Most organisations say they believe in open, honest and transparent management, they have an HR department that encourages managers to treat staff fairly, to address their grievances and to avoid favouritism and discrimination in promoting and recruiting. So why do these same organisations complain that staff are resistant to change, that absenteeism rates are unacceptable high, that too many staff seem unmotivated with deadlines routinely slipping, targets missed and an unacceptably high number of customer complaints? Why is morale apparently low and staff turn over high? Why do complaints of management bullying persist?Why are managers spending so much time resolving conflicts between individuals? The simple answer is that such organisations are not happy places to work, staff distrust management and management have no confidence in senior management or the board. The chief executive and chair may say the organisation aims to be open, honest and transparent but that is not the way people behave. 

This description of a dysfunctional organisation may appear to be exaggerated but all too many NHS Trusts and local authority social service departments posses some of these characteristics. So what types of management behaviour would make an open, honest and transparent culture?

Managers should explain the thinking behind their decisions.

Changes should be negotiated not imposed.

Managers should always challenge bad practice.

Managers should own decisions not deflect criticism by saying " senior managers have decided".

Senior managers should involve and consult the wider management group in the running of the organisation. 

Everyone should be trusted to do their job unless their behaviour demonstrates they can't be

Managers should recognise and praise good work.

Managers have a responsibility for developing their staff.

People should be encouraged /helped to say what they are thinking with out fear of retribution 

Managers should champion equal opportunities and actively encourage underrepresented groups ( women into senior management, ethnic minorities into management).

Managers should take responsibility for developing insight into how their own behaviour affects others

Managers should be corporate not engage in special pleading or promoting their own department/ service at the expense of others

Managers are ambassadors for the organisation and should seek to promote good relations with partner organisations across the public, private and independent sector. 

Managers should not try and shunt costs to other organisation ( fair and honest in contract negotiations) always put the needs of the service user before the benefits to the organisation.

All employees are expected to put the needs of the service user before their own convenience. 

Managers should admit mistakes and apologise ( the reputation of the organisation doesn't come before admitting we got it wrong) learn from mistakes don't hid them or treat them as one off events.

Loyalty to your boss or colleagues should not come before the care and safety of service users