What Role Do Values Play in Bringing our Whole Self to Work?

What Role Do Values Play in Bringing our Whole Self to Work?

Many neglect to bring their personal feelings and emotions into the workplace. Often, organisations will adhere to more conservative assumptions about the role of emotion when it comes to dealing with colleagues, customers, clients and more, causing people to leave their personal opinions and experiences at the door.

In truth, emotion and genuine human experience is a powerful tool in building a strong and healthy organisation. Even in industries like insurance or finance where there is a heavy focus on the data and spreadsheets, bringing more of ourselves to work can improve the unity of a business and create greater appeal for customers and clients.

In light of some of the huge changes taking place to people and businesses due to the pandemic, we explore this issue and how you might be able to adapt your practices and values to harness the power of emotion in your enterprise.

Quick Takeaways

  • When people engage with their work in a more emotional and personal way, they will feel more invested in outcomes. The level of engagement is driven by alignment of personal and organizational values
  • A workplace culture and values driven leadership that encourages people to share their feelings is more conducive to lively, creative discussions that can lead to good decision making
  • Workplaces that are built on genuine human interaction and connections are stronger than those that make people adhere to generic corporate cultural practices
  • When people are allowed to voice their concerns and fears more freely, anxiety and stress can be dissipated through constructive conversations, preventing people from turning inward

When is it Appropriate?

There are certain cultural, structural, or systemic reasons that people feel they cannot bring themselves to work. Others may simply be more inclined to leave their personal feelings and opinions at home, due to their personality or unwillingness to endanger their professional persona.

However, while it’s typically safer to only talk about work and all the data and facts that we share each day, focusing only on this can be a disadvantage for both the individual and organisation as a whole.

If your businesses only discuss goals and tasks without showing emotion about the things that people care about or the values that matter the most, you’re missing a chance to foster true integration and organisational alignment around your company’s set principles and values.

This ability to talk more candidly, and sometimes more emotionally, is what can shift the quality of your conversations and create stronger connections between people. We have received specific feedback from leaders in client organisations that they feel closer to each other since the pandemic because conversations have been on a deeper, more personal level.

Honest Discussions and Feedback Sessions

Many are reticent to voice their concerns in the workplace. Today, life offers all kinds of opportunities for anxiety and stress to crop up, whether it’s in people’s personal lives or related to the health of the company.

If leaders are unaware of the concerns or even fears that might exist in their organisation, they’re missing the chance to put their employee’s minds at ease and create positive working environments where people feel safe and motivated to grow. Major concerns for people today include:

  • The impact of COVID-19 on profits and how this might affect their jobs in the future
  • The ability to grow and progress in the workplace
  • Issues regarding holidays, time-off, sick leave or isolating periods
  • Changing work arrangements and dynamics due to more remote working
  • The general safety of the workplace and hygiene levels

One thing good leaders can do is invite feedback on their leadership approach and ask people to share their honest concerns. Through a trusting environment where people can open up about things that are potentially hard to express, you can identify areas that may be reducing morale and impacting motivation.

Strengthen Your Brand Values

For your brand values to be effective and for your customers and clients to believe in them, you must first engage your internal teams. Without your employees having a strong emotional connection to your company and the brand values, it’s going to be very hard for you to portray your vision and goals externally. In the past twelve months we have received positive feedback about how the award winning 31Practices approach has provided a sense of purpose, connection and belonging for employees who are no longer working together in person.

The Role of Socialising

It’s more of a challenge to socialise with colleagues since the pandemic and this has negatively impacted the connections that people maintain within many organisations. When everything is focused on work, it can be hard to relate to those you spend most of your time interacting with.

While there is no simple solution to this, encouraging an environment where people share opinions and views freely can help to overcome some of the challenges social distancing present us with. We have been involved in team quizes, special interest groups, ‘no agenda’ check in calls and buddy calls.

Adapting Your Company Culture

There are a few things that can provide us with meaning at work, and having a strong emotional connection to the people around us and the company itself is important. Get in touch with us at SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL for advice on how a focus on values (personal and organizational) can support the wellbeing and productivity of your employees and the sustained performance of your organisation.