Realness at Work and Does It Matter?

Realness and being human at work, is being highlighted everywhere we look!

Authenticity, the end of traditional work structures, the importance of individual and business values and employees feeling a strong connection, are all things being talked about as required by businesses today. To enable a successful response to the speed of change in the way we work, and the need to address worldwide low engagement, it’s increasingly being recognised that realness at work matters!

What does realness mean to you?  Are you self-aware? Are you the same person in work as out of work?  Does your work environment feel open and supportive or formal and unnatural?

Reported in HR Magazine this week under the headline ”Employees disillusioned with company purpose’’, a survey of 1,000 workers revealed;  ”almost half (42%) said their company does not act in line with its purpose and values’’, leading to disengagement, and 72% said they’d be more likely to stay at their company if they were more ”emotionally connected to their work”.
Nikki Heyworth, our Director of Development, has identified Empathetic Leadership as the key leadership trend for this year, and at the recent UK HRD Summit, many of the contributors talked about the importance of shared values, authenticity and inclusion at work. Here are some great examples:
Josh Bersin of Deloitte, talking about ‘Todays New World of Work’ identified ”Citizenship, Collective Thinking, Shared Values’’  as what is required for business cultures to be successful today.  Moving away from traditional hierarchy, rigid structures and leadership to ”…shared values and culture, transparent goals and projects, free flow of information and feedback, people rewarded for their skills and abilities, not position, leaders acting as coach, not boss, and leading through followership, not position.’’
The importance of leaders creating a sense of belonging for staff, with belonging being described as ‘being accepted for you’, and  ‘being me’ at work rather than ‘fitting in..being like everyone else’’,  was shared by the Head of HR for Caffe Nero.  When talking about their new People Deal, the UK HR lead at Cisco, revealed that their most successful teams were ones with identified and shared values.

The world of work is ready to be real!

The benefits of this authenticity, is significantly higher job satisfaction and engagement, greater happiness at work, stronger sense of community, more inspiration and lower job stress (reported in HBR).
Our research and work for over 10 years in the field of ‘bringing the best you’ to work shows exactly the same!
Courageous Success clients rate their ability to use their natural authenticity and strengths to maximise their performance as 88% – as a result of iAM (personal values profile) they truly understand themselves at heart, and report the positive impact on their leadership as 85%.
In practice this means being real: not following the crowd, not being self-conscious and bringing the real you into work.

Tips for Bringing the Real You into Work:

  • Be the same person at work as at home. You’ll feel and come across as more real and natural.
  • Don’t conform. We often think of work as having to be professional and formal. None of us have ‘professional’ written on our hearts!  Be informal and normal.
  • Are you playing to your role at work, as either manager, leader or team member? Is this restricting you and your team? If your job title was removed tomorrow – how would that change how you think about your work and your contribution?
  • Do you have any structures or processes in place that create formality and complexity that are no longer needed?
  • Are you being transparent with information and goals?  Be open and communicative.
  • Be encouraging and build self-belief in others – always see the best. Do you actively encourage contribution from all?
  • Create a supportive environment, where help can be given and mistakes made without it being seen as failure.
  • If you have an iAM – have you shared your values and do you know your team’s values?
  • If you don’t have an iAM (speak to us!);  share what’s important to you with your team and ask the same of them – create a shared team purpose.

Put realness at the centre to bring out the best in you and others at work.


Click to hear me talking about Putting Realness into Your Strategic Growth Formula for the 2018 UK HRD Summit.



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