How we act on our value of transparency: open decision-making, hiring, and salary info

Transparency is one of our core values at Hologram. Learn how we are taking steps to be more a transparent employer.
Erin Philpot
December 17, 2021
Hologram team members working together

Remember being a little kid and asking your parent a “why” question? The classic grown-up answer was always "because I said so." Now that I'm an adult and a parent of three, I understand the mental (and physical) exhaustion that comes with being the Answerer of All Questions, but also the value in having that role.

Hologram is an employer that encourages both the “why” questions and openly gives access to the answers. How? Transparency. Why? Because I said so — Just kidding! Because transparency is one of our core values.

At Hologram, transparency is best reflected in our work and the accessibility we offer our team. If you are a Hologram employee, you should be able to easily access calendars, meeting notes, process guidelines, and financial data at any time.

Though we are a distributed team, our figurative door is always open. We have a 24/7 comment box that's available for topics to be addressed during our bi-weekly all-staff meetings and an "Ask the Execs" Slack channel, where employees can drop questions (anonymously, if they prefer) for our leadership team.

Active and passive transparency

We are continually iterating on the best processes and ways to organize what we share. Because even if we say we're an open book, if our team can't find the document or policy they're looking for, then our transparency is muddled.

Hologram views transparency in two buckets — active transparency and passive transparency.

  • Active transparency involves the documents and pages that the entire team is aware of and has been given the context for.
  • Passive transparency speaks more to available resources for anyone who goes looking for more information. Unless something is sensitive, it should fall into one of these buckets — I either have what I need, or I can find what I need and understand it easily.

This means we need to be really clear and concise about our communications. We take the extra step to review our comms before they go out, making sure everything is as distilled as possible — creating harmony through transparency. Why say three sentences when we can sum it up in one? Plus, that leaves more room for emojis. 🤗

Hologram also sees the value in the process, and the ownership that a transparent flow fosters for the team. We appreciate a meal more after we see all the work that goes into it. While it’s tempting to keep the end product veiled under a silver lid, it's more beneficial for the team to actually be in the kitchen.

We don't hide the creative process at Hologram. We use Notion for nearly all of our collaborative documents and it's common to see pages with construction sign emojis, letting the reader know that the page is a work in progress.

Hologram's transparent decision-making frameworks

One of the best examples of transparency at Hologram is in how we make decisions. We use a concept called the DMF (Decision Making Framework) for all kinds of decisions — from choosing to work with a new carrier to approving the budget for new T-shirts.

Our Decisions board is available to everyone and shares the full context and impact of the decision for anyone who wants to learn more. In a similar fashion, we hold our Hiring Workshops where anyone can join, ask questions, and give feedback on how best to shape an upcoming role on the team.

The other most vivid area of transparency can be found in our Open Salary and Equity Policy — a live spreadsheet where Hologrammers can check out our latest compensation data and view the financials for every member of the team. Our aim here is to empower our team through transparency, understand the full context, make better decisions, and take ownership.

Sometimes our level of transparency takes the team by surprise. It's normal for employees to see a team org chart, but less typical to have open visibility on their manager and CEO's compensation.

But we see the value in this radical transparency. We hope that by continuing to be open and honest about all we do at Hologram, that we're showing our team that this is your business, too.

Join the Hologram team

Our team is growing rapidly! If you value transparency in your company, check out our careers page and learn more about our core values of ownership, transparency, and mindfulness.

Get started with Hologram today

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