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In recent years, workplace transparency has been embraced as a key contributor to employee engagement. Establishing protocols that facilitate openness between management and working groups has been shown to transform a workforce, reducing stress and increasing productivity.
But what exactly does workplace transparency entail and why is it important to government agencies?
In the simplest terms, workplace transparency is a system for information sharing. It also enhances collaboration and builds trust across teams and departments by communicating and forming relationships that emphasize being direct and straightforward.
Government agencies that embrace transparency have the added advantage of attracting and retaining employees who otherwise would turn to the private sector, which has been adopting transparency improvements to create more employee-centred company cultures. Transparency also goes far in combating the notorious red tape of government bureaucracy that can frustrate workers.
Read on to learn how to harness transparency to increase productivity in government agencies.
Culture Incorporation and Clear Communication
Communicating an organizational shift towards greater transparency is not enough; it needs to be embedded into organizational culture. Leaders, managers and other key stakeholders need to be aligned in ensuring that transparency is incorporated into critical organizational documents and protocols, such as mission statements and departmental workflows.
When rolling out a transparency initiative, explain the rationale for embracing transparency up front and its benefits to workers. This is essential for workforce buy-in.
Make it clear that candid conversations between employees and leaders foster trust between all parties. Talk about how workflow transparency also forwards individual and team goals for efficiency and growth. Furthermore, transparency to increase productivity in government agencies is not just about becoming more efficient; it also demonstrates that everyone’s ideas and contributions are truly valued.
Finally, develop and communicate a transparency model that promotes equity for hybrid and remote employees. Out-of-office workers historically had a disadvantage compared to counterparts who worked together in person. Now that hybrid and remote work is the new normal, a sound transparency program takes into these work systems to advance workforce agility.
Identify Areas for Transparency Improvement
Every government agency will have specific areas needing transparency improvements that managers should be quick to identify. The following are larger categorical improvements that accelerate transparency to increase productivity in government agencies:
Breaking down silos
Knowledge will be available across all organizational streams. Prioritize an open-door strategy for reports, town hall meetings to further group knowledge, the use of team chats versus email, and other methods to eradicate hierarchies and politicking, while making information access more egalitarian.
Establishing communication channels
The cornerstones of workplace transparency are established communication channels. Employees should know exactly where to go to access or share information in any situation. Communication channels will include digital tools, such as email and group chats, as well as established routine meetings like one-on-ones, team stand-ups or departmental gatherings.
Encourage your team to ask questions. All too often there is a stigma that asking questions reveals ignorance, wastes time, and in some cultures, shows disrespect. Asking questions is not only valuable to the individual, but also to others listening. Likely if one person has a question, at least another person does too. Normalize asking questions by having Q&A sessions with your team, or having managers ask questions of higher-ups.
Sharing wins and lessons
Sharing wins helps your team bond by celebrating wins, but equally important is trading lessons gained when events did not go as planned. Failure and mistakes are the greatest moments for learning, but only beneficial when discussed in a positive context focusing on knowledge sharing, not finger pointing. Managers should set an example and tone in admitting mistakes, since workers may be reluctant to do so.
2. Rely on Digital Tools
The explosion in recent years of digital tools that facilitate information sharing and team communications can and should power transparency initiatives. Utilize work management software for enhanced clarity around scheduling, meetings, tasks, roles and responsibilities, and more. For project-based governmental teams, project management software allows for total team alignment in one easy-to-use digital environment.
Training to Achieve Your Transparency Goals
Successfully reaching your transparency improvements may require assistance from an outside training partner. Priority Management has been instructing governments on productivity and transparency best practices across the globe for over forty years.
We can ensure your team is using transparency-boosting software systems to maximum advantage. We focus on real-world applications, helping teams determine the best use-case scenario for their working conditions and workflow. Our driving aim in any training is beneficial, real-world outcomes that are measurable and sustainable. Reach out to us to learn our process for promoting transparency to increase productivity in government agencies.