Authenticity in Building Trust in the Workplace

How to build trust at work and be genuine

More than frequency alone, it is authenticity that enables relationships to deepen. Authenticity and trust go hand in hand with vulnerability. When we allow others to see our authentic selves, we make ourselves vulnerable. When we share details about ourselves we extend our humanity. And when our colleagues share details about their own lives we see the humanity in others. Authenticity reminds us that we are all human and allows us to grow closer.

Working remotely has forced a closer level of intimacy as Zoom screens have revealed our homes, our families, and our lives. It is hard not to be authentic – and vulnerable – when someone has a window into an individual’s world. And instead of being a distraction to work, this greater authenticity has made it possible for us to see the humanity in each other and, in turn, to bring us closer together.

In fact, our Human Connection in the Virtual Workplace report found that 61% of respondents voiced that they have become more comfortable with sharing details about their non-work life that may affect their work. And 79% of those individuals believe that doing so has helped them get their work done more effectively.

Percentage of employees reporting of human connection at workplace

Managers are also sharing more with their teams. Over half of respondents voiced that since March 2020 their manager is more open to sharing details about their non-work life that may affect their work. A full 75% agree that knowing details about their manager’s non-work life helps them to get their work done more effectively.

These findings are significant and represent a key area for us to continue to watch. While the circumstances of the past several years have enabled greater levels of vulnerability, we’re interested in how this can continue as people shift back towards “normal” and more in-office interactions. Once again, this underscores why moral leaders who, regardless of the circumstances naturally lead with authenticity, are so important to building cultures for human connection in the workplace.