Should you be yourself at work?

Do you have a work persona? Are you sometimes worried about letting the ‘real you’ out in the professional environment? This is a topic that everyone seems to have a different opinion on, including our MD Lauren who recently discussed the culture here at Grace and how encouraging everyone to be themselves has helped contribute to our success.

We’ve probably all experienced that self-conscious feeling at work – does everyone like me? Do they respect my work? Am I making a good impression? For many, this leads them down a path of covering up their personality as much as possible – trying to fly under the radar and not be singled out.

The truth is, limiting your personality can often lead to issues not only at work, but in your personal life. If you’ve got someone telling you that your personality isn’t appropriate or that you need to tone yourself down, it’s probably going to have a negative impact on your confidence.

As cheesy as it sounds, at Grace one of the key things that we instil in all our staff is the importance of being themselves. We’ve found this encourages a much more creative, encouraging and welcoming culture; something we feel is vital to running a successful business. In fact, our hiring and onboarding processes are centred around finding people who will not only fit in, but also add a new and unique dynamic to our team.

An article published by Forbes also shone a spotlight on whether it was better to be yourself or not at work, and how different businesses viewed the topic. Speaking with Annette Martinez, Senior Vice President for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Companies, she explained how important diversity and inclusion was within their business and how the people they employ help to shape the culture.

They understood that personalities could sometimes be watered down in larger companies and so encouraged all employees to publish ‘I Am Who I Am’ stories, which give an insight into their personality and what makes them tick. They’ve found that this allows people to get to know each other on a more personal level, forming relationships based on their own experiences and thoughts and helping them to feel more welcomed and comfortable at work.

This topic has also been picked up by the BBC, who took a psychological look into how restricting ourselves in the workplace can have a negative impact on our self-worth.

They found that ‘psychological safety’, or being encouraged to be yourself, is changing the working world for the better, allowing employees to avoid feelings of embarrassment or rejection if they speak their minds and inspiring young or shy team members to step out of their comfort zones more often.

Giving your team the freedom to be themselves is not necessarily a new concept, but is one that we think is absolutely essential when it comes to developing a confident, happy and innovative team. Whilst Lauren jokes that she overshares at work and in her personal life, it’s all part of what makes our company so unique and one of the reasons we’ve built such a close workforce.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the roles we’re currently advertising, or even if you’re interested in working at Grace, get in touch!