Can you be asked to change personality or be sacked?

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Velvetee | 03:01 Tue 08th Nov 2011 | Jobs & Education
22 Answers
I've worked for a company for 6 years, but we've just been taken over by a well known brand. Their concept is that staff should be upbeat (kind of Americanised) bouncy, clappy, energetic etc.

Anyway, I'm kind of laid back, quiet but always work hard and go above and beyond what my role dictates. My Line Manager has told me I need to change to fit in with the new brand and if I cannot then I need to consider if the job is suitable for me. I get the feeling he would like to offload me and replace me with a 17 year old clown!

Can I be sacked for not changing my personality to suit the company's new working standards? Would it help to seek Legal Advice?



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ur grumpy n they want happy, go
Take legal advice? I don't see the point of that, sorry.
The employer is very unlikely to give 'refusing to change personality' as the reason for dismissal but if you don't fit in with the culture and your performance/contribution is adversely affected they could use your performance as a reason for disciplinary action,
Companies do change and there is little point in harking back to how things used to be. Your manager is right. If you are not happy then look for another job and in the meantime just make the best of it. You may find you do settle in to the new culture.
What is your position? Many capable people get sacked because the boss doesn't like them but the company doesn't benefit and neither does the boss in the end. Can you join a union?
Whilst being in a union may help Velvetee cling onto a job in a culture she/he doesn't like working in, I don't think joining a union would make Velvetee any happier in his/ her role or change the new culture of the company
Not Cadburys are you ? Just smile and when they ask you to do something just grin and go oooh I love a challenge... try not to sound too sarcastic...

They may change job descriptions to include something like demonstrates a positive attitude to work and colleagues... but unless they do it will be difficult for them to performance manage you on it...
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I don't see the point in that mdoo98. Velvettee could by all means sit down with the line manager and have a chat about how they can best work together iin the new culture, but it's the organisation culture that has changed and the manager seems to have recognised that and given Velveteee some good advice. There seems to me to be little point in resisting it or saying "I won't change unless..."
I don't know about legally but I sympathise. It's a clear case of management exceeding any decent moral boundaries into what they can demand. Treating people as if they were mere resource and ignoring the right for folk to be themselves. You may even find they have a like it or clear off attitude, which if so would speak volumes about the type of individuals that have floated to the top and how much they value their staff.

I think it is not so uncommon these days. I think foreign management practices have taken hold and staff just not seen as worth treating properly any more.
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I too have some sympathies, OG. I have seen organisations where staff were quite happy working hard for the common good and then organisational changes meant new leadership teams came in, often supported by management consultants. who wanted to be seen to be changing things to show it was a new era and a new sheriff was in town. Some consultants make a fortune from 'culture change programmes'. Staff who used to be happy getting on with the job suddenly found they were expected to have fancy dress days, go canoeing after work and paint a community centre during working hours (and then have to catch up on the backlog of work).

But I do believe that overt resistance is a waste of time. I had to choose whether to change, smile and play along, or look for a company where I would feel more comfortable.
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Hi mdoo98, I tried to 'go with the flow' for a while but decided to move on and do something else where I felt my skills and qualities were more appreciated, although I made sure I got a redundancy payoff first.
Move on is more of an option when at an age you believe you can find other decent paid employment. Some of us are hanging on until we catch up with the rising retirement age.
I agree, but if you aren't prepared to adopt the company culture you may find you don't get the option of hanging on.
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Some of us do not have personalities. You can not get a leopard to change its' spots. I do not think that this can be done.
they can't order you to change personality, but they can invite you to change your behaviour. Why not try it? It'll be acting, basically.
I was about to say just what jno has. They are not asking you to change your personality, just the attitude you present to others while at work. For example I'm sure most of the staff at a fast food outlet could care less if you 'have a nice day' or 'Enjoy' when they say it.
I was asked to do similar in my last few years of working.........I just carried on as usual, met or exceeded all targets set, and there was nothing they could (legally) do about it. I think they were pleased when I applied for early retirement.

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