Too often, transparency is viewed among businesses as a concession – a lifeline you offer consumers or employees, when you would really rather not. But transparency is so much more than a concession.
Employ it correctly and fully, and transparency can be a bold opportunity for your business.
As this article details, transparency can build trust, encourage loyalty, improve efficiency and help you stand out in an otherwise opaque industry.
Here’s how and why to make your business more transparent.
Why Make Your Business More Transparent?
Taking those first strides toward a more transparent business can be frightening. Here are the rewards and benefits you have to look forward to.
It Builds Trust: To you, as a business owner or executive, transparency might seem like a chore. To consumers, however, it’s a mark of honesty and openness that helps build trust. And according to PwC research, “49% of consumers started purchasing or purchased more from a company because of trust.”
It Gets the Consumer Involved: Providing access to information and avenues for criticism spurs consumer engagement. It gets them involved in your business, rather than relegating them to a passive relationship.
It Conveys Authority, Accreditation: Transparency can be a great way to convey authority, especially in a traditionally opaque industry. It signals to prospective talent and consumers that you are comfortable in your operations.
It Improves Efficiency: Through consumer feedback systems and employee dialoguing, transparency can help you identify and ameliorate areas of inefficiency.
It Helps You Stand out in an Opaque Industry: If you’re the one trailblazing transparency in an industry, people will notice. Take it from Regan McGee, CEO of the real estate-disrupting Nobul platform: “We’re helping bring more transparency, credibility, and accountability to the single biggest transaction of people’s lives.” He adds: “The people who are unhappy about it are generally scamming consumers.”
Consumers Are Changing: As millennials’ influence rises in the workforce and consumer sector, businesses need to pay attention to their values. And according to several reports and polls, they value – you guessed it – transparency.
How to Make Your Business More Transparent
Your business can approach transparency in several ways. The goal, in each, is to develop a more honest and empowering relationship with consumers and employees. To start, here are three sure-fire ways to make your business more transparent.
Access to Information: Where do you source materials? What does your organizational structure look like? What are you doing – and accordingly, what are you not doing – to address social and environmental issues? What do you do with consumers’ information? What salaries are you offering for currently open roles? The more access you provide, the more transparent your business becomes.
Encouraging Critique, Internally and Externally: Information is only one piece of the puzzle. A business has to be open to critique based on the information provided. This demonstrates that you value customers and employees enough to give them a say. For your part, listening to these criticisms can help you grow as a company.
People-Centrism: The net result of the above two practices is people-centrism – placing consumer and employee satisfaction at the forefront of your business decisions. Transparency-enabled people-centrism can help you drive loyalty, build trust, spur innovation and cultivate an attractive work culture.
Transparency is not a “necessary evil” in business. It’s an opportunity. Further, it demonstrates a deep understanding that the heart of the business isn’t necessarily money – it’s people.
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