Managing your personal identity at work may lead to lower workplace satisfaction.
Do you find yourself managing your identity to fit in at work? You could be making it difficult on yourself and your overall workplace satisfaction.
According to a new study from Rice University, the University of Houston, and George Mason University, hiding aspects of our social identities can result in decreased job satisfaction and increased turnover in the workplace.
The study examined the behaviour of 211 working adults in an online survey, which measured factors such as personal identity, perceived discrimination, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. For personal identity, the survey examined how respondents either manifested or suppressed aspects such as their race/ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Results from the study showed that people make decisions about whether it is safe to be themselves at work, and that these decisions can have consequences in terms of workplace satisfaction. The report also suggested that suppressing one’s identity at work could result in more exposure to discriminatory behaviour from coworkers. This is because people are more likely to be prejudiced around group members who don’t outwardly manifest their identities.
The study also showed that the expression of one’s identity in a workplace can have positive impacts on interpersonal relationships.
You in the workplace
While the workplace can be a tough environment to build new relationships and avoid conflict, the onus needn’t be on the individual to seek acceptance. As a member of a group, be aware that others in your workplace might be sensitive to how you validate or challenge their personal identities.