At work, it can sometimes be difficult to bring your authentic self. Especially in more traditional office environments, workers may adopt a certain level of detachment—maybe they’re reluctant to share details of their personal life with colleagues for fear of potential judgment. Maybe their workplace doesn’t value input from employees on how the organization operates.
Whatever the reason for this difficulty, being authentic at work takes a certain amount of courage. According to research by Dr. Patricia Faison Hewlin, a professor of organizational behavior at McGill University, about a third of employees in North America feel pressure to suppress their personal values at work, prompted by fears of missing out on promotions for emphasizing time with family and backlash from pointing out workplace inequities to company leaders among other concerns. This illustrates the importance of a work environment where people can be themselves, as a consistent level of pressure negatively impacts not only productivity, but also the mental health and overall well-being of workers.
Studies show a clear link between authenticity and increased happiness at work. Employees who feel they can be themselves at work report higher satisfaction in their roles, a stronger sense of community and lower stress. Authenticity boosts productivity, as people exert their energy on their work versus self-censorship or navigating the emotional labyrinth of a high-pressure environment. Employees also reported that being genuine at work leads to better, stronger colleague and client relationships with greater collaboration and higher levels of trust.
How can a workplace encourage this kind of culture? To bolster authenticity, employers should lead by example. Workplace leaders who admit when they’re wrong, are forthright about business problems and remain true to their beliefs give permission to their teams to do the same. In addition to this kind of leadership, by responding positively to employee expressions of authenticity, leaders can facilitate an open environment that values a variety of perspectives and accepts people for who they are, empowering employees and increasing engagement with their work.
Beyond building a better work culture, authenticity also makes your workplace more competitive in attracting top talent. The American Psychological Association found that organizations hire and retain better workers when their recruitment strategies emphasize authenticity as a workplace value. For most of us, this likely isn’t a surprise. Especially given the world-historic psychological wounding brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have a rare opportunity to create better experiences for everyone. Above all, the inherent value of people and their individual experiences should inform how we think about our work.
We’ve got a chance to build a better approach to work going forward—employers who squander this opportunity do so at their own risk.
Entering the Tween Years of Smart Workspace
Digital Solutions & Strategy Lead
January of every year seems to bring out the crystal ball gazers of every tech industry. A new year – and some would argue (incorrectly, but maybe that’s just me and Seinfeld) a new decade – gives rise to reflection as the last year closes and the annual cycle begins anew.
Education From Afar: Perspectives on Virtual Learning
Host’s goals of providing increased digital and virtual learning options have been on the agenda for some time. However, with a global pandemic shuttering offices throughout the world, our learning and development professionals have had to expedite these options to ensure that new hires receive the same level of expert training, even if the training isn’t performed in person.
Leading Virtual Teams
Leading virtual teams can become untenable if you expect the virtual world to correlate perfectly with a traditional office environment. According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 82 percent of virtual teams fell short of their goals. With that said, everything that makes for a strong leader in an office is twice as important in the virtual landscape.
Bringing a New Member onto Your Remote Team
Director, Global Hospitality Operations
New employees join organizations every day, including during this unprecedented time where many are working remotely during the COVID outbreak. While it's a best practice to spend face-to-face time when onboarding, right now that's just not an option most of the time. Employee onboarding lays the foundation for the success of new hires at your company and provides a baseline to make connections going forward.
The Leader's Role in Fostering New Social Norms as Workplaces Reopen
By now, almost all organizations around the world are somewhere on their re-opening journey, whether starting to plan, bringing employees back to the workplace, or assessing “what’s next” for the future of their work environments. Companies and organizations are appropriately focused on a range of activities such as resetting the physical work environment to achieve social distancing, installing signage, adjusting building systems, securing sustainable quantities of supplies, and adapting service levels in areas such as cleaning and food service.
The Double Shift Juggling Parenting and Working During the Coronavirus
Director, Deployment and Operations
Working parents are facing a particularly challenging time, as the boundaries between work and home have completely broken down, resulting in the need for parents to juggle between parent mode to work mode and back again each day. The “double shift” is now the “double double shift.” Between putting three meals on the table, homeschooling, hosting Zoom meetings and conference calls, doing laundry, cleaning the house and trying to be present as both an employee and a parent, working parents are struggling and facing burnout.
Patrick Goes to Work
Global Hospitality Lead
When I’m focused on exciting new projects and things are going well, it’s always a surprise when they go awry unexpectedly. However, surprise doesn’t adequately cover our collective reaction to the rise of a global pandemic.
Customer Service Keeps Us Connected, Safe and Well – Let’s Celebrate It!
Global Hospitality Lead
I think it’s worth our time to reflect on what customer service has meant to us in the past, what it means right now as our social lives are stunted by pandemic concerns, and what it will look like once we finally navigate our way through this challenging era of our lives.
The Employee Experience Formula That Inspires Innovation
Host Labs Lead
It will likely come as no surprise that our evolving workspaces, enabled by technology, outfitted with the most coveted amenities and served by hospitality experts, are designed to make employees feel valued, signaling to them that the work they do is important and impactful. But what about when the workspace provided by an employer is removed (even temporarily) and placemaking becomes a virtual endeavor?
Delight in the Workplace: An Opportunity for Limitless Value
Host Labs Lead
As surprising as it may seem coming from a commercial real estate company, the Host team obsesses over enriching lives and creating delight for people who work in the buildings we manage. We consider the daily journey of our customers and map both their current and best experiences in the workplace.
Why Workplace Experience Platforms Need the Human Element
Thoughtful Reads: The Importance of In-Between Moments
The Value of Authenticity
Thoughtful Reads: Guide to the Hybrid Workplace
What We've Learned: Host Conversations #1
What Is the Workplace Experience Anyway?