People want the freedom to be their authentic selves at work. There are many benefits to authenticity, and one of them – research shows – is that it encourages ethical behavior. When people feel that their professional responsibilities align with their personal values, they’re more likely to act in ways that support those values (and vice versa).
Promote Identity Integration
Here are several practical ways to promote identity integration (authenticity) for your people.
- Give employees some control over what their responsibilities are and how they carry them out. Job crafting can help people feel more connected to their roles.
- Make clear what your company’s values are. Don’t just post them on a wall — share stories of them in action, and reward employees who exemplify them.
- Be transparent about hiring, promotions, and other processes and policies.
- How things are done should be clear to everyone in the organization. And don’t try to force authenticity — some people may not feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work. Learn your team’s needs on a person-by-person basis.
The takeaway here is that understanding the value of authenticity in the workplace and taking active steps to promote it can reduce the risk of unethical behavior in your business. In short, fulfilling people’s need for identity integrity will serve your organization’s need for strong ethics on every front.
Do you want to know more about your personal values:
Try the “Barrett Personal Values Assessment” for free!
This tip is adapted from “Why Authentic Workplaces Are More Ethical,” by Maryam Kouchaki