Workplace Authenticity: Hiding Who You Are At Work Linked With Lower Job Satisfaction

Hiding Who You Are At Work Linked With Lower Job Satisfaction

Living with authenticity has been linked in numerous studies to greater psychological health and well-being. And now, a new study shows that authenticity at work matters, too.

New research from Rice University, the University of Houston and George Mason University shows that hiding who you truly are at work is linked with lower levels of job satisfaction. The findings are published in the journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

"The workplace is becoming a much more diverse place, but there are still some individuals who have difficulty embracing what makes them different, especially while on the job," study researcher Michelle Hebl, a psychology professor at Rice University, said in a statement.

The study included 211 people who took online surveys about job satisfaction, discrimination, identity, and whether they were intending to leave their job for another.

The researchers found that revealing true identity at work is an idea regularly considered by the study participants. They also found that people who hide who they really are at work might do so because of discrimination by others, and that showing a true authentic self at work is linked with better relationships with others.

"I think this study really demonstrates that everyone can have a role in making the workplace more inclusive," Hebl said in the statement. "Individuals tell co-workers, who can act as allies and react positively, and organizations can institute protective and inclusive organizational policies. All of these measures will continue to change the landscape and diversity of our workforce."

Previously, a Canadian study of workplace managers published in the Journal of Managerial Psychology also showed that authenticity at work is linked with well-being.

"The study highlighted a growing need to promote authenticity within organizations since it has been associated with public managers' well-being," researchers wrote in that study.

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