Our clients, partners and people value our honesty, so we asked ourselves: Could increasing truthfulness and transparency within teams make us more productive?

The benefit of truth and transparency

The significant period of growth we are currently embarking on here at Saragossa has triggered a period of reflection amongst our leadership team about how we can continue to improve productivity, perform more effectively and communicate with each other in a way that is honest, authentic and true.
Our clients, partners and people value our honesty, so we asked ourselves: Could increasing truthfulness and transparency within teams make us more productive?

Elon Musk famously instructs staff to get up and leave meetings that they feel aren’t relevant. Research has found that 70% of all meetings keep employees from working and completing all their tasks.

This isn’t a discussion about pointless meetings; but about productivity. At Tesla, staff don’t need to be polite if they’re doing what’s best for them and the business.

Clarity in communication is critical to our success. We’re in a results business and operate with total transparency. We’ve developed several processes, tools, and new approaches to working to achieve this.

Our unique 16-point appraisal process, for example, provides clients with insights into each candidate’s attitudes, opinions, and cultural fit. The methodology is informed by the latest research in recruitment and psychology and provides an evidence-based review of how successful a candidate will be in a company.

We integrate data into our processes, providing clients with a clear performance breakdown. As a result, each client can see how we’re delivering against critical indicators that matter. An open dialogue, informed by data, keeps our clients in control of the process at every stage. We’ll tell you what we’re doing well and where we can improve.

We take the same approach with our candidates, too. We’ll never dress up feedback but deliver it straight. We ensure that communication is constructive, explaining to unsuccessful candidates why a decision was made and what they can improve for their next interview.

All of these things form the basis of a productive and respectful relationship.

Clarity for colleagues

Why do we find it hard to communicate with the same level of candour with our colleagues with whom we work every day? Perhaps it’s because many of us can find it uncomfortable to say what we actually mean. When dealing with clients and candidates, we’re expected to get straight to the point – but to our colleagues, we can moderate our language and mollify the message.

Excessive politeness is a British trait, but it shouldn’t harm productivity or performance. Is it possible to take the emotional, personal perspective out of these transactions to make for a more direct and efficient transaction?

Couldn’t we all benefit from a bit more honesty?

To create a culture and company that works for us all, we recognise we all must be able to give and receive feedback. And the only way can be sure our messages are understood is by being direct.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you being blunt or delivering measured feedback in the most efficient way possible?
  • Are you making a judgment on someone’s character, aptitude, or ability ­or providing constructive criticism to help them improve?
  • Are you holding someone back or helping them achieve more?

Teams and individuals can only improve if we can provide measured feedback professionally without it getting personal. Setting out expectations without emotion can inspire action.

Truth and transparency

Candour is a value that can be enshrined in corporate culture and made clear in your values. It can form part of your EVP, empowering staff to bring their authentic selves to work without fear of judgement or censure.

But it’s not just what you say, but what you do as well – and leaders must embrace this approach and deliver truthful feedback and encourage it from staff.

In this way, honest feedback creates a better performing business and more effective outcomes for everyone.

We’re on a journey as we grow and expand into new countries and with new cultures. Staying true to our core beliefs of truth and transparency with clients, candidates, and colleagues can give us the confidence we’re doing what’s best for us all.