeling that it is can’t be trusted.
On this matter, María Luisa Sánchez, author of La Informacion Especializada En La Gestión De Crisis [Specialised Information in Crisis Management], defines external communication as “the process that is established between the company and the gamut of public opinion, in order to report on different aspects of company life that could affect or be of interest to society in general.”
It should be noted that external communication doesn’t only aim at offering information to stakeholders, but rather must be conceived as a two-way street of sending and searching for information. Therefore, it should not be seen as an easy task.
Lastly, we cannot fail to mention the value of honesty as the essential ingredient of a transparent organisation. On this matter, we talk about acting under the premise of having nothing to hide, and that we must always do the right thing.
Therefore, it’s about being ethical at all times, acknowledging our mistakes and drawing upon that, not delegating responsibilities to others when they are our own, not appropriating the company’s goods or capital, and always reporting any fraud that has been committed in relation to the company as soon as we become aware of it.