Programs and Policies that Foster a Transparent Company Culture

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This is a guest post by our friends at Justworks.

Building a strong company culture — one with motivated, engaged employees — starts with building your company values.

Those company values will set the tone for your company’s culture and vision. It will also make business decisions and policies much easier. By focusing on your values, all the decisions and actions that factor into running a business will be much more straightforward.

One of Justworks’ six values is ‘openness’. We believe in radical transparency across the company, from sharing results of a happiness survey across teams to holding a town hall with our investors.

Why do we value openness so highly? It fosters trust among teammates and makes employees at every level feel like they’re a part of the conversation. It also helps clarify our vision — everyone at Justworks knows how their role affects business objectives.

By applying this transparency to company policies and perks, we’ve seen these benefits. With that in mind, here are four ways you can integrate transparency into your company policies, traditions, and office perks.


Create an Expenses Policy

An expenses policy that works for your company can vary greatly, based on your business’ size, industry, and needs. While the details will vary, your expenses policy should outline exactly what purchases can be expensed and the price limits for types of purchases.

As you draft your policy, make sure to cover:

  • Travel expenses
  • Accommodations
  • Food and entertainment
  • Office supplies
  • Team outings

Employees should feel comfortable — and empowered — to acquire resources they need. A straightforward, but detailed, policy will set expectations with employees and team members. It will also prevent complications and miscommunications down the road. Whether they’re attending a conference or taking new customers out to dinner, your team will appreciate knowing the guidelines around expenses. If you’re ready to explore in more detail, check out Justblog’s post on building an expenses policy.


Build a Leveling Framework

Leveling frameworks illuminate your company’s job levels, required skill sets for each level, and salary ranges. If set up clearly and communicated transparently, leveling frameworks can give employees extraordinary insight into their career progression at your company.

Building it involves analyzing your company’s current roles and compensations against industry standards, then setting benchmarks against your findings. Once it’s set up, each employee will better understand:

  • Their options for growth within the company
  • The skills they need to strengthen in order to grow
  • The salary range they currently fall under, and the ranges of prospective growth roles

This transparency of employee’s career growth can improve retention; a lack of career path is the number one reason employees leave their jobs, according to Randstad’s Employer Branding Survey.


Host Weekly All-Hands Meetings

At Justworks, we hold a company-wide all-hands meeting every week. Everyone at the company — over 150 employees — either attends in person or streams it online.

While the agenda varies, All-Hands is always a weekly opportunity for everyone to discuss, connect, and learn as one collective team. We generally cover the below agenda items:

  • Team Building: Welcoming new hires and celebrating work anniversaries, for instance, help foster a positive and encouraging company culture
  • Business Updates: Justworks CEO Isaac Oates upholds his belief in transparency by sharing how we’re tracking against revenue goals, board meeting slides, company objectives, and company-wide blockers.
  • Learnings: Teams rotate through deep dives into projects, initiatives, findings, and strategies they’re focused on.
  • Guest Speakers: Occasionally, board members, investors, customers, and other guests will speak on a topic of expertise. Guests have also joined in on town-hall-style Q&As.
  • Q&A: We end each All-Hands with the opportunity for anyone to ask questions.

By openly sharing on these topics, we ensure that everyone at Justworks feels like a part of the community, feels invested in business goals, and understands how the larger business is operating.


Conduct Employee Happiness Surveys

Committing to regular employee happiness surveys — and then sharing the results company-wide — will go a long way towards improving transparency.

Employee happiness is a crucial component of employee success in any role. In fact, happiness can make people 12% more productive. While the act of measuring happiness is an important first step, acting on your findings and sharing the results will truly make an impact in your workplace.

Being open and honest about the feedback will show employees you care, and that you’re invested in their satisfaction in their roles. This commitment on your end will go a long way towards improving employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

When building your survey, make sure to cover a range of topics. Consider asking questions on employees’ satisfaction with their:

  • Peers
  • Managers
  • Job duties
  • Compensation
  • Company culture
  • Leadership

How has your company demonstrated a commitment to transparency? Let us know in the comments.

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