Why is workplace authenticity so difficult?

Because, no matter their values or culture, most companies talk out of both sides of their mouth. The hard truth is that the core of the employer/employee relationship is transactional: Employers pay employees for their time and skills. Should those skills no longer be needed, the relationship ends. Should the employee desire to leave the company, the relationship ends. That’s the “bedrock of truth” in the business world.

Most internal communications plans (and executive communication plans) strive to overlook this central truth. It’s a “we don’t talk about that” elephant in the room. Instead, companies focus on engagement strategies, campaigns to build employee loyalty and commitment, perks and programs to level up the elements of fun and happiness in the workplace.

It’s all fun and games until someone is let go. Or there’s a layoff. Or a downsizing. And employees are left feeling hoodwinked, like they were the only ones truly committed to the relationship.