About two weeks ago, we wanted to hear from our followers on how authentic or how much of "themselves" they felt at work. We took a poll on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see how many of our followers agreed with this statement from our Culture Pulse Assessment:
“I am free to be myself at work. My workplace culture empowers us to embrace our unique personalities.”
The results of our poll were surprising! How much do you agree? Tell us in the comments!
Let’s take a look at the choices...
On Twitter, we had three options to choose from:
On Facebook, we only could give two options with their polling format:
Instead of just having two extreme choices [yes vs. no], we wanted to have a spectrum for the negative response. From the DH perspective, there are plenty of employees who can at least express some part of their authentic selves at work… but the real question that we wanted people to think about was just how much authenticity they can express. And is there room for more?
With any organizations we work with, there is always an initial understanding that more can be done to create enough psychological safety within their workplace culture so people can be themselves. If we tend to feel our best at home or with people we care about, why not have that feeling transmit to the workplace?
So how did our people respond to our poll? Let's take a look!
Examining the Results:
We were surprised that a higher percentage of our followers who took the poll agreed with the statement. Upon some reflection, our audience may consist more liberally of individuals who already support the Delivering Happiness business model and frameworks. So the chances that our fans who participated also feel aligned with DH’s core value #1 [Be true to your (weird) self] isn’t the most surprising find – and we’re happy they get to be themselves at work! A big shout-out to their employers for creating a sustainable workplace culture that supports their identities.
Our most thoughtful discovery was that about 46.0% of those surveyed answered “a bit, but not enough.”
This result indicates that there is a degree of awareness that authenticity in the workplace is valued, craved, and sought after. Though being your true self might be a novel concept in some offices, individual employees and teams want to feel like they can be themselves at work. In fact, the quality of customer service at most businesses is correlated to this factor - when you're comfortable enough to be yourself then you're better set up to create personal, emotional connections with customers!
Why does being your authentic self matter?
“Based on positive psychology we now know happiness is about being true to our authentic [weird] selves. We spend most of our waking hours at work so it just makes sense we should be true to ourselves at work [and in life].”
–Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness
In studies on authenticity or “being yourself,” higher measures for authenticity were correlated with higher self-esteem, more group connectedness, better psychological well-being, and the increased desire to spend more time in roles and situations where study participants felt they could be themselves more comfortably. 
If you’re an employer, wouldn’t you want your employees to reap those same benefits while at work? From a business goal perspective, if employees feel happier and are more engaged at work, then productivity will follow [download our Hello Doc to learn more].
How much does your culture support authenticity?
The authenticity statement we polled on social media is from our Culture Pulse Assessment. This 15-question company culture survey is an easy and useful way to see where your organization’s culture stands, and you can have multiple people from your organization answer it to compare results. Also, our survey is free!
Take 5 minutes to evaluate how you aligned your organization’s culture is with its purpose and core values, and if there are areas for improvement:
 Mengers, Abigail A., "The Benefits of Being Yourself: An Examination of Authenticity, Uniqueness, and Well-Being" (2014). Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects. 63.