to be transparent

5 ways to be transparent with your hybrid team

Reading time: about 7 min

In the workplace, being transparent is all about open and honest communication with one another. This means the free flow of information, knowledge, and other resources among team members.

Although many organizations claim to be transparent with their employees, for most it remains a 

lofty aspiration. But as a people manager, being transparent should be one of your top priorities.

Why is transparency important?

By being transparent, companies find greater success in ways both expected and surprising. If a business chooses to be transparent and encourages an open environment for employees it can: 

  • Increase engagement and cooperation between team members.
  • Foster a stronger work culture built on trust, honesty, and values.
  • Boost creativity, innovation, and productivity. 

Being transparent makes faster project completion possible. It often inspires people to get more invested in their work and perform at a higher level. There’s just something about knowing what the rest of the team is doing and that they’re equally contributing (and committed) to one shared mission, outcome, or goal that keeps team morale high from a project’s start to its completion.

Like any skill or expertise, being transparent is something that requires dedication and practice. Long before it becomes an everyday reality, being transparent at work will require mindful effort.

Ways to be transparent with your team

When it comes to being transparent, the constant flow of communication, ideas, and resources is key. In the workplace, this often takes the form of routinely scheduled employee meetings.

1. Conduct frequent stand-ups and 1:1s with team members 

To be transparent involves holding regular stand-ups with your team. Daily stand-up meetings offer everyone the opportunity to talk about any current projects, individually and collectively as a team. Stand-ups keep people in the know on one another’s progress, raise concerns regarding potential issues or roadblocks, and modify team workflows—all while making better use of time.

Staying informed sets a firm foundation for what it means to be transparent as team members.

Likewise, the 1:1 meeting is a vital aspect of being transparent with your team. Especially once you realize that up to three out of four Americans say that their boss can be “the most stressful part of their workday.” By allowing for regular back-and-forth feedback, alignment on objectives, and follow-up discussions, 1:1s foster a stronger, more meaningful manager-employee dynamic. 

Surprisingly, only about half of employees receive regular 1:1s. So make a point to be transparent by scheduling set 1:1s with team members.

2. Create a single source of truth and make it readily accessible 

A single source of truth, or SSOT, isn’t just a tool, strategy, or framework. Try to think of it more as a state of being. Essentially, it’s the practice of taking data from the different systems within the organization and aggregating it in one location. The goal is for that knowledge to be accessible to everyone from a common reference point. 

For an organization, setting up a single source of truth helps avoid the confusion inherent to having multiple versions of documentation living in multiple locations (or with multiple users) at once. It’s what ensures that team members can readily access the most current, accurate information to get their jobs done right.

It’s easier to be transparent in the workplace with relevant, standardized data at your disposal across the company. Besides connecting departmental silos, other SSOT benefits include:

  • The reduction or elimination of human errors like duplicate data entries or file versions
  • Availability of role-appropriate, real-time data access to stakeholders or team members
  • Consistency for corporate processes and protocols for faster learning and onboarding
  • Ability to systematically identify bottlenecks and other areas needing further refinement

Setting up a single source of truth is not only a critical step toward being transparent, it provides the groundwork for communicating procedures and policies, making critical decisions, and addressing problems as a company. 

3. Use software that allows for both real-time and asynchronous collaboration 

In organizations composed of remote and hybrid teams, often working from different locations across several time zones, not everyone is online at the same moment. But each team member still works and contributes as part of the team—which is why visual collaboration software is a must. 

The Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite, with Lucidchart and Lucidspark, is ideal for coordinating both group work conducted within independent schedules as well as those opportunities when real-time collaboration is possible—whether face-to-face or through a video or a phone call.

Lucidchart is an intelligent diagramming application that empowers teams to clarify complexity, align their insights, and coordinate efforts faster. As an intuitive, cloud-based solution, it enables people to work visually and collaborate asynchronously (or in real time) by using templates and tools to build flowcharts, mockups, diagrams, and more.

Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard that helps you and your team collaborate to bring innovation to light. It comes packed with all of the sticky notes, freehand drawing tools, and infinite canvas space you need to capture your next big idea. Like Lucidchart, it’s built for collaboration. Think of it as a space where your team can bounce ideas around and create together in real time.

Whatever software you use, it’s about achieving the end goal of being transparent, improving the way your team works together, and finding effective strategies to solve problems together.

to be transparent
Check out these 7 apps for more effective hybrid team communication.
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4. Using agendas in meetings 

By putting together an agenda before every meeting, you create a roadmap for your team. This is what forms the schedule, helps plan the discussion, outlines shared goals, sets key priorities, assigns specific tasks, and determines who needs to attend—all of which are crucial for being transparent.

To be transparent as possible when building a meeting agenda, remember to:

  • Collaborate with the meeting sponsor to align on objectives.
  • Focus on topics that impact everyone invited to the meeting.
  • Clarify the purpose of the meeting and each discussion topic.
  • Pace meetings appropriately by allocating time for each item.

Through the consistent use of meeting agendas, team members, stakeholders, and attendees can arrive prepared and ready for a productive work session. If the conversation goes off-topic, it’s the agenda that reminds everyone of the purpose at hand and gets everything back on track.

5. Clear expectations and communication 

Consistency, of course, is both an important and inseparable component of being transparent in the workplace. Processes become easier to adopt and maintain across your organization if you clearly communicate expectations from the onset. Beginning with simple rules of engagement.

To be transparent with your team, let everyone know what to expect and how to act accordingly. Doing so will clear a new path for productivity on the team. With all the right guidelines in place, team members inherently know which issues are more appropriate for an informal chat or email versus which ones warrant further attention in a meeting. This applies to other activities as well.

For example, if the dynamics of managing a hybrid team at your organization require employees to check in, make sure this expectation is built directly into the hybrid process of your workforce.

In the spirit of being transparent, you can quickly share the details of your team’s processes and make sure they’re easily understood by using visuals. Such information can be readily conveyed with Lucidchart’s intelligent diagramming features, distributed online to everyone in real time. 

For day-to-day communication and organizational transparency with managers and peers, don’t overlook (or underestimate) the value of impromptu video conferences using Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Zoom. For transparency, these communication channels can also be used for keeping new hires in touch and informed throughout their shared onboarding experience and beyond.

to be transparent
Learn more about how the Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite can help your hybrid team work together.
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Learn more about how the Lucid Visual Collaboration Suite can help your hybrid team work together.

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About Lucidchart

Lucidchart is the intelligent diagramming application that empowers teams to clarify complexity, align their insights, and build the future—faster. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, everyone can work visually and collaborate in real time while building flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, and more.

The most popular online Visio alternative, Lucidchart is utilized in over 180 countries by millions of users, from sales managers mapping out target organizations to IT directors visualizing their network infrastructure.

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