The Benefits of Transparency

​When videogame maker Insomniac Games increased its headcount by 150 percent over two years, its leadership team seized on transparency to engage the entire workforce in driving the business forward. Nothing – pay rates, projects, vision and long-term strategy – was off the table as the company moved from a single videogame release to five a year, Carrie Dieterle, the company's chief people officer, told the Great Place to Work Institute.

"When it comes to sharing information with employees, there are no secrets," she said.  

For Insomniac Games,  transparency translated into real business outcomes, including a  32% reduction in benefit costs and a 53 percent increase in employee referrals.   

 Transparency, however, is more often the exception than the rule. Too often, employees see management as an adversary rather than an advocate, and the distrust can be mutual. Being open and honest cultivates an affirming relationship, but work cultures and traditional management practices often dictate that managers withhold information from employees.

The topic of trust in the workplace has been studied extensively. Ernst & Young surveyed employees from around the world and found that less than half trust their employer or boss. Among the top causes of distrust, the study found, was a lack of transparency.

As Insomniac Games found, transparency can have an outsized effect on your organization. Among the ways transparency boost your bottom line:

  1. Software investments have higher returns

    If your contact center is like most, you've made a significant investment in digital solutions to help your contact center run smoothly -- but you can only get out what you put in. Today's solutions are designed to engage employees, optimize staffing and even manage performance, so they work most effectively when management and employees are on the same page. Creating a transparent culture where everyone knows the ins and outs of staffing processes and policies, and the metrics against which performance is being judged, helps align behaviors to your desired outcomes. Whether it's turning down a vacation request or assigning an agent a task he or she dislikes, the more open and transparent you are about the process, the more the agent will respect your decision.

  2. Employees and leaders are aligned around a common goal

    Contact center agents will reciprocate transparency to management, bringing concerns to them before small challenges become large ones. Because agents are customer-focused, they often notice trends or issues early on.  Management is often removed from day-to-day customer-facing operations, so they may not notice when issues arise until it's too late. Open, transparent conversations remove the uncertainty.

  3. Customer happiness increases

    Happy employees lead to happy customers – and management transparency is the top factor when determining employee happiness, according to a study by TINYpulse.  Give employees insight into their performance data and keep them informed of trends and change within the larger organization. Contact center agents that feel like a valuable part of the team, one that is operating toward a shared set of goals, will echo those positive feelings back to customers -- resulting in higher customer satisfaction. 
​Transparency doesn't happen overnight. Breaking down walls takes time, but an investment in transparency can prove its worth through more effective tools and processes, a greater partnership between agents and supervisors and happier employees and customers.​