Management communicates something one day, only to turn around and backtrack. Rumor mills thrive among your colleagues as there is no transparency in the workplace. How do you be loyal and productive, let alone sleep at night, when you feel left in the dark?
First, there could be a number of reasons there is a lack of transparency in the workplace on the part of management. It could be a power play, or it could be a way to delay bad news. Or perhaps they believe you don’t need to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Might it affect your performance? And let’s face it, this is their choice to make.
On a different note, management could appear to be secretive because they truly don’t know what to say. It’s possible they are also left in the dark when it comes to upper management. Maybe they’re not being told the truth, either, so they’d rather save you the heartache of their own speculations. In this case, no news is good news.
The brutal truth is that management is not obligated to be 100% open about workplace decisions. While it would be great to know what’s up and coming as an employee, employers get to decide what transparency in the workplace looks like.
This is point No. 1: The reality is that employers get to dictate how knowledge flows and when, if at all.
Your Safety Net
Now this leaves you scared out of your wits, right? How are you supposed to focus on your day-to-day not knowing if the terrible rumors are true … not knowing if you’ll have a job from one day to the next?
And here is my response: always and forever implement career emergency plans. More than one.
Life is less stressful and much more bearable when you know you have a Plan A ,B, and C as backups. What are your current action plans if things go south?
And I’m afraid to state thus, but in my experience, the majority of employees don’t create career backup plans. They have no safety net when times get desperate. They falsely assume the job is secure … until it’s not and they’re forced to react. Don’t let that be you!
While counterintuitive, it is best to focus on your next position when you like exactly where you are. I explain why in my video Influencing Your Job Search Outcome.
Point No. 2: Prepare ahead of time, especially when things are going great.
Start with This
Guess why things will turn out simply fine should your job change or suddenly go away? Because of the most powerful tool you own – your brain.
Whether you realize, your brain always has your back. It got you this far today. And it’s going to continue to work for you, so I suggest you get very cozy with it!
You can start now by outlining major areas in your employability vault. This vault contains a giant cache of your skills, abilities, personality traits and anything that makes you valuable. Brainstorm your heart out by thinking of every which way you can fill it up.
This is an excellent and practical exercise to maintain throughout your career, especially when there is little transparency in the workplace. Always strive to add new skills. Think of this vault as the biggest asset you have to show to a potential employer. When they realize all the valuables you have to offer, they will think “I can’t afford to NOT hire this person!”
Point No. 3: Give yourself credit where credit is due and fill your employability vault with personal and professional assets.
While your employability vault will not solve the lack of transparency in the workplace, it will arm you with ammunition to forge ahead with your multiple backup plans.