InspiringApps Shares Advice for Cultivating A Culture of Trust & Transparency
Boulder, CO—In the latest article from Built In Colorado, InspiringApps’ Director of Marketing, Stephanie Mikuls, joins other leaders in sharing how companies can cultivate employee trust through an open and transparent culture.
How do you encourage a culture of transparency right now—particularly when, during a time of industry ups and downs, there are likely difficult-to-answer questions on employees’ minds?
Encouraging a culture of transparency is a continual, intentional process at InspiringApps. We set and share our goals at the beginning of the year, so our employees feel confident about the future. But we also report on our progress against those goals and continuously encourage feedback.
In addition to being a marketing director, I’m also a photographer—and that lens makes me very aware of the “vibe in the room.” As a leader, I strive to create a positive environment and communicate respectfully and genuinely. That includes little moments, big moments, and everything in between—whether it’s through a Slack channel, on a weekly sync, or at a formal company meeting.
The more my team sees open communication from me, the more likely they are to model that behavior too. Add to that including the team in decision-making, and everyone can feel free to ask what’s on their minds, no matter the topic.
How do you make yourself available to employees so that they can ask relevant questions?
As a best practice, we employ many channels to provide feedback: anonymously, one on one, in team brainstorming sessions, individual reviews, regular town halls, surveys, and more. But what’s important, regardless of the method of communication, is to truly invite everyone to join, participate, and be heard. Otherwise, we’re not really making ourselves available to others.
In our industry, open and inclusive conversations don’t just make for good company culture. They make us more empathetic and effective designers and developers. Our products are truly better when a collective “sharing of thoughts” occurs. So we’ve cultivated an open, inclusive environment for years. It’s not just one conversation or meeting—it’s happening all the time.
To hear as many voices as possible, we make transparency a natural part of the way we approach our jobs. We don’t just want the loudest voice or the most-tenured voice. We’re cognizant of the mix of personalities, preferences, and other unique qualities that individuals on our team may have. There is a day-to-day opportunity for anyone to ask questions and get the answers they need to feel supported in their work.
What tips would you share with fellow leaders who are endeavoring to create a culture of transparency right now?
Approach others with empathy. Make a conscious effort to be open. Empower every individual. Assume positive intent. And constantly seek to improve.