As COVID-19 continues to halt business as usual and raise questions about the futures of many organizations, employees world-wide are looking to leadership for guidance. In a time when answers are few and questions are many, clarity and accessibility from leadership are important qualities to have in our organizations. Executive coach Christopher Salem believes that “transparency builds trust,” and this increases employee commitment to “be fully vested and for them to apply themselves as a team to achieve company goals.”
Why is transparency so important?
With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its effects on the world, now, more than ever, transparency from leadership is necessary to ease fears, gain trust and possibly even receive helpful ideas. With the data surrounding COVID-19, we know association pros are at risk. Creating a space for clear communication and direction can not only lead your organization through this pandemic but could also strengthen your team for the future.
Don’t add to the confusion.
Everyone wants to have all the answers, but the fact is right now no one has answers. Having realistic expectations for your organization, and being forthcoming about those expectations creates a solid base for your employees.
Don’t blindside your employees.
Try to minimize surprise by being more forthcoming than usual. Having leadership volunteer updates on the status of the company strengthens the bond between your organization and its employees. Employees who are kept up to date are more likely to stay loyal in times of struggle.
While transparency is a very important trait during this time, The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation reminds us that “the concept should not be interpreted as a decree to disclose every document or require guests at every meeting.” They also believe that “the desire to be transparent should not affect the greater need to protect confidential information.”
Don’t leave your employees hanging.
Nothing says “we are here for you” more than accessibility from leadership. Having a responsive and timely organization instills a sense of trust and support for employees. Having this support system creates confidence to work harder, and smarter.
We all know how hectic and crazy COVID-19 has made our lives, but by creating a more transparent organization, you can effectively ease stress and worry from already stressed and worried employees. If you support your employees, your employees will support you.
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Ashley Neal joined the Sidecar team as Community Coordinator in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down life as we knew it. Having to adapt, overcome and predict the changes needed to survive in the new normal, Ashley now has the skills needed to juggle any obstacle thrown her way. A soon-to-be graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of Strategic Communications, Ashley spends her days balancing her work and education with her love of dogs. Taking her three dogs — Scooby, Pipsqueak and Moose — to restaurants, hiking trails, vacations and even participating in dog shows and sports is the highlight of her weekends.