One of the mistakes managers make that lead to turnover -- when this is done repeatedly, and intentionally -- is not sharing information.
Usually this means a hierarchical organization with a control-based leadership structure. If this is where you belong, you've probably realized that this is one of the most effective ways to kill trust.
Companies with leadership teams committed to the corporate value of personal and organizational transparency will see tremendous benefits.
Warren Bennis, in Transparency: Creating a Culture of Candor, cites a 2005 study finding that a group of 27 U.S. companies noted as "most transparent" beat the S&P 500 by 11.3 percent.
The key, of course, is to not overshare. And that's every CEO's job--to decide what to share, and with whom.
Here are 6 companies that practice transparency with great results.
This social media management company is on the radical side of transparency. They'll publish pretty much everything: financials, revenues, how your money is being spent, even salaries. But they share this with everyone in the hopes of becoming an authentic and trusted community.
CEO Joel Gascoigne calls it one of their core values. He says, "transparency breeds trust, and trust is the foundation of great teamwork."
At Buffer, there are no private email servers--or private emails--for that matter. Their fully-transparent email system can be read by any employee at any time. For them, it ensures trust but also increases efficiency, allowing one team member to pick up on a project where the other left off, without missing a beat.
Founder and CEO Kenneth Lin operates with an open door policy which he calls a "keystone for good company communication." This is important as the company grows and distances itself with its many layers.
"I want new employees to feel like this is a mission we're all in together. An open-door policy sets the tone for this. Whenever I'm in my office and available, I encourage anyone to come by and share their thoughts about how they feel Credit Karma is doing," says Lin.
The strategy helps loop him in to what Credit Karma employees are talking about, which increases morale and lets employees know that he's a part of the team.
Jack Dorsey's Silicon Valley-based mobile payments company has a unique policy in place for ideas and information to be shared. When two or more people meet, one person must take notes and share those notes to all other interested Square employees to peruse them.
The global digital marketing automation company redefined what it means to be transparent in business.
HubSpot co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Dharmesh Shah once published an article on his wiki page called "Ask Dharmesh Anything." And that's exactly what "HubSpotters" did -- engaging in a slew of discussions directly with their CTO.
"It's not uncommon for members of the team to call my co-founder and I naive, disconnected, or worse," says Shah.
There has been criticism and even a book scandal with ex-Hubspot employee and journalist Dan Lyons coming out with his inside story in Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble.
Transparency is one of the cornerstones of the Google culture, as documented in Laszlo Bock's Work Rules!
Bock, Google's HR boss, inspires readers to believe that people are generally good, therefore, we should not fear sharing information with them--even the secrets to Google's treasured algorithms. At Google, a newly hired software engineer gets access to almost all of their code on the first day.
At their weekly TGIF all-hands meeting, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin host the entire company (in person and by video) for updates from the prior week, including product demonstrations, welcoming of new hires, and most important, thirty minutes of fielding questions from anyone in the company, on any topic. The Q&A, Bock says, is the part that matters most.
The world's largest hedge fund records every meeting and makes it available to all employees. The approach has several angles to it: (1) It's a communication vehicle; (2) It's a learning tool that illustrates how decisions, and how the most senior people are learning and growing; (3) It encourages more precise thinking and communication that reduces politicking.
Founder and CEO Ray Dalio says, "My most important principle is that getting at the truth, whatever it may be, is essential for getting better. We get at truth through radical transparency and putting aside our ego barriers in order to explore our mistakes and personal weaknesses so that we can improve."
Bringing It Home
Plain and simple, the benefits of so much openness and information sharing is that every employee invested in the company know what's going on.
Why is this important? Well, allowing all your people to understand the differences in goals across the entire organization safeguards it from internal rivalry and unhealthy competition (and as stated before, politics). Both morale and performance stay at a high level.