Technology has opened up the world in many different ways. I can see what your house looks like, know what music you listen to, find out who your friends are and learn which celebrities you have a secret crush on — all without leaving the comfort of my living room.
Likewise, I can figure out how much you pay your staff, what they think of you, how long they stay with you and where they go afterwards without ever setting foot in your company. Which is pretty neat if I’m looking to hire your people.
There’s a saying that “Your brand isn’t what you say it is; it’s what people tell you it is,” and that has never been truer. And what’s more, almost anyone can find out what those people are telling you.
So what does it mean?
Simply put, we can’t suppress the openness that’s increasing with each passing moment, and so there is only one option: to embrace it. Technology provides us not only with the challenge, but also the opportunity, to do just that.
If prospective employees can find out almost anything about you, why wouldn’t you show them your culture — warts and all? If they can find out what your pay and benefits are, then why not be clear on that in your recruitment advertising?
Internally, technology also gives us the opportunity to be more transparent with employees; social tools allow people to communicate across the globe and share ideas and views about their work and their workplace. And for us to hear their voices and ideas.
Benefits platforms enable us to share details of what is available and how to access it; to be clear about what different groups of employees get and why. We can even collate views of performance openly and collaboratively, and some companies are using this to make peer decisions on pay.
As we’ve seen in other areas of society, the push for transparency is growing, and when organisations react against this by pulling the cloak of secrecy closer around them, it is met with both suspicion and derision in equal measure.
The companies that will win the war for talent — and attract and retain the best people — are the ones that are open to being open. For better or for worse.
The naked organisation? Maybe it is time to loosen up a little. Who knows — it might be fun. Are you up for it? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.