Can a Culture of 100% Honesty Work?



I thought this article was interesting, especially in light of the discussion of performance reviews yesterday. It looks at a few different companies and their initiatives toward creating completely honest and transparent workplaces.  A survey by 15Five indicates that 85% of employees are unsatisfied with the quality of communication at work. On top of this, 81% of full-time U.S. employees would rather join a company with open communication over companies that offer perks such as top health plans and gym memberships.

New York Computer Help

-Joe Silverman (Owner) says “Our motto is total transparency, and I strive to promote this from the staff level through the customer.” Silverman enforces this by dismissing employees on the spot who start to cut corners, or withhold information from customers.

-This honesty is also important in terms of training: “Any time a repair comes in, we ask who hasn’t done this before. Whoever says no gets a crash-test training how to do it.”


-Chief People Officer Rochelle DiRie distinguishes between transparency and honesty by saying “Transparency is the surfacing of data and events; honesty is about your interpretation and desires.”

-Both transparency and honesty are strongly enforced at Quirky from senior management down, and are also included in the company’s core values. This mentality also includes never hiding bad news. “We ask our employees to always state their opinions, even if controversial.”


How important do you guys think honesty and transparency in the workplace are? Are there scenarios where withholding bad news is the better choice?

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