Encourage people (and you) to bring their personality to work
I believe that the days of the faceless employee are over and I say good riddance. Sterile workplaces, nameless faces and an overall sense of being just a number in the machine needed to go. People like personalities and I believe it is something that should be encouraged.
Sure, there is a limit – we can’t have people being too over-the-top or gregarious to the point that it is intimidating, but encourage your staff to make work a reflection of themselves- it has many benefits. Most importantly your staff will enjoy their work a lot more. They will tend to be more relaxed and happier and they will feel a sense of ownership regarding the business. If they are enjoying themselves they will offer better levels of service and your customers will notice the difference.
How you encourage people to bring their personality to work is up to you.
It might be personal items at their desk; it might be what they wear or what they say. Bringing personality into a business environment is being encouraged at senior management levels, in fact, it is essential, so why not adopt the same principles at all levels of your business.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, you bring your own personality and flair to work. Encourage others to do the same and your business will benefit from it.
Here I want to quickly write about a friend of mine that genuinely, not only brings their personality to work but also their business is an extension of their personality.
Andy Pearson, Rockstar, Business Owner and thoroughly nice chap,
I’d like to introduce you to Andy Pearson, owner of ‘Drive Like A Rockstar’ Driving School. His business and he personally are so far removed from what a driving school or a driving instructor should be like, it’s brilliant and unique.
Andy worked for a major national franchise when he first started. Previous to that he had mainly worked on building sites and within in the construction and electrical industry, so he had almost zero knowledge of an industry that was so cluttered with the ‘same old, same old’. He quickly realised that he was not going to make a lot of money working for them. So he sought a fresh perspective on a driving school.
Andy is heavily tattooed. Andy loves rock music. Add those two together and you would think that the answer is the total opposite of what a driving school should be. But, like many people and businesses, people are prone to incorrect misconceptions.
Andy is a thoroughly nice bloke. He’s also incredibly skilful at what he does with a fantastic record and a top grading within the industry. He also thought that there was a misconception about some of the students that get into instructors cars when they have tattoo’s and love ‘Guns and Roses’. His only previous experience of running a business was running a Rock band and because he was proud of his achievements in that industry, targeted an ‘audience’ rather than customers.
So Andy brought his personality to his business and set up ‘Drive Like A Rockstar’ and is now expanding. The flamed looking car graphics and even the way he dresses is absolute ‘Rockstar’ status. He’s also in the regular running for National Awards within the industry. He’s recently been filming documentaries, appeared in newspapers, local BBC radio and is a business mentor at his local University. So whilst some may mock, his business has gone from strength to strength, using his personality and his uniqueness as his strength. He attracts the customers that want a unique experience and want to learn with someone that understands and ‘gets’ what they like in life.
What can you do today?
What is your philosophy towards your staff bringing their personalities to work?
Is it something you have actually thought about?
Why not sit down with your team and ask them their thoughts?
Setting parameters can be a good idea, but as with any boundaries explain to your staff why they are in place.