The Influence Of Authentic Leadership On Employee Engagement


In the dynamic landscape of contemporary workplaces, leaders are increasingly recognizing the pivotal role of authenticity in fostering employee engagement. Authentic leadership goes beyond traditional leadership models, emphasizing transparency, self-awareness, and genuine connection with employees. This article explores the profound influence of authentic leadership on employee engagement, delving into the key principles, benefits, and strategies that contribute to a workplace culture where employees feel motivated, valued, and committed.

Understanding Authentic Leadership

Authentic leadership is rooted in genuineness, self-awareness, and the ability to connect with others on a personal level. Authentic leaders are transparent about their values, beliefs, and emotions, fostering an environment of trust and openness within their teams. This leadership style is characterized by a deep understanding of oneself and a commitment to aligning personal values with organizational goals.

Authentic leaders positively impact the psychological well-being of their employees, making them more engaged in and dedicated to their work. Therefore, leader trust is a component of authentic leadership and can have a positive impact on job satisfaction.

Key Principles of Authentic Leadership

  1. Self-Awareness

Authentic leaders possess a keen sense of self-awareness, continuously reflecting on their values, strengths, and weaknesses. By understanding their own motivations and emotions, they can authentically connect with their team members and model the importance of introspection for their teams.

  1. Relational Transparency

Transparency is a cornerstone of authentic leadership. It is a crucial element in winning employees’ trust, alongside the ability to uphold moral values. Authentic leaders act as role models, leading by example and displaying appropriate behaviors during their interactions with their subordinates. They earn trust because of their genuineness and because they lead ethically while maintaining integrity.

Transparency is the core element of authenticity, and it is central to developing trust between a leader and their followers. Leaders openly share information, decisions, and even vulnerabilities with their team members. This transparency builds trust and establishes a culture where open communication is valued, fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging among employees.

  1. Ethical Decision-Making

Authentic leaders prioritize ethical decision-making, aligning their choices with their values and the values of the organization. By demonstrating integrity in their actions, they inspire trust and confidence among employees, creating a positive work environment. Authentic leaders also have values that are founded on moral principles, credibility, and integrity, and they strive to promote mutual trust within the organization.

  1. Balanced Processing

Authentic leaders seek input from all team members and consider diverse perspectives before making decisions. This inclusive approach not only enriches decision-making but also empowers employees, making them feel heard and valued.

The Influence of Authentic Leadership on Employee Engagement

  1. Enhanced Trust and Credibility

Trust is the foundation of any healthy workplace relationship. Authentic leaders build trust through their consistent and transparent communication, leading to increased credibility. Gaining employees’ trust is essential for a leader to have a positive impact on work engagement; companies require a supportive and positive work environment to motivate employees and enhance productivity, and authentic leadership is strongly linked to trust in the leader and to work engagement. When employees trust their leaders, they are more likely to engage fully in their work, knowing that their contributions are valued and respected.

  1. Increased Employee Satisfaction

Authentic leaders prioritize the well-being and productivity of their employees. These help to create positive work environments and contribute to a more engaged workforce. When employees feel supported and appreciated, they are motivated to go above and beyond in their roles.

  1. Improved Employee Morale and Commitment

Authentic leaders foster a sense of community and shared purpose. By aligning organizational goals with the values of their team members, they instill a sense of commitment and pride in the work being done. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of employee morale and dedication to achieving collective objectives.

  1. Facilitation of Open Communication

Authentic leaders create an atmosphere where open communication is not only encouraged but celebrated. When employees feel comfortable expressing their ideas, concerns, and feedback, it fosters a collaborative and innovative culture. This open dialogue is essential for building strong relationships and boosting engagement.


In conclusion, the influence of authentic leadership on employee engagement cannot be overstated. Leaders who prioritize transparency, self-awareness, and ethical decision-making create a workplace culture where employees feel valued, motivated, and connected to the organization’s mission. The benefits of authentic leadership extend beyond employee engagement, positively impacting organizational performance, retention rates, and overall workplace satisfaction. With these strategies, leaders set a tone of trust, support and care which increases engagement for many employees.


Linus Okorie MFR is a leadership development expert spanning 30 years in the research, teaching and coaching of leadership in Africa and across the world. He is the CEO of the GOTNI Leadership Centre.

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