The word authenticity means the quality of being real or genuine and truly showing yourself and being true to oneself. Authenticity at the workplace is when employees feel comfortable and safe to express their selves and show their true characters. Authenticity in workplace also means for your employees to feel a sense of belonging and fitting in the workplace to show their true character.
A study has proven that there is a connection between authenticity and happiness, authenticity in workplace results in higher self-esteem, lower stress, and higher life satisfaction.
Here are some tips to promote authenticity at work.
1-Make your employees share parts of their personal life
We all know that your employees have a life outside of their workplace, and it may be a tough one most of the time. Asking your employees some random questions about their personal life and hearing them out, will make them much more comfortable at work. For example, if one of your employees clocks in late ask them if is everything alright at their end, they may tell you they dropped their kids at school or they woke up late because they slept late the night before for a family matter. You have to put in mind that your employees must have privacy, so you have to be cautious when asking questions not to invade their privacy. This will guarantee that your employees feel comfortable and fit in the workplace.
2-Increase engagement in the workplace
The majority of the employees are afraid to be authentic due to fear of being alienated in the workplace or judged for their thoughts. Engagement can be increased by doing Company trips, dinners, and celebrating birthday parties. You can include in your employee self-service software a schedule for birthdays to make your employees greet each other and celebrate birthdays.
3-Tell your employees it’s ok to make mistakes
We are only humans, after all, mistakes are expected in any workplace. You will be a great leader if you tell your employees that it’s ok to make mistakes. This will make any employee own any mistake they make, and not blame it on their co-workers. Make your employees know that they are an essential asset in your team and make them feel that you want them to stay at your workplace. Make your employees feel valued so that they feel a sense of belonging and wellness. By doing this you will establish psychological safety at your workplace so your employees will feel safe to show up authentically.
4-Direct questions to your employees
Your employees may be shy to share their thoughts on a problem, so take their opinions on how to solve a problem. Make them feel included in the major tasks even if their opinion wasn’t of much use, You can find a very useful solution from an employee so give them credit for their contribution. This will make your employees feel much more valued and included in the workplace, giving them more reasons to let their authentic selves out.
5-You have to really know your team
As a leader, you have to know every member of the workplace but to make them show their authentic selves you have to really know them. Spend time with your employees in one on one meetings to get to know them better and know their hobbies and how they think. They can include a part of their character in their work so let them know it is better to be authentic.
6-Be honest with your employees
Every workplace faces hardships at some point, but it is up to the leader how to face them. When facing a problem or a dead end at some point it’s okay to tell your employees about it and include them in discussions. Tell your employees about the bad news don’t sugarcoat them, transparency is a policy that will guarantee you build better connections with your employees.
7-Show your vulnerable side
As weird as it may seem but show vulnerability is not always bad, as we all know employees are always afraid of their bosses. You can break the ice with your employees by sharing one of your personal stories or even a story of a problem that faced you in your work before. Sharing your stories can be tricky because you have to be alert not to dump your emotions on your employees in the process. Making your employees feel that you are approachable will make them more comfortable and show their authenticity more.
8-Create opportunities to discover your employees’ authenticity
New experiences will reveal your employees’ authenticity no matter what. You can give your employees some challenging tasks and watch how they will evolve to complete them and how they will complete them in their own way. You can also give your employees tasks not mentioned in their job description to make them challenge themselves to new limits and show their authenticity.
9-Be yourself at your own workplace
Being the manager or owner of a company doesn’t mean that you have to be someone else other than yourself. You have to be an authentic leader and be yourself. It’s energy-draining and tiring to act like someone else, and how could you ask your employees to be authentic if their leader isn’t an authentic one? Being yourself at your workplace will bring you much comfort and will make you much more approachable and increase teamwork between you and your employees.
10-Ask your employees for their feedback
Your employees need to be heard in the workplace to feel included in a safer environment, you can make a survey occasionally and ask your employees to fill it out. You can also get rid of the paperwork and make the survey included in your employee self-service software so that your employees fill it in with ease.
What are the benefits of promoting authenticity in workplace?
When your employees feel safer in the workplace and they are being their authentic selves this will lead to many things in return. First of all your employee engagement rate will increase and your employees will work in harmony. Your team’s productivity will increase and the turnover rate will decrease.