A great team is the backbone of every successful project. At Sunscrapers, we take team building seriously and do everything we can to make sure that all team members feel inspired to work hard towards common goals.
There are many different factors that contribute to building productive teams. Mutual trust and shared culture are just some aspects of fantastic teamwork, but today we wanted to focus on another one: team transparency.
Why team transparency?
Let’s start with the other side of the coin.
What happens when transparency is lacking in a team?
In my experience, teams that aren’t transparent usually suffer from various problems that when combined may severely compromise team performance. The mounting of small errors that impact progress, high risk of missing deadlines, and opaque workflows result in loss of priorities and data ownership.
Team members who aren’t given access to all the data they need at the right time won’t be able to develop a broader vision of the project and see the value their individuals tasks bring to it.
Lack of transparency may easily affect team motivation, or lead to bad decision-making because critical project information is not available to all stakeholders.
Transparency is a buzzword today, but many companies try to implement it without really understanding what transparency is about. Organizations often fail to balance transparency and instead end up on either of these extremes: wholly opaque or fully transparent.
Here’s how we define transparency
Transparency is about giving every team member full access to crucial knowledge about the company. That type of knowledge sharing provides team members with the context required for decision-making and helps them to understand their role in the company’s overall objectives better.
However, it’s not a good idea to introduce transparent workflows at the expense of individuals and their right to privacy. It’s best to leave the decision about sharing that type of information to team members.
There are many things we share publicly at Sunscrapers. We do that to help people understand who we are, what we do, and how we think. We share information related to our mission, vision, values, workflows (if allowed by the client), and team members.
Naturally, we share some information just within the company. We do that to build company culture, align team members with company goals, and help them improve the decision-making process.
In particular, we share information about our strategy and plans. Sharing goals means that we’re also sharing metrics that show whether we’re on the right track. Finally, we also make sure that everyone has access to company-wide progress reports.
We also make sure that all team members are aware of the rationale behind every decision affecting the team directly.
We keep team members updated about changes in our processes, as well decisions to hire or let go a team member.
Another smart thing to share is learnings and insight from project retrospectives. That effectively allows us to share experience between project teams to speed up learning and prevent other team members from repeating the same mistakes. Client feedback is an essential element of knowledge sharing as well because it helps us all improve our work and pinpoint weak spots that need improvement.We share positive feedback and praise of the individual and team performance or achievements. Click To Tweet
We also make sure that financial required for goal setting and progress evaluation is within reach of all team members.
We never share the confidential information of our clients.
We also never share performance feedback given to individuals. We are passionate about promoting growth at our company and want to give people an opportunity to improve themselves and fix problems on their own.
We chose not to share information about salaries. We keep the company roadmap with salary ranges public because we want to build an honest recruitment process. We also have a system for deciding about salary ranges and pay rises. We are aware that some people prefer to keep their salaries themselves, so we don’t impose any rules here.
Reaching a balanced team transparency
The idea behind transparency is empowering the team without making anyone uncomfortable. And reaching this balance often turns out to be challenging.
But organizations devoted to constant self-improvement will make the most of transparency for reiterating their assumptions and make their workflows even more efficient. Knowledge sharing is critical to business success and transparency powers the information flow like nothing else.
Have you got any questions about transparency and knowledge-sharing? Or maybe you’d like to share your recipe for optimal team transparency? Leave a comment below or get in touch with us at [email protected], we’re always looking for new ways of building a great company culture.