A national research study released today measuring the impact of authenticity in the workplace, found that employees value authenticity over just about everything else when they’re considering a new job. Coming in just behind compensation and flexibility, employees are looking for an authentic company culture (87%) and having an authentic manager (84%). The first-of-its-kind study comes on the heels of continued post-pandemic workforce casualties that have left companies scrambling to keep top talent.
A recurring theme throughout the study is that companies are simply not living up to employees’ expectations. The data shows that the missing piece to the puzzle – authenticity – carries substantially more weight, even among diverse employees, more so than employers showing a commitment to issues they care about (81%), getting the experience they need to build their resume (72%), and diversity (68%).
“The findings in no way suggest that diversity isn’t important,” says b Authentic Inc CEO, Erin Hatzikostas. “Rather, this study shows that even if a company checks all the right boxes and achieves all the right numbers, it will be all for naught if people can’t be themselves at work.”
Data from the study also explains why employees put more weight on authenticity, showing a direct link between an employee being authentic and their career development. For example, employees said that being authentic at work directly led to a pay raise or promotion (30%), better results (35%), and greater job stability (45%).
In addition, the study drew a strong line between authentic company culture and/or authentic leadership and employee retention, proving that authenticity can be a major weapon in the talent war and a promising solution to The Great Resignation.
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For example, 85% of those who work at organizations where authenticity is always/usually practiced expect to be with their employer two years from now, compared to less than half (47%) of those who work at organizations where authenticity is rarely or never practiced.
Although the current challenges in the workplace are complex, this study makes clear that companies taking a simpler, more authentic approach to their culture – reducing the red tape, pausing the politics, banning the buzzwords – are likely those that will thrive in this new workplace era.
“I’ve always believed that authenticity is critical in the workplace,” Hatzikostas adds, “and that it’s something tangible you can implement. With this study, we’ve now put hard numbers behind it. Hopefully, this will help leaders see that an authentic culture isn’t just a “nice to-do”, but it’s a business imperative.”
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