Let’s face it, several entrepreneurs I meet are tearing their hair out these days in relation to the current context: the labor shortage, telework which seems to be there for good, modes of communication which are changing and a feeling of losing the commitment of their teams which are increasingly difficult to read.
Does that speak to you? You are not alone. With a changing workforce, both generationally and organizationally, the companies I interact with struggle to keep their teams engaged, motivated and engaged. With this new situation, it is time for many organizations to rethink the way they communicate with their teams. Why should we expect our old ways to work in a completely different context? Both at the academic level and within workplaces, I have observed a need that seems to be pervasive: radical transparency.
Okay, is this another buzzword? I do not believe.
Many managers I meet complain about the new generation entering the workforce and the difficulty in connecting with them. It is given less than glorious qualifiers when, in my opinion, this generation is inspired, mobilized and involved, when it is spoken to for real. In order to adapt to this new reality, transparency can serve as a lever for mobilizing and retaining the workforce. I present it to you on four levels.
Humans joining an organization want to know why the business exists, where it is going, and what impact the organization wants to have in its community, and even the world. It is therefore essential for an organization to clearly clarify with the members of its team the direction that the company is taking in the short, medium and long term, as well as to clearly define what contribution each individual makes in the accomplishment of this mission.
Very importantly, the generation entering the labor market has a great desire for transparency on the concrete initiatives that the company carries out in terms of diversity and inclusion, other than just displaying a rainbow logo during the Pride Month (because that’s not being inclusive, it’s being opportunistic).
No matter what one says, to think that the confidentiality of salary scales is preserved, regardless of the policies in place, is in my opinion far-fetched. Moreover, several legislative projects in Canada and around the world want to promote the mandatory disclosure of salaries during job postings in order to preserve pay equity. For an organization, it is therefore essential to be able to justify exactly the working conditions of a specific person, through transparent salary review processes, and to let this person know exactly what is needed in order to progress.
In a context where candidates are spoiled for choice, it is important for a company to set up a candidate experience that is thoughtful, attractive, inclusive and transparent. Having a clear, known and communicated interview process will ensure that the candidate’s experience will be a good indicator of the experience they can expect within the organization. It is important to demonstrate transparency, a two-way conversation and tangible proof of the transmission of the values of the organization through this process.
Talent development and career management are human resources disciplines that were often overlooked and which today must be an integral part of attracting talent to an organization. During the recruitment process, an organization can benefit from exposing exactly the development possibilities within its team in a clear and proactive way. Training your teams using traditional training can be a good thing, but being able to establish good practices in mentoring, co-development, strategic support and career management positions a company as being much more attractive, by being transparent and clear about the opportunities for advancement specific to each human within the organization.
Today’s labor market and workforce needs are changing. Companies with opaque and hermetic practices seem to be those experiencing the greatest culture shock. And although radical transparency doesn’t fix everything, it could be the key to reconnecting with the heart of their teams and, in addition to reducing turnover and increasing retention, allowing evolution and innovation to companies that know how to recognize its importance.