Why Love for Work Is Not Enough

And What’s Self Got to Do with It.

Is loving one’s job the main criteria to be in the job? Turns out, no. Eve has been in the job for 4 painful years. Everybody was happy with her work, and so was she. Yet, during her very first corporate therapy session she admitted she’s planning to leave her job. Since the “why” question is rather useless in corporate therapy, it took at least 5 sessions to dig out the reason behind Eve’s decision. “I love my job, but I think I lost myself in it”, - she admitted.

Eve’s story is a good example of why companies should take employee branding seriously. And we mean this: every employees’, not just the CxO. If they want to minimize employee turnover, that is. So, below are the 3 ways that have proved to work in different workplaces to help employees build self (brand) identities.

1. Say It Right? No, Say It Your Way.

“We don’t say that in this house”, - is a common phrase we all heard growing up. But now it’s time to give up on the childish idea that a workplace can put a ban on employee communication styles. If you want to build a workplace brand, focus on the values instead. Put it simply, make sure everyone in the workplace values the same things, but allow them to express those values in different ways. A rose would smell just as sweet under any name, right?

2. Don’t Dress to Impress.

Self-expression is among the top employee needs, if not the main one. Among the many ways to allow employees to self-express at work is getting rid of dress codes. Worry not: if employees share the values, the workplace will not turn into a mess just because some prefer sneakers over stilettos. Still afraid? Start with a few days a week, and you will see that the sun still rises and the clients still buy from you. Still not sure? Generalize the rules to allow for differences. For example, black and white sounds more freeing than a white shirt and a black blazer. Everybody wants to be seen for who they are, and visual expression is a big part of it.

3. Everyone is a Creator. And Everyone Knows That.

Often HR spend days (and nights) thinking of the best ways to do things. Instead, a simple trick has proven to save time and effort. And it can be summed up in 2 words: collective wisdom. Having open files available to everybody’s corrections allows for everyone to self-express and tap into the collective wisdom at the same time. Running ongoing sessions to discuss the opposing notions (in case they come up) allows to still keep the company culture intact. Simple? Yes. Genius? Absolutely.

Accepting differences in the workplace is “last year”. It is simply not enough anymore. People want to express who they are, both: at and out of work. And it is a great opportunity for companies to tap into the collective wisdom of employees. As no one knows better than everyone.