The future of work is not only about technology and modern office layouts, it is also about people. What is the purpose of implementing more tech in the workplace? Why are we more focused on workspace design than before? The main reason is to empower workers so that they can perform better by providing them with the working environment and conditions they need. A company creating a people-first culture increases its chances for successful results. In this article, deskbird is sharing the benefits of an employee-centric approach and how to implement it in your business.
How to define a people-first culture?
There are different types of workplace cultures which vary according to the industry and the company's core values. Among them, some are more focused on people than others, like clan culture or adhocracy culture for example (find out more about corporate culture in one of our last articles). So, what does a people-first culture mean? 👀
In this culture the workforce's well-being is one of the business' main priorities. Companies that implement this type of environment are focused on improving their employees working conditions and want to empower them. Workers are seen as the key to success.
Many aspects are taken into account to understand employees’ requirements, enhance their well-being, engagement and their productivity. For instance, some examples of an employee-first culture are:
Creating a positive culture takes time and effort. However, if done correctly, the outcomes of putting your team members first are priceless. This vision has a snowball effect. If happy employees lead to happy customers, there is a high chance that you will also reap the financial benefits for your business. So, let’s dig into this topic and discover the advantages of this approach.
What are the 7 biggest benefits of an employee-centric approach?
1. Provide better work-life balance
Companies that listen to their employees’ needs tend to have better work-life balance. This is mostly thanks to more flexibility, not only hybrid work options but also flexitime opportunities. Knowing that “72% of employees consider work-life balance to be very important when looking for a new job” (source: Ergonomic Trends), this may be an aspect you want to promote.
2. Increase employee engagement
Those with better work-life balance tend to be more grateful and engaged with their collaborators and the company they are working for. Focus on your employees means increasing their engagement, which is a real return on investment for any company.
3. Encourage autonomy and creativity
When you, as an employer, decide to give more autonomy to your team members, you enhance their creativity and ability to think out of the box. This can be a real strength as, first, people are more eager to take responsibility and to be more engaged. Second, you encourage independent thinking and idea generation which can bring a lot of value to your business.
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4. Reduce employee turnover
Companies that are not employee-focused tend to suffer from the Great Resignation more than businesses that care about and focus on their workforce. Employees who are happy with the organisation they work for and enjoy what they dü have fewer reasons to leave.
5. Attract talent
Similar to retaining your workers by putting them first, you can also attract the most promising new talent. Company culture is part of your corporate image. As much as a negative work culture can influence your recruitment process, a positive workplace culture based on people’s needs can attract the best talent.
6. Enhance productivity
Every benefit is mentioned above results in increased productivity. Having a people-first culture improves trust, engagement, work-life balance, communication, autonomy, purpose and much more. A study from Oxford University proves this and found that happy workers are 13% more productive than other employees. A win-win-situation!
7. Improve customer centricity
Prioritising an employee-centric approach doesn’t mean neglecting your customers or partners. Actually, it will create better interactions, even synergy, with them as your team members are happier and more engaged in their tasks and goals. This is the reason why Sharon Swift, CEO of Magazine, set up the easy but powerful equation “Happy employees equal happy customers”.
How improveemployee centricity in your company? 7 steps
1. Analyse your current workplace culture
As for any culture shift or improvement, you first need to observe what the current culture is in your workplace. In order to do so, you should base your analysis on 3 main steps. First, by observing how your employees are working, look at their habits and try to detect their needs. Second, by including them in the process and collecting their feedback. Last, by analysing data from surveys and other digital tools like your desk booking software for example.
2. Set clear employee-centric policies
The best way to ensure your cultural values and beliefs are understood by your workforce is to set and share the employee-centric policies you want to see within the company. Therefore, everybody knows what to expect, how to behave and to work within the company’s boundaries. It also helps develop an employee-centric mindset. A few examples of those guidelines are allowing flexible work, encouraging creativity or providing people with the right tools.
3. Focus on the role of HR teams
Your Human Resources department plays a key role in the development of employee-centricity, from recruitment processes to employee management. Talking about recruitment, do you know that “work-life balance is a unique selling point for 47% of job seekers”? (source: TeamStage) Consequently, communicating with your HR team about the importance of a people-centric approach and developing effective measures is crucial.
4. Foster employee-focused leadership
Also, leaders are at the centre of creating an employee-centric organisational structure. 60% of workers blame their manager for the lack of work-life balance (source: TeamStage). Therefore, encouraging an employee-first leadership style is one of the core aspects to focus on. This means active listening, observing and encouraging creativity, autonomy, empowerment, positive group cohesion, work-life balance, team interactions, etc.
5. Enhance employee centricity
Setting up your people-based environment is going to help you enhance employee centricity. However, there are many other ways to improve this. Try to create a room where people can meet to encourage a community spirit. Rewarding your team members individually or communally also plays a key role in shaping your company model around your people.
6. Provide more work flexibility
Flexibility in the workplace is a core pillar of the future of work, and being more people-focused leads in this direction. When enhancing the well-being of your workforce, there is a high chance flexible working arrangements are among the main changes you want to implement. This can mean a working model based on a hybrid concept or the opportunity to adjust their timetable according to their needs, for example.
7. Improve constantly
As your business evolves, your employees’ needs might too. You should always try to find out how to provide your workforce with the best working environment and conditions. For this, you can regularly send survey forms to your teams, do regular exchange meetings and so on. Not every week, let’s be honest, that would be too much and just bother everybody! Simply keep take their needs, requirements and opinions into consideration.
In a nutshell, creating a people-first culture has many positive outcomes that may make your business more successful. This is largely thanks to an increase in productivity, engagement, and work-life balance along with the well-being of your workforce. These are all aspects leading to corporate improvement and profitable results. deskbird supports all companies encouraging an employee-centric approach by providing them with a tool that makes everyone’s life easier. With our app, employees can reserve their desk or meeting rooms at any time and from anywhere. As an employer, you can analyse the data collected on the app to improve your workspace management and detect your workers’ needs. Get in touch and request a free demo to know more about our desk booking software!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.