Are You Being Too Transparent With Your Operations?

June 27, 2018 | 1,507 views

Are You Being Too Transparent With Your Operations?

Are You Being Too Transparent With Your Operations?

In general, transparency is seen as a positive in the workplace. This is especially true when it comes to HR tasks, like feedback on performance, scheduling expectations, and progress toward common goals. But is there such thing as too much transparency? Sure there is.


Here’s how to know when you’re being too transparent with your team and the potential downsides it can have.


Performance Reviews

We’ve talked about the importance of performance reviews in the past. They’re effective because they help your team see where they’re thriving and where they’re failing. It’s a great learning opportunity – especially when the employers are transparent about what their team’s strengths and weaknesses are.


There’s another side to this too. Being too transparent about each team member’s strengths and weaknesses outside of the private performance review walls can have its downsides. Comparing employee performance can act as a catalyst for inter-office tension and have the opposite impact on employee behavior.


By keeping your performance reviews between the manager and employee, you can minimize these tensions while still maintaining a healthy level of transparency.



We built an online scheduling app for businesses, so it’s clear that we see value in transparency when it comes to sharing the schedule with the entire team. But there are instances when broadcasting everyone’s schedule could have its downfalls too.


In some cases, employees need special considerations. For example, an employee who is battling an illness might need to be out of the office or require more flexibility than a healthy employee. Or, a new parent might need more time off to be with their children than a new graduate who hasn’t started their family yet.


As an employer, we encourage you to take each person’s unique needs into consideration but doing so on a public level can cause unnecessary tension among team members. Yes, share your schedule, but use discretion when exposing everyone’s individual needs in sensitive situations.


Tracking Goals

In 2016, the UK Telegraph published an eye-opening article about the downsides of transparency in the medical profession. Patients were able to see how many successful procedures surgeons had in the past before deciding on who to have for their procedure. This type of transparency made it so that at least a third of heart surgeons refused to treat critically ill patients out of fear that their ratings would go down if things went wrong.


This is an extreme example but it’s eye opening. By publicly tracking goals, you could be causing your employees to steer clear of difficult customers, projects, or assignments. In turn, your team will become less productive, avoiding the tough tasks that need to be completed if your company is going to grow.


Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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