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4 Reasons You Need to Embrace Transparency in the Workplace

Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
1 of 5

I've noticed, what I perceive as, an ever growing curtain of secrecy and intransparency on Upwork, and thought I'd share this article as food for thought. It not only does it apply to employee-employer relationships, but also contractor-client, and company-customer ones. 




4 Reasons You Need to Embrace Transparency in the Workplace


APRIL 28, 2015, written by Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany for


Believe it or not, a full quarter of employees don’t trust their employer, according to a 2014 American Psychological Association survey of 1,562 U.S. workers. What’s more, the survey also found that only about half believe their employer is open and upfront with them.

This lack of trust is likely due to a lack of transparency in the workplace. Transparent leadership is the key to fostering a culture of trust between leaders and their employees. Employees who are kept in the loop and understand their role in the overarching purpose and goals of the company are, understandably, more likely to put their trust in their employer.

Related: The 4 Principles Driving Enterprise Transparence in 2015


By now, most of us have heard a thing or two about how to achieve and sustain transparency in the workplace. Here are four reasons why that transparency and culture of trust is necessary:



1. Better relationships


Employees don’t just quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. In fact, a 2014 CareerBuilder survey revealed that 37 percent of the 3,008 employees surveyed were likely to leave their jobs due to a poor opinion about their boss’s performance.

When it comes to building solid workplace relationships, trust takes center stage. Take Unbounce, for example. It took transparency to another level with its “Inside Unbounce” blog, a staff-authored, un-curated window in the organization. Not only does this demonstrate transparency to potential job seekers, customers, etc., it also keeps employees involved and up to date on company happenings, successes and feedback.



2. Better alignment


Employee alignment, for transparency’s sake, means taking a look at the big picture and seeking to understand everyone’s role within it. This is easily done when employers practice transparency in the workplace. Transparent leadership results in employees who understand the company vision and how their efforts help achieve company-wide goals.

Transparency is at the top of HubSpot’s Culture Code. Its internal wiki includes financials (cash balances, burn-rate, profits and losses, etc.), board meeting decks, management meeting decks, “strategic” topics, HubSpot Lore & Mythology -- basically anything and everything employees need to stay informed and aligned with the company vision.

Related: Let's Be Real: Why Transparency in Business Should Be the Norm



3. Better solutions


When leaders are transparent, problems are solved faster. By being open and honest about company problems, employees can help find solutions. And two heads (or however many heads make up the company) are better than one.

Social sharing app Buffer makes company performance public with progress reports on customer support, blog performance, business performance and more. Not only does doing so increase accountability, it also highlights issues and encourages employees to find solutions.



4. Better engagement


A culture that values transparency in the workplace breeds engaged employees. In fact, Harvard Business Review’s 2013 employee engagement survey revealed that 70 percent of those surveyed say they’re most engaged when senior leadership continually updates and communicates company strategy.

When it comes to engaging employees, it’s best to be open about company matters. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner fosters an organization built on transparency. He even takes the time to hold bi-weekly meetings, during which he updates employees on company matters and listens to their suggestions.



Community Guru
Setu M Member Since: Jan 26, 2014
2 of 5
@ Krisztina,

Seems we need to get you into a management position here. I enjoy the focus of the articles you have been promoting recently.
---- easy like Sunday morning ----
Active Member
Toni G Member Since: Jul 8, 2015
3 of 5

Great article. 
I am however frustrated that I have been on a chat session with UpWork now for almost an hour with one simple question.  How is Team App - the client timer, calculated with regard to the ten minute segments?  It would be nice if there was more transparency at Upwork with regard to this subject.

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 5

@Toni G wrote:

How is Team App - the client timer, calculated with regard to the ten minute segments? 

 Hi Toni,


Sorry about the confusion. A screenshot is taken at random time during 10-minute periods while your have the Team App running and then uploaded to your Work Diary. The client is then charged for the time you have logged and can view the screenshots in the Work Diary.


I hope I understood your question correctly. Please, let us know if there is anything else you would like to know about the Team App.

~ Valeria
Community Guru
Ela K Member Since: Feb 9, 2015
5 of 5

"All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."


Ellen Glasgow