Employees who can be themselves at work are employees who bring their best selves to work.
I like what Chuck Blakeman says regarding this in his Ted Talk, and I too believe everyone should be able to bring their “whole self” to work. It irks me when I go to conferences and hear managers of massive corporations (the ones who should know better) rant about how people need to leave their personal lives at the door.
Even The Onion thinks this is crazy.
In fact, the consequences of having people change who they are eight hours a day, five days a week can really add up. Simply put, everyone should have the opportunity to bring their whole messy, chaotic, weirdly wonderful lives into the workplace.
Will managers have to deal with unique humans, with unique interests, unique strengths, and unique personalities? Yes. Will they occasionally have to “manage” these unique human beings so things don’t get a little too crazy? Yes.
Will people respond by bringing their “A-Game” to the table if it’s done right? Will they volunteer their best efforts, come up with new ideas, and openly share their talents? Will they find enjoyment and fulfillment in their work and working relationships?
Image credit: "15-06-12-Himmelsstürmer-Kassel-N3S 7924" by Ralf Roletschek - Own work. Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons