Authenticity is the secret to collaborative innovation and performance. To create an environment that fosters authenticity, you need to create an environment that allows each person to be themselves. When people do their best work, they are free to be themselves. This is the first step in creating a productive company culture and growing your business.
Authenticity in the workplace allows you to be more comfortable showing your true self when interacting with other people. It may show up as a few different things, including:
- Showing your personality and being yourself
- Having a sense of psychological safety
- Being valued for the qualities and characteristics you possess
To build an authentic workplace, show up as your true self and empower your team to do the same. Authentic workplaces outperform the competition by retaining their top talent and creating the conditions for great work.
7 effective ways to promote authenticity at work
Authentic leaders are the key to authentic employees. When you’re authentic, you set an example for your team. This not only builds trust but also gives them permission to be more authentic as well. So if you want your team to be more authentic, start with being more authentic yourself. The five effective ways to promote authenticity at work are as follows:
- Access to Information: A company-wide transparency strategy is a useful tool to promote unity. In today’s transparent business world, it’s crucial to keep all employees informed about the status of your projects. Whether it’s through a meeting or a simple email, you should share your company’s overall metrics and results. This will help everyone feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, which promotes unity and team spirit. It’s important if everyone has the same goal in mind. Employees require access to the information that shows their progress towards the overall goal.
- Open Communication: A quick look at the company’s internal communication will tell you a lot about its growth and structure. For example, if an employee has many questions, that means he/she is not comfortable with the company’s leadership. Also, it is important to note how often the employees communicate with each other. This can be an important factor that helps explain a company’s success. Good communication is important among employees at all levels of the company. Monthly AMAs(Ask Me Anything) is essential, as well as team check-ins and one-on-ones. It’s also important for employees to have access to their leadership teams. This will create an environment of trust, which will lead to more open communication.
- Admit Mistakes and Errors: When you make a mistake, take responsibility. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers that you messed up. Acknowledge your faults, and they will reward you with their trust. It seems hard to believe, but admitting mistakes will actually gain you trust from customers. Being a leader is about keeping self-doubt in check and helping others. If you’ve made a mistake, apologize — you’ll win people’s trust. The same applies to the employees also, if they make a mistake, guide them where they did wrong and how they can rectify those mistakes.
- Don’t fake listening: An authentic manager should always listen to his employees. Because sometimes you fake that you are listening but actually you are not present there or thinking about something else. this can create a barrier between you and your team. You will not get to know what your team has to convey to you and the team may get disappointed in you. There is a challenge with many managers because they were trained in active listening, which is where you lean in, look at the speaker and say, “yes” and “uh-huh.” But are you really listening? Or is your mind doing something else?
- Give Honest Feedback: Communication is a two-way street in a transparent workplace, and leaders must ask for feedback both ways. When receiving challenging feedback, ensure comments are acknowledged and addressed. If we want a transparent workplace, we need to do more than just relay information top-down; instead, leaders should ask for feedback both ways. When you receive challenging feedback, make sure you acknowledge your comments and address them.
- Keep Boundaries: You shouldn’t be careless or overshare. Before you decide to share something with others, ask yourself, “Why am I sharing this?” Your employees are not your family, and they are not your closest friends. Don’t confuse authenticity with saying whatever you want without regard for other people. But most of all, don’t dump your personal stuff on other people at work. If you’re dealing with a serious issue in your life, I suggest that you talk to a counselor.
- Practice what you Preach: Nowadays, employees are more aware of whether their leaders deliver on their promises. They are searching for competence and ethical behavior, so make sure you deliver and keep your word when committing to an improvement or change.