How to build trust through transparency

Trust is a crucial part of the employer-employee relationship. In an Edelman survey from 2019, employees who felt a strong sense of trust in their employers were much more likely than those that didn’t to advocate for their company and to remain loyal and committed to the workplace. Trust enables your employees to put value into the work they do for you and to commit to a long-term vision for their role with your team. Building trust among employees—not just within teams, but across departments—is also essential for encouraging them to collaborate and build creative, out-of-the-box solutions.

So how can you foster an environment of trust within your company across all levels?

Transparency is key. Here are some ways to make your organization more transparent:

Build a set of core values

Transparency should be built into the core of your company DNA. As you build company values that you expect your entire team to live and work by, develop messaging that focuses on openness and honesty, both with fellow employees and with your customer base. For example, one of Stack Overflow's values - Be Transparent - states “Communicate openly and honestly, both inside and outside the company. Encourage transparency from others by being empathetic, reliable, and acting with integrity.”

Collaborate openly in a company-wide knowledge-sharing tool

While your business likely has no shortage of communication tools, their usage is probably limited to single teams, or even 1-on-1 conversations—meaning that the information shared in those discussions is closed off to the rest of the company. By prioritizing online discussions on a knowledge-sharing platform, you can encourage all employees to discuss and share their knowledge and feedback with the entire organization. This will foster cross-disciplinary conversations and help to ensure that your entire organization has the same open access to valuable company information. Employees will be able to access historical discussions by searching the forums, so they’ll be able to get a sense of how perspectives have changed over time.

By taking steps to build an open and transparent community throughout your entire organization, your team will be able to foster a strong sense of trust at every level of the company. As a result, you’ll end up with committed and engaged employees who’ll be more productive and loyal to the organization.

Sign up to receive helpful content and resources from Stack Overflow