Bringing Authenticity to the Workplace
What does being authentic mean to you? To your organization?
Aaron Hunnel, of High Thrive Wellbeing, led our May Learning Circle session to tackle the layered concept of Authenticity and its impact on wellbeing. Below is an abbreviated summary of an in-depth presentation.
Generally speaking, authenticity is the degree to which a person acts and speaks in accordance to their true self and their values. “Authenticity” and “being authentic” may resonate slightly differently to us individually, but how we apply it to our daily lives can have a significant impact on how we engage and connect with one another. In a time where 1 in 5 Americans reportedly suffer from loneliness, organizational cultures that promote authenticity and embrace social and emotional connections can reduce the negative impacts on health associated to workplace loneliness.
Benefits of authenticity:
- Increased self-regulation or one’s alignment to their values, purpose, and goals
- Increased self-determined motivation
- Fosters pro-social behaviors, like acceptance, compassion, empathy, and respect.
- Increased social connectedness
- Lower disengagement and burnout
- Improved overall wellbeing
Some key takeaways shared by our attendees:
- True culture change takes time and a thoughtful approach. Expecting to see fast changes in an organization’s culture is unrealistic.
- Being authentic at work leads to increased motivation to succeed which ultimately creates enhanced wellbeing.
- We cannot give what we do not possess.
- If we are not authentic to ourselves especially at work, we cannot influence others to be authentic.
- We must reduce extrinsic influences and factors to implement long-term change.
- Supporting an environment for people to tap into their intrinsic values will result in lasting changes they are connected to.
- A Dialogic OD approach (vs. Diagnostic OD—top-down approach) can help change the culture to be more authentic.
- When we can focus on dialogue and bring in multiple voices and perspectives, changes can be made at lower levels of the organization and spread upward.
- We must put the responsibility on leaders of all levels to create an authentic culture.
Angeline Day, MPH, CHES