Transparency in the Workplace

Before I joined Snowball, I had no idea some companies were willingly transparent about how much they paid each of their employees. Not only does Snowball share this information, it’s also their goal to get you to that next promotion and in doing so they prioritize communication around your growth plan. There are no secrets, nothing is kept in the dark, and as an employee, you feel supported and cared for. No more uncomfortable conversations about feeling underpaid or surprises about not getting that promotion you’ve been working so hard for. Why don’t all companies adopt this model? Read more about what transparency can do for the well-being of your employees and an organization as a whole.

Transparency lays the foundation for a great working relationship, but it seems harder and harder to come by in the corporate world. Companies are growing at exponential rates and giving employees the power of transparency seems too dangerous to bear. Glassdoor defines transparency in the workplace as “an organization that operates in a way that creates openness between managers and employees.” In the area of compensation, employers fear that salary transparency affects them from being able to hire talented staffers at low rates. It could “stoke envy” for employees who are making more which effectively creates tension between workers, according to Time. In an open environment, companies should have nothing to hide if they are paying their employees fairly, basing wages off of merit, ability, and potential. “Women’s rights advocates have urged companies to adopt full pay transparency policies — meaning that employees know what each of their colleagues make — as a tool to close the pay gap…” (Time). If your company attempts to hide pay rates, fear of pay transparency makes sense. Pay transparency is just one way we can fight against the gender pay gap. Allowing your company to be transparent also benefits the individual as much as it does the business as a whole. Not only do employees feel like they are being paid fairly, but it is another way to create an open and safe company culture, establish trust, and reduce turnover (WorldatWork).

Transparency around pay is just one way a company can establish trust with its employees. Another area where employees find transparency most beneficial is performance and career development. Encouraging managers to break the association of performance reviews with promotions/salary increases can improve quality of work and office place morale (Glassdoor). Shorter, more consistent, and informal feedback sessions allow employees to reflect on their performance more frequently, and create a space where they want to improve on their own terms. By having open sessions on a consistent basis, employees don’t feel like they are receiving harsh feedback once a year on all topics they could have improved on months ago. Employees want to be given the space to improve and be challenged in a way that allows for growth. This is how we can create a culture that promotes transparency and trust.

Snowball Print Marketing fosters a supportive and ever-growing work environment that is run by some of the industry’s most talented women. Snowball takes pride in its mission to be as open and sustainable as possible, all through the art of transparency. There is a clear path of what is expected when it comes to communication, pay, and growth. As a job seeker, you can ask questions about transparency and managerial styles while in the interview process. As an employer, you can create the change you want to see in your workplace. Lastly, as a current employee, you have the power to start dialogues around these topics and demand a better work environment for you and your peers. 

By: Amanda Ornelas

Sources: TIME, WorldatWork, Glassdoor