The value of honesty creates both refined and obvious consequences in everyday life as well as business. That’s why authenticity should be engrained in company culture and in the expectations of employees, customers and investors. The most prosperous organisations will know how crucial honesty and trust are to their success. So how do companies ensure these attributes manifest naturally so growth and success can be achieved, while maintaining authenticity throughout?
Trust is fundamental
When it comes to forming a solid foundation for the future of your business it is important to form a basis of trust and uphold this trust amongst everyone within the organisation. Many would agree that building trust is a much easier endeavour than trying to regain it, therefore the crucial element to forming a trusting relationship amongst company leaders and employees is to never lose it in the first place. The easiest ways to lose trust are to disappoint employees by not working towards your long-term vision, setting short-term goals you can’t meet, abandoning company values, or bringing on leadership that don’t believe in or act on those values. Here’s some advice on how to avoid those disappointments.
Fulfil your vision
In order to gain the full support and confidence of your employees the one thing they need to be certain of is your ability to implement and act on your vision, not only in the short-term but also consistently over the life-cycle of your business. To achieve this you must create a vision that is compelling enough to grip hundreds or even thousands of employees so they want to be a part of it. The challenge is balancing this with realistic expectations. To make sure you stay on track, implement short-term goals and regular reviews of your success. Be transparent about how close you are to achieving these goals, whether the news is good or bad, so you continuously improve and remain dynamic as your business grows.
Lay the foundation for a great company culture
Company culture is an attribute that can contribute significantly to the success or failure of an organisation and it is the task of the leadership to consciously promote the desired ethos by implementing core values. Transparency and authenticity play a major role when it comes to forming a long-lasting, positive company culture, it is integral to always communicate your chosen values explicitly and continuously, not only internally but also externally.
Equip managers to lead by example
Culture is primarily shaped by how leaders within an organisation act. Trust and transparency levels within an organisation can be established by executives empowering the next level of leadership to create open communication amongst teams. If managers embody the company values and culture, the direct results of this will see other members of staff inspired.
Additionally, it is also crucial for management to not shy away from responsibility, for example when having difficult conversations with customers, and this is an instance when it is fundamental for organisations to be transparent. By understanding the context of why a decision was made customers can understand the outcome.
Authenticity equates to better results
Employees and customers want to devote themselves to a truly authentic organisation. Businesses that implement authenticity in their company culture will be in a better position to produce superior results because not only will transparency promote increased trust and productivity amongst employees, but the trust gained from customers will also generate improvements to a business’s bottom-line. Good communication is the key ingredient when it comes to authenticity and transparency within an organisation, and if the procedures are put in place to ensure this is effective at all levels trust should come naturally.
By Phil Turner, VP EMEA at Okta