Friday, 7 June 2013

The Importance Of Business Transparency

Business Transparency
Transparency is a buzzword that has been kicking around in recent times in the business arena and with good reason too. Business transparency is something that every organisation should get to grips with if it wants to withhold a good reputation and successful operation. Here's more on the importance of business transparency.


What is business transparency all about?

This much-talked-about business buzzword is all about how open an organisation is with its customers and its employees. Transparency means allowing a free flow of information about how you run your business.

Being transparent has become increasingly important, as it can affect many aspects of how an organisation is perceived. If a firm is viewed as hiding information away from its customers or staff or misrepresenting the truth about its operations, it can escalate into a damaging corporate scandal, causing mistrust and crushing a business's reputation in one foul swoop.

Transparency isn't just about making sure your business is upfront and honest with customers and stakeholders, but also with your internal staff as well.


Why has transparency become so important?

Business transparency has risen to the top of many firms' agendas because of the shift in how we communicate these days. The rise in social media networking has created an arena where we are expected to reveal more details about our lives than in the past. This open and honest shift in communicating has put businesses under increasing pressure to do the same. Social media users take it as the norm for businesses to be transparent.


How can a business become more transparent?

So how does an organisation go about becoming more transparent? One of the biggest strategies an organisation can take is to make sure it retains an honest and open approach in its communications. That's not to say, it should dish out all of its trade secrets, which might undermine its competitive edge, but it shouldn't cover up any aspects that may later be revealed to be detrimental.

Creating a pack of lies can cause an organisation scandal to break out, resulting in widespread damage. Instead, if you do something wrong or make a mistake, it's much better to admit it, and accept that you have made an error but are looking at ways to rectify it. Showing that you can learn from your mistakes, rather than dishing out punishment or burying the issue under the carpet, encourages a feeling that you care, whereas covering it up creates an environment of mistrust.

If individuals are working in an open environment, where they feel they won't be punished for mistakes, they are more likely to respect that organisation themselves. They are less likely to take to their social media site and write defamatory comments about the organisation, which could cause a scandal to erupt.

Customers shouldn't be duped into believing information about your company that isn't real, because the damage that could ensue if this is revealed could bring a firm to its knees. For instance, making up fake feedback or testimonials that give you a glowing record shouldn't be necessary if you are doing things right in the first place. Never make up false PR stunts because these could also backfire if the truth comes out. With social media what it is today, it's important for all companies to stay on top of what is being about them. Responding in a timely fashion could be the difference between quickly resolving a negative issue, and showing your excellent customer service skills, and angering an already unhappy customer into doing something more extreme and making their complaint even more public.

Ultimately, the easiest way to be transparent is to be yourself. Stick to what you know and what you're good at and you can't really go wrong. And of course, always be honest.


About The Author: This article was written by Amy Elliott; a writer with an interest in business and management, she occasionally writes for Insignia, specialists in crisis communications and crisis management planning.

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