Why Authenticity in the Workplace Matters

Human Resources, Restaurant Operations,

Why Authenticity in the Workplace Matters

Regardless of industry, a business is only as strong as its employees. Even the best products or ideas won't succeed without a quality workforce. Successful workplaces often share strong employee engagement, which measures how invested employees are in their company's success. The past few years have shown us the impact of disengaged employees, often resulting from excessive workload, burnout, and lack of appreciation. However, fostering authenticity in company culture can help keep employees engaged.

What Is Authenticity in the Workplace?

Authenticity means being real and genuine. In the workplace, it involves creating an atmosphere that matches what is portrayed during the interview process. When employers make their next hire, they have certain expectations based on the interview. No one likes surprises in this situation.

Authenticity starts well before the first meeting or interview with a new candidate and extends throughout an employee's tenure. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do the company’s website, marketing materials and job descriptions accurately reflect the company's working environment and job expectations?
  • Do employees find that working at the company meets their expectations?
  • Does the company's culture meet or exceed employee expectations?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s likely some employees have noticed, affecting their engagement. Employees who feel misled are not inclined to give their best at work and may feel disappointed and disrespected.

Why Authenticity in the Workplace is Important

  1. Builds Stronger Relationships with Colleagues and Clients: An engaged employee who feels comfortable being authentic at work brings extra energy to the job, views coworkers as a team and supports company and client goals. Understanding and trusting a company's goals empowers employees to contribute their best efforts. Teams function best when authenticity, transparency and trust are high.
  2. Authentic Employees Feel More Engaged with Work: Navigating a significant gap between one's true self and work persona can be challenging. Employees who feel encouraged to be authentic are likely to be more engaged. Effective teams need role players, and authenticity allows for necessary conversations and adjustments when skills and strengths don’t naturally align with a role.
  3. Authenticity Encourages Inclusivity: Authenticity opens the door to inclusivity, ensuring everyone feels welcome. Studies show that inclusive workplaces perform better than non-inclusive counterparts. Achieving inclusivity requires ongoing effort but benefits the company in the long run.

How to Promote Authenticity in the Workplace

  • Lead with Openness: Employers should share details about their lives, passions, mistakes and lessons learned.
  • Ask and Listen: Employers should actively engage with candidates and employees about their lives, showing genuine interest.
  • Have Empathy: Employers should recognize that connecting with all employees may take effort and that diverse personalities strengthen the team.
  • Encourage Personal Branding: Employers should work with employees to identify and lean into their strengths, allowing them to shine.
  • Be Accountable: Employers should follow through on commitments and be proactive in communication. Open and transparent responses to employee concerns are vital.

Fostering authenticity in the workplace is crucial for building strong employee relationships, encouraging engagement and promoting inclusivity. Employers should lead by example, actively engage with their employees, and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable being their true selves. This approach will not only enhance employee satisfaction but also drive the overall success of the company.

Society Insurance was recently named in the Business Insurance Best Places to Work in Insurance 2023 program, which recognizes employers for establishing exceptional workplaces where employees can thrive, enjoy their work and help their companies grow. The company also is known throughout the industry as a leader in providing superior restaurant and bar insurance, custom-tailored to fit each operation's unique needs. To learn more, visit societyinsurance.com/georgia.

This information is provided as a convenience for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It is provided to assist you in recognizing potential unsafe work problems or conditions and not to establish compliance with any law, rule or regulation.