Discourage People Pleasing and Encourage Authenticity in the Workplace

It’s common to find people pleasers in the workplace because who doesn’t want to keep their job? I’ve seen it and been there. Employers might think this mindset is ideal. Hiring employees that are micromanaged so the company flourishes seems logical. However, there may be reason to reconsider why people pleasing in the workplace is bad for business. There are several reasons to promote authenticity and not people-pleasing:

Avoid Burnout

Burnout is more prevalent with the high demands of work and life. You’ve reached this breaking point when you feel mentally and physically exhausted at the thought of work. People pleasing has the potential to speed this process along by causing resentment which leads to burnout. Burnout is real and can make or break a career. It will negatively impact your work and social life.

Mental and Physical Well-being

People pleasing results in employees suppressing what they need and desire either physically and/or mentally. When this happens, they become unhappy with their work. By encouraging employees to express their needs, employers promote mental and physical well-being which in turn brings about happiness to employees. If you’ve ever enjoyed your work, you know what a difference it can make. At the same time, if you’ve ever hated your job, you know the toll it can take on a person.

Enhanced Autonomy

Autonomy is being in control of yourself and your life. When autonomy is high so is authenticity and authentic people feel valued and are much happier and engaged. Autonomy also increases motivation because employees feel a responsibility to their own work and ideas which allows them to take more pride in their work. People pleasers feel obligated to everyone around them and often lack that sense of autonomy.

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Lower Turnover Rates

By allowing employees to express themself, they are more likely to enjoy their work. Enjoyment in work increases the chance they stay in their current position. The people pleaser will appease everyone around them, avoid setting boundaries, and eventually burnout. They will leave their current position and move on to the next where the exact behaviors will repeat.

Improved Creativity

People pleasers avoid speaking up when they have ideas for fear they will be negatively judged. Employers that encourage authenticity, however, empower their employees and open a door to more and better ideas that allow the company to grow.

Strong Team Dynamics

Most companies thrive on teams and their ability to collaborate effectively. Employees that feel safe being genuine within their company develop trust with their employers and coworkers. Trust allows the company as a whole to problem solve and work better together.

Enhanced Company Reputation

Not sure what CEO wouldn’t want to enhance their company’s reputation. Empowering employees and valuing their needs allows companies to recruit the best of the best in their field. It’s important to note that customers are drawn to companies that openly value their employees.

Implement Authenticity

Employers can promote authenticity and discourage people-pleasing by doing the following:

  • Support practices that allow employees to balance work and life
  • Provide resources that teach assertive communication skills
  • Encourage open communication with employers and coworkers
  • Lead by exemplifying authenticity
  • Celebrate authenticity in the workplace

Employers who create a work environment promoting authenticity reap some major benefits. Employees are happy at work, more likely to stay, freely share their amazing ideas, cause company growth, and the best workers will seek these companies out. All of this leads to overall organizational success.


Jenn Kemp, PMHNP, is a dedicated psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner with a personal and professional commitment to helping others overcome people-pleasing behaviors. Having navigated her own journey through these habits, Jenn combines clinical expertise with genuine empathy to guide her readers towards healthier, more authentic lives.

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