Creating an open culture is simple (not easy), and requires commitment. Discover the commonalities of "open" workplace cultures and how to model that same culture in your professional life.
What would it look like to be open with the people you work with on a daily basis?
I asked the same question and researched how notable companies create and live in a culture of openness. Below are the 10 most common characteristics I've found true of “open” workplace cultures.
(I believe you can immediately apply the differences in red to yield dramatic results... and soon.)
1. Proactively share information in a timely manner.
In the absence of information, people will make up their own version of the truth.
2. Make sure everyone can voice their thoughts and be honest with one another.
This includes everyone from the custodian to the CEO.
3. Create an “open door” policy and make it real.
Be available for any conversation and let your example speak more loudly than any value that you want to put in place.
4. Employ open meetings.
Closed door meetings kill morale because people tend to think the worst.
5. Encourage appropriate and thoughtful risk taking.
Creativity and innovation are fostered by taking measured risks. When people feel trusted and secure in their contribution to the organization, they’ll be willing to risk failure.
6. Advance the notion that leadership can come from anywhere within the organization.
Encourage leadership by example. Bosses need to be leaders, but organizations need to empower every employee to lead.
7. View mistakes as learning opportunities.
Celebrate and learn from mistakes!
8. Build transparency into everything.
Tips to add transparency to your daily work:
- Create systems for high involvement in change efforts
- Openly discuss decision-making criteria
- Give / receive feedback well
9. Create stronger bonds.
Managers should take their team members out of the office as a way to get them to think about their jobs differently and create stronger bonds. Also, managers have an opportunity to encourage their team members to try new things to delight customers to strenthen their bond to the company.
10. Offering coaching.
For the times when only a confidential talk will suffice, a well-known company employs a full-time life coach who will listen to grievances and gripes, or even offer career advice on how to move up - or out.
Why Be Open to Trying Something New?
At Huddle, we have developed a culture that welcomes new ways of doing things (delight customers, off-site or walking meetings, etc.) And, we have been the beneficiaries of how it has strengthened our company, productivity and workplace satisfaction.
Huddle has six core values that drive our behavior, both internally and externally. We call these our B6 values and one is “Be Open.” Are we perfect? Of course not, but we do our best to get a little better each day. That's what I want to challenge you to growing and challenging yourself to be more open today.
How can you make progress today in your culture's receptivity to being open?
Being open is probably the value I struggle with the most. Let’s face it, it is a challenge to be completely and immediately accessible with complete trust and transparency. But, I have to get better. Huddle is counting on me.
Are You Open To More?
Do you want your culture to be more “open” but have questions or concerns?
Let's discuss the challenges we've learned to overcome and help you grow your team to be more open.