why is Personal grooming and presentation important within the public services?

1 Answer

  1. To give a good impression and make other feel a bit more comfortable

Relevant information

By Bimba Gunatilke

Many people do not have due care about their personal hygiene and cleanliness. This tendency is due to busy schedules of individuals in the daily lifestyle and unawareness of the significance of personal grooming. Some are of the view that grooming is a costly affair. This is a misnomer.

GROOMING is nothing else but clean and tidy appearance of a person in a presentable manner. Whatever the age group, grooming is an essential aspect to showcase one’s positive personality. Grooming does not mean heavy makeup, expensive clothes and luxurious perfumes. It is just keeping yourself healthy, clean and fresh so that you can be presentable to others. If you meet someone for the first time s/he will judge you by your personal appearance. In order to make a good impression, you need to be fresh and lively. Messy and adisorganized look will not be admired by anybody. No one is willing to associate those who neglect personal hygiene and cleanliness. One’s first impression lasts long.

Irrespective of gender, good self presentation is incredibly important and equally necessary for working professionals. Employees in many public organizations, business companies and any other work places make regular transactions and contacts with a large number of social groups like employers, colleagues, clients, business partners and customers. Today, in this competitive business world, people have a great liking to visit organizations which are neately arranged along with a pleasant looking set of employees.

In order for an organization to achieve its goals, employees need pleasing appearance, in addition to educational qualifications and skills. Any kind of employment whether service or a business, the individual, male or female, should be adequately groomed. Pleasant self presentation contributes to work satisfaction, job effectiveness and win the minds of employers, colleagues and clients. In this context both males and females need to be presented themselves in an attractive manner at their work places.

Grooming brings benefits to the employee and the organization equally.
Pleasing impression of an individual creates a positive impact among colleagues at the work place. People prefer to visit presentable employees rather than meeting those with a dirty and untidy appearance to get their work done. Pleasant and respectful looking individuals stand out among others. . S/he will get a positive feed back from colleagues, friends, superiors and customers. S/he earns respect at the work place. Good self presentation makes the person approachable . Style of personality can enhance one’s performance and productivity thus contributing to organizational success.

Grooming practices
Grooming basically includes personal hygiene, cleanliness and tidiness. Also, behavioral traits, attitude towards others,, communication, conduct within the organization and official performance have a larger part in overall grooming. However, to maintain good health and carrying out grooming practices do not require a large sum of money. It simply needs your interest and spending extra few minutes daily to carry out the needful to make you presentable. Those who are concerned in maintaing their personal look can follow the key practices mentioned below and gain benefits.

Personal hygiene
The first and foremost requirement of grooming is maintaining the body health. Chances of succeeding in an organization are greatly influenced by personal hygiene. Dirty and unhygienic individuals do not look sharp and fresh. Their productivity is poor. Nobody likes to associate with them. Maintenance of personal health involves several low cost practices that can be implemented by an individual regularly.
• Regular bath and skin care practices keep your skin clean and glowing. This will make you smell good. Cleaning the face twice a day with a mild face wash gives a fresh look to your face.
• Washing hands by applying an appropriate soap is fundamental for a healthy life. Some people forget washing their hands after using toilets and before taking meals which can cause a variety of illnesses.
• Nutritious diet, fresh fruits and vegetables help to sustain a healthy body. Similarly, drinking plenty of water contribute to staying healthy and preventing dryness of the skin.

• Taking an undisturbed sleep about six or seven hours a day is a must to maintain body health. Sleeping rejuvenates the worn out muscles of the body during the day and removes toxins accumulated in the brain.
• Stress free mind and relaxed stance improve an individul’s personal look.

Healthy set of teeth gives you a fresh smile
Proper oral care greatly helps preventing diseases in the mouth and body as well.
• Healthy and a nice looking set of teeth enhance pleasantness of your face. When your mouth is not properly cleaned it gives a bad smell. If you have foul smelling breath no one will like to converse with you. Bad breath is distasteful. Washing and cleaning the mouth including the tongue using a mouth wash once a day gives you a pleasing breath.
• In order to maintain healthy teeth it is also necessary to brush your teeth twice a day. Rinsing and cleaning the mouth after every meal protects your teeth from decaying and avoiding gum diseases. Consuming nutritious fruits and crunchy vegetables are recommended for a healthy set of teeth.
• It is essential to visit a dentist at least once in two years.

Finger nails are equally important
• Many people do not take much care in keeping finger nails nice and clean. Regular trimming your finger nails and toe nails and keeping them clean are important for personal hygiene. Soiled and dirty finger nails are proof of ill health. Negligence of finger nails, toe nails and feet leads to diseases. Cosmetic treatments once in two weeks will keep them in good shape.

• Women can apply nail polish but removing them at regular intervals and having a new coat is necessary to give a pleasing look to your finger nails. Men can nicely trim them at regular intervals.

Clean and healthy hair is an integral element of grooming
• Hair is one of the noticeable features in our body. Frizzy hair will spoil the entire physical appearance. Washing hair with a good shampoo and using a conditioner keeps them clean. Hair needs adequate moisture to be free from diseases.
• Have a hairstyle which will match your face. A simple hairstyle makes you look good.
• In the case of men, hair should be combed neatly. They should nicely shave their facial hair daily. Always use a proper combing accessory to avoid hair breakage.
• Maintenance of healthy hair gives an attractive look and ensure disease free hair and scalp, preventing hair losses and increasing the volume of hair.

Pay attention to dress code.
• Some organizations and companies have official dress codes. Whether it’s official or unofficial, choosing an appropriate attire for the working place is important.
• Females can wear other accessories (simple jewelleries) depending on the organization and the position they hold. In the case of males, either business casual attire or business professional attire, whatever is decided by the organization would be appropriate.
• Attires should be unsoiled and spotlessly clean. Iron them before wearing and dress decently to look graceful and dignified. Never wear a wrinkled dress which gives a shabby look.

• You need not spend for expensive clothes but they need to be simple and appropriate for your body shape and skin complexion. Selecting soft colours is encouraged for women. Refrain from wearing clothes that expose parts of the body.

• Find simple but elegant looking attires in accordance with your ability to afford. Being too simple or too flashy is not desirable. To complete, wear a suitable pair of shoes.
• In the case of males, shirt and a dark colour trouser is appropriate. Avoid wearing designer shirts. Shoes should match with the colour of the trouser. Shoes and socks must necessarily be fresh and immaculate. Less accessories, though with the wristwatch fits males.

• Males must avoid athletic styles to the workplace.
• If you are a person who meets clients, stakeholders and visitors very often dress conservatively.
• Cosmetics that suits your skin type and complexion enhance the physical look. Both men and women can use a type of mild perfume . Strong perfume at the workplace is not desirable.

Behavioral traits
Good personal appearance alone will not be adequate for comprehensive grooming. Your personality will also be judged by others on the basis of your performance and behavior in the organizational setting. Attributes like Professional behaviour , swift actions, punctuality, strategic communication and ethical conduct at the workplace play a major part in grooming. Such qualities contribute to effective performance.

• You work with varying categories of people such as superiors, co-workers, subordinates and customers. It is a challenging task to work with a variety of people having different temperaments. You have to build up a healthy relationship with all of them.

• Criticizing others in their absence is absurd. Do it in a constructive manner in his/her presence. Be careful, capitalizing only on the good qualities of colleagues and commenting upon them so that you can win their hearts and cooperation. Never make sarcastic remarks which hurt others.

• Respecting and trusting co – workers and promoting the feeling of togetherness brings amazing results in an individual’ s career and organizational perspective.

• When fellow workers are in need of your help, intervene without hesitation. Share your knowledge and experience with them showing no reluctance. This will boost your fame.

• Criticizing the organization within or outside the organization demonstrates your incapability. Expressing displeasure makes no positive results, rather, it makes others disappointed. Instead, you can intervene in a constructive manner in correcting the weak points of the organistion.

• Bullying and discriminating those who are around you are not ethical.
• When you talk to visitors and business stakeholders a pleasing body posture is an important aspect. Strong upright posture with straight back and easy breathing can give you a good look . It builds up efficiency and authority to you. Participating in regular sports at least twice a week ensures one’s physical and psychological wellbeing and help to form a correct posture.

• Perseverance, loyalty and commitment are some of the other attributes that enhance personal grooming. You must be sincere, and truthful to the organization, showing dedication and enthusiasm towards duties. Always work for the achievement of organizational objectives and satisfy the expectations of its clientele. Firm commitment towards carrying out duties is a sign of a professional employee.

• Punctuality is a proof of good time management. Arriving at the work place early, timely participation at meetings and discussions, meeting deadlines set in the schedule of duties entrusted to you are the characteristics of a punctual employee. Such performance contributes for timely completion of work. Productive use of time will depict that you are an asset to the organization. Punctuality is a part of grooming and a good habit to cultivate. Being late and procrastination at work badly affects employee’s career prospects. Lack of timeliness has devastating effects on the overall performance of the organization.

• Among other elements, pleasing communication practices play a dominant role in personal grooming. It simply means how you talk and what you talk. Style of talking beautified by facial expressions, eye contact and positioning of your body, to be pleasing to the person whom you are talking to. Effective communication yields positive results.
• To become an effective communicator you need to be careful about language use. Simple language that people can easily understand is always preferable.

• Good communicators always talk to people politely and gently with delicate and pleasing words. A smile can do wonders. Never forget greeting people with a genuine smile and welcoming words prior to start conversation that persuade people to continue talking. Nobody likes a serious look on your face and harsh words. Anyone could be made happy by delicate and pleasing words and such words can largely contribute to the fulfilment of organizational objectives.

• A good communicator is a good listener as well. If you patiently listen to others, they invariably pay attention to you.

• Pleasant communication enables the person to conduct teamwork easily at the workplace. Successful joint work contributes to a thriving organization in the long run.

• Demonstration of these values in all of your functions creates a positive impression of you and assures the interest of the organization.

• Many of us learn the basics in life from parents and teachers during our childhood. With the passage of time, when we grow older, those valuable social norms fade away from our behaviour. Application of social norms are mostly in need when we become active members of the society.

• Practising social norms become more significant in developing interpersonal relationships in our workplace to work in harmony. Mannerism covers a broad area even in an official setting. Polite and refined demeanour is extremely vital since an employee spends most of his time in his workplace. If the place displays an annoying atmosphere no one can attend to his duties peacefully. This is why your application of social norms is essential to build up a pleasurable organization in which everybody feels comfortable and performs enthusiastically. You also gain respect and appreciation through sensible behaviour.

• Maintain your table clean and tidy. Be fresh and attentive. Laziness does not look good. You must be careful that your presence will not be a burden to others. It is common that everyone makes mistakes. Some individuals are not prepared to accept one’s own mistakes, apologize and take steps to rectify them. In an organizational setting this is not sound. Employees with such an attitude will never be able to improve their performance.

• No personal conversation at the workplace which will disturb others . Do not bring your emotional feelings and personal grievances to the office.

• It is common that everyone makes mistakes. Some individuals are not prepared to accept one’s own mistakes and take steps to rectify them. In an organizational setting this is not sound. Employees with such an attitude will never be able to improve their performance.

Be accountable for your work and do not blame others for your mistakes
• Spying at other’s work and opening the files under fellow workers’ custody without due permission are wrong. Overstepping your boundaries sounds unethical, but flexibility should be there to undertake and execute a new assignment or duty of an absent counterpart assigned to you.

• Do not interrupt when others are talking . Listen first and talk when the opportunity arises is a good habit.

• Asking embarrassing questions from co workers sounds harmful.

• Everybody has a self respect. You may even respect minor employees. It boosts your popularity.

Through practicing social norms we gain rewarding opportunities and develop long lasting favourable relationships with others which helps achieving organizational goals and career advancement of employees.

GROOMING is not just about physical appearance. It is about a disciplined mind , perfect behaviour, positive thinking and positive attitudes.

The writer is a former Director of the Ministry of Nation Building and Infrastructure Development. She had been working in the Ministries of Planning, Plan Implementation and Regional Development in different capacities over a period of forty years. During the period her main responsibility was to planning and executing of foreign funded projects related to regional/rural development in the country”

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