Is Your Company Guilty of a Workplace Culture of Fear? Here Are 3 Ways to Know

Last week, we talked about both why you should consider working towards workplace transparency, and how to start working towards it.

But one of the biggest killers of a transparent workplace and a great corporate culture is fear. Not only does it ruin your employer branding–it can really mess up productivity and growth, as well.

To truly figure out if fear permeates your organization, have a look our 3 signs below:

The employee façade

Though it might be difficult to see, your employees might not be productively burning the midnight oil like you might think. A common sign that fear is king is when your employees try to appear like busy-bees rather than actually being one. As a CEO, it might be hard to tell, but team leaders should have a better idea as to how well their teammates work by gauging the input and output of their efforts.

This can be bad for a company. In this instance, rather than concentrating on being productive, employees would rather look productive, which does nothing but waste your time and their own. But to a leader who is unaware of what their employees are doing, it might seem like Jon Smith is simply skipping out early because he is lazy.

If an employee finishes their work earlier than scheduled, then there should be nothing but praise for them–and not the opposite. 

The exploding leader

Being a little frustrated is okay, but if you find yourself or another leader exploding quite frequently and thinking to yourself, “this could’ve been avoidable,” then chances are fear is the culprit. Employees are less likely to tell you about the bad things going on if they are afraid you will blow up at them. Lack of communication as the result of fear can really put a damper on productivity, causing you more trouble in the long run. 

The appeaser

Another way to tell that there is fear mongering in the company is if your employees readily and full-heartedly agree with everything and anything you say. If this is the case, then chances are they’re simply trying to appease you because they’d rather make you happy than tell you the truth. This can be really destructive to the creativity and growth of the company.

If an employee sees an error they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up. Avoiding the situation will do nothing but result in an exploding leader situation, and as we mentioned before, that can cause a lot of trouble.

Assessing whether or not your company is plagued by a culture of fear can be difficult, especially if you aren’t honest with yourself. As a leader, whether you are the CEO or a manager, you need to constantly be checking yourself if you want your company and employees to flourish.

Know of any signs of a culture of fear that we didn’t mention? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

4 Ways to Work Towards a Transparent Work Environment

Yesterday, we gave you 4 reasons why you should have a transparent work environment. As we mentioned, whether through enhancing your company culture, building up trust, or preventing any big disruptions, a transparent work environment can do wonders for your company’s productivity and creativity.

If you’re looking to go that route, then take a look below at a few ways to help you on the road towards a more transparent work environment:

Transparency should start from the top.

As always, when implementing a sweeping change like trying to create a transparent work environment, the leadership needs to make the first move.

We talk about this a lot, but as a leader, it’s important to set a good example for the rest of your team. Whether you are the CEO and your team is the whole organization, or you are a team manager and your team is a staff of 10, you need to show them some initiative if you want these changes to get up off the ground.

Start instilling a transparent culture early on.

If you want transparency to stick with your employees then you should start instilling it early on–we’re talking about as soon as a passive candidate clicks on your website. Be up front with everyone who crosses paths with you company.

Not only will this help gain likeminded individuals who value transparency–it will also help foster a sense of transparency in those who aren’t familiar with this type of work ethic. 

Level the playing field.

One very important way to create a transparent work environment is by making sure that everyone feels like they have some sort of ownership of the company. That means that everyone is held accountable for their actions and that their opinions, actions, and values all contribute to the company and its core values/mission.   

Be open to criticism.

If you expect to have a transparent work environment that cultivates trust and honesty, then you need to take all opinions into consideration. That means taking in the good and the bad. Seeing these opinions can do a lot to help you gauge how your company operates, and what can be improved.

Transitioning into a transparent work environment can be difficult, especially if your company has really valued its secrecy in the past. But by sticking with it and following these simple tips, you’ll be seeing results in no time.

Have any questions or comments about this blog? Let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!

4 Reasons Why a Transparent Work Environment is Essential

In our post on 3 Ways to Help your Employees Understand the Big Picture, we mentioned the concept of being open with your employees and letting them know the ins and outs of the company.

What that really means is a transparent work environment.

Workplace transparency, or corporate transparency is when an organization makes their actions “observable by outsiders.” In a transparent work environment, decisions and other operations are open to employees, stakeholders, and shareholders. And in some instances, companies may choose to even go as far as providing information to the general public.

Several companies have committed themselves to providing a transparent work environment, believing that all of those involved in their company benefit greatly from it. In that vein, we thought that it could be useful to highlight several reasons why you should have a transparent work environment.

Take a look below:

Transparency enhances your company culture.

We’ve already talked about what it can do to your employer branding, but more specifically, transparency can do a lot for your company culture. Transparency helps to foster a relationship up and down the workplace ladder. Because all operations are made public, employees feel included in the decision-making process rather than simply receiving orders from the higher-ups.

“Transparency breeds trust.”

In an interview with Inc. Magazine, Joel Gascoigne, co-founder of the social media software application Buffer, argues that transparency is a great way to build trust among your employees, which can also do wonders for enhancing your company culture.

Transparency affects services and productivity.

Along with the two reasons above, transparency does a lot to affect the services and productivity/creativity of your employees. Employees are more likely to feel invested in a company that they completely understand, which increases their willingness to be more productive and contribute to the company’s goals.

And, if employees are happy about what they see and understand, they will most likely represent your company in a good light, which makes a great impression on customers and potential candidates. 

Transparency means no surprises. 

A transparent work environment also eliminates the fear of receiving backlash for speaking out. Rather than letting problems slowly creep up and then explode, employees in a transparent work environment will feel comfortable relaying their problems, helping you avoid any disasters that can prove costly to your company’s profit and image.

At AIM Careerlink, we provide you with the ultimate tools for finding the best talent around. We are also committed to helping you maintain that talent, which is why we provide you with advice and tips like the ones above. If you have any questions or comments. let us know by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!