For many years transparency has been thought of as an attribute that organisations use to showcase their accountability or an action that is more tied to legal and administrative terms than to anything else. However, with the development of new trends in organisational culture, it has been assimilated as an organisational value.
Simply put, this principle seeks to increase trust and commitment between the organisation and those who have dealings with it, whether that be employees, customers, shareholders or providers. This, in turn, leads to closer and more fruitful relationships, which are more beneficial in the long-term for both the organisation’s image and work environment.
Through transparency, the company is able to communicate its action plans and at the same time draw upon feedback that is offered. Taking this into account, as well as the fact that communication is the means by which it is expressed, ideally, this would strengthen the company’s communication system, both internally and externally.
Transparency in the digital era
When we talk about communication, we most certainly must mention the paradigm shift caused by digital transformation. Since everyone has access to information, we have a new scenario where transparency is no longer a strategy (as previously understood), but rather an unavoidable element in any organisational culture.
On this matter, Helena Redondo, Sustainability Partner at Deloitte Spain, said:
“Combining transparency, precision, and integrity of information, with concepts like agility, clarity, brevity and flexibility, is a huge challenge for companies that have to explain who they are, what they do and how they do it, adding value for their different target audiences. As a matter of fact, being able to achieve this effectively, clearly and directly, giving each person the information they need is a complex task that must be tackled using business know-how and from a position of active listening”.
Emphasis must be placed on the importance of constantly offering quality information, as well as managing it wisely.
Today, transparency entails obligations, clarity and great sacrifice in order to maintain it. Thus, information provided by any means must be true, must not make judgements and must be proven based on evidence and common sense.