This post is part of a series on how to improve morale (and the bottom line) in your company at little or no cost.
“The public can only be really moved by what is genuine.” -George Henry Lewes
No one likes a fake.
A lack of genuineness creates suspicion about your motives as a boss. If your employees feel your concern about, or your praise of them, is insincere there will be a constant question in their minds about your true motivations. A lack of genuineness reminds me of the stereotypical used car salesman who acts like your best friend until you’ve signed on the dotted line. They don’t care about you. They care about the commission on the sale. They’re concerned about themselves.
Genuine care and concern help foster community. It’s within a community where people feel safe, where they serve, celebrate and mourn with each other1. When you create genuine relationships, people are more inclined to help you even when they don’t have to. Being a genuine leader helps you help your team confront challenges, drive improvement, and position them for success. People are naturally drawn to leaders who are genuine.
Genuineness and authenticity with employees is about being who you really are without putting on pretenses.
Being genuine should be applied to all the morale building techniques on this blog. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply the many morale techniques on this blog, such as smiling, or showing respect, even when it’s difficult or unnatural for you. It may just take some practice to be genuine using those techniques. Remember, being honest is a large part of being genuine.