My aim is to lead with transparency. This means I lead with openness about my role, aims, decisions and outcomes. Hence, when it came to develop my key performance indicators (KPIs) asked staff to contribute their wish list of what I should achieve. Out of 25 rather surprised staff 4 took up the offer. These responses are full of information, namely what is missing in the workplace! Valuable information I now can do something about; and not just through my KPIs.
The second surprise came after my KPIs were approved. I told my staff I would send them out and I did! The reactions have been diverse:
- My manager thought I was crazy to let staff know what I set out to achieve as staff are now able to put barriers in my way. So many leaders have problem or deficit thinking.
- Some of my staff were flabbergasted about my audacity to share.
- Others thought it was fabulous to have so much transparency.
- Others commented that it made them think about why they keep KPIs personal.
The reaction of my manager and staff is not uncommon. From my many experiences sharing is not something most leaders are good at or staff are used to. There is too much fear involved. What will people think? What will they do? What will they not do? There is fear that sharing means losing power. Sharing means that everyone will know if you don’t achieve everything! Sharing means being vulnerable and facing your own imperfections. But it also means giving trust to others and more importantly, sharing builds trust.
After a few weeks I am able to gage the consequences: Very few staff have actually really read my KPIs! Those who have, have already forgotten. Yet, just the fact that I shared them has made a positive impact. It has shown I have nothing to hide and has built trust quickly. When did you last share perceived personal or confidential business information with your staff?