Too often, companies are hesitant to adopt transparent practices. Managers become concerned that revealing anything other than good news about their company will decrease employees’ energy and morale. Employees, meanwhile, sometimes worry that giving their bosses a view into their day-to-day tasks is an invitation for micromanagement.

The reality, though, is quite the opposite. While it might sound counterintuitive, transparency in the workplace increases employee motivation, reduces conflict and tension, and benefits employees and managers alike.

Here are some of the reasons you should embrace, rather than shy away from, transparency at work.

Transparency minimizes workplace conflict

Conflict between team members is usually the result of misunderstanding and miscommunication, rather than genuine ill will. When you’re able to openly discuss your challenges, successes, and concerns, you and your colleagues are better able to avoid misunderstandings and, instead, to work out issues before they become even bigger. Transparency, in other words, keeps workplace problems small.

Transparency is also crucial for conflict resolution. Open communication lets you better understand your team members’ perspectives, helping you avoid frustration or judgment at times when a project doesn’t go as planned. The occasional challenge is inevitable for any company, and empathy and understanding between team members is critical to help the company stay strong during times of struggle.

Transparency helps you find creative solutions

Upper management is understandably tempted to conceal any news that the company is struggling, for fear that they’ll lose their best employees or, at the very least, significantly decrease employee morale.

But as many companies have already found, workplace transparency allows you to harness the combined brainpower of your team members, and to produce more creative and innovative solutions as a result.

When upper management hides bad news from their team, they rely wholly on themselves to resolve the issues. A candid discussion with team members, on the other hand, means that more minds can work together to find a solution to the company’s problems.

And, of course, being able to bounce ideas off one another is important in times of success, too. Sharing ideas, in leading to more creative and original approaches, tends to generate more effective results.

Transparency creates a culture of collaboration and trust

Some people fear transparency because they’re afraid of being judged for their mistakes or don’t want someone else nosing around in their work. But the sharing of information actually reduces the urge for bosses and team members to micromanage, because it helps build trust.

In other words, your bosses and colleagues won’t feel the need to breathe down your neck, because they already have visibility into what you’re doing and because they trust you to be open and honest with them.

Hand-in-hand with increased trust comes improved collaboration. When team members have visibility into one another’s projects and are informed about each other’s successes and challenges, they’re better able to help each other accomplish team tasks. This is particularly important for tasks that need to be passed off between different employees, since each team member needs to know exactly where the other left off.

Not only does this ensure that you and your team members are on the same page, but it also helps you trust one another to produce effective work.


Upper management should set an example for employees by making transparency an explicit value and by communicating openly with employees at all levels. This will create a culture that encourages the sharing of information–even when that information isn’t all good news.

An open and communicative workplace culture helps employees feel comfortable making friendly suggestions to their managers about how to improve the team environment as well as day-to-day operations. This, in turn, will create a strong base of happy, motivated employees.

Transparency might look risky, but it ultimately reduces problems within the workplace, fosters employee collaboration, and leads to more innovative ideas as a result.