Self-acceptance is crucial

Why self-acceptance is crucial for workplace performance

Whether your organisation is excelling in workplace performance depends on the positive self-acceptance of your employees.

Professor Michael Bernard

The latest research reveals the importance of positive self-acceptance in the way people do their job, including how they relate to others, manage stress and their mental health, and how react to performance appraisals.

This is especially relevant if yours is a human services organisation or one with a lot of people contact or where your employees may have frequent knockbacks.

Does this sound obvious or not very important when compared with other strategic priorities requiring professional development?

Upskill your leaders

You’ve probably been focussed on your organisational climate and culture as a source of improving workplace performance. No doubt, you’ve reflected on how best to upskill your leaders in the way they go about leading their teams.

An under-resourced and sometimes under-appreciated leverage point for improving individual and workplace performance is the mindset of your workforce. Sometimes referred to as psychological capital, mindset matters a lot and can be developed.

Recently, we completed a large high-performance professional development project with the Department of Education with over 100 employees at all levels. The participants completed several surveys, including Indicators of High Performing Organisations, Survey of High Impact Team Leadership Behaviour and the Survey of a High Performance Mindset. The quality of team leadership predicted how employees at all levels rated their organisation’s performance. We also found that two high-performance workplace beliefs also contributed to positive organisational outcomes: authenticity and positive self-acceptance.

“Self-acceptance is a single idea that can make you radically different in many ways and that you can choose to have it or not have it.”

– Albert Ellis, world-famous psychologist and author of Executive Leadership

2 elements of self-acceptance

There are 2 components to positive self-acceptance. The first is self-regard. Whether you know it or not, many of your employees, deep down, don’t have an appreciation of themselves as people—they aren’t proud of who they are. Instead, they constantly look for valuation based on their work achievements or popularity. Many of your seemingly most confident employees cover up with false bravado. But make no mistake, when faced with not achieving performance targets or even receiving constructive criticism—their self-regard goes out the window, and they tumble down the staircase of self-doubt and defensiveness.

Second, self-acceptance means acknowledging imperfections and, while seeking to improve them, accepting your intrinsic positive qualities. This leads to learning to accept yourself no matter what.

You need to boost workplace performance

Look within your own company. What can you do to ensure your new recruits are armed with positive self-acceptance and therefore boost workplace performance? Consider how you can strengthen the self-acceptance of existing personnel, so they aren’t defensive, over-sensitive or despondent when faced with adversity.

So, when you upgrade your plans for establishing a positive work culture as well as adopt a strength-based performance management system, make sure that positive self-acceptance is a big part of the mix.

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