The future of work is not only about technology and modern office layouts, it is also, and mainly, about people. What do you think is the purpose of implementing more and more tech in the workplace? Why are we more focused on workspace design than before? The main reason is to empower workers so 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 to get successful results. In this article, deskbird is sharing with you the benefits of an employee-centric approach and how to implement it in your business.
How to define a people-first culture?
There are very different types of workplace cultures, their choice varies according to the industry and what is the most important for the company. Among them, some are more focusing on people than others, like the clan culture or the adhocracy culture for example (find out more about corporate culture in one of our last articles). What does a people-first culture mean? 👀
It is a kind of working structure where the well-being of the workforce is one of the main priorities of a business. Companies that implement this type of cultural environment are especially focusing on how to improve their employees working conditions and how to empower them. Besides, workers are seen as the key to success.
Many aspects are taken into account in order to understand employees’ requirements and provide them with what will enhance their well-being, their engagement as well as their productivity. For instance, some examples of new ways of working that you can see in a company with an employee-first culture are:
Building the culture you wish to see in your company takes time and effort. However, if done correctly, the positive 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 really high chance that you will also appreciate the value and the financial results of your business. So, let’s dig into this topic and discover the advantages of this concept.
➡️ Do you want to receive monthly updates about the future of work? Subscribe to our newsletter!
What are the 7 biggest benefits of an employee-centric approach?
1. Provide a better work-life balance
Companies that listen to their employees’ needs tend to offer them the opportunity to have a better work-life balance. This is mostly thanks to more work 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
People who are given the chance to enjoy a better work-life balance tend to be more grateful and engaged towards their collaborators and the company they are working for. The choice to focus on your employees, and therefore on increasing their engagement, 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 also decide to unlock and enhance their creativity and ability to think out of the box. This can be a real strength as, first, people are then more eager to take responsibility and to be more engaged. Second, you encourage people to think by themselves and come up with new ideas which can bring a lot of value to your business.
➡️ Discover the deskbird’s latest feature: hybrid scheduling to help your employees manage their timetables!
4. Reduce employee turnover
Companies that are not employee-focused tend to suffer more from the Great Resignation than businesses that care and focus on their workforce. Employees who are happy with the organisation they work for and enjoy what they are doing have fewer reasons to leave.
5. Attract talents
Same as you can retain your workers by putting them first, you can also attract the most promising new talents. 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 bring you the best talents.
6. Enhance productivity
Every single benefit that is mentioned above is resulting in a very important aspect of any organisation: 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 with a positive atmosphere!
7. Improve customer centricity
Prioritising an employee-centric approach doesn’t mean you lose the focus on your customers or partners. Actually, it will create better interactions, even synergies, with them as your team members are happier in addition to being 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 to create more employee centricity in your company? 7 steps
1. Analyse you current culture of the workplace
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 taking the time to scan how your employees are working, look at their habits and try to detect their needs. Second, by including your people in the process and collecting their feedback. Last, by analysing data according to the results of 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 known by your workforce is to set and share the employee-centric policies you want to see within the company. Like this, everybody knows what to expect, how to behave and it is easier for everybody to work within the company’s boundaries. It also helps develop an employee-centered 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, going 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 the stage when it comes to creating an employee-centric organisation structure. 60% of workers blame their manager for the lack of work-life balance (source: TeamStage). Therefore, encouraging an employee's first leadership style is one of the core aspects to focus on. This means at first 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 so many other ways to improve this corporate aspect. Try to create a room that is reducing silos and encourages a community spirit. Rewarding your team members individually or communally also plays a key part in shaping your company model around your people.
6. Provide more work flexibility
Forget about the old working models and welcome the change. Flexibility in the workplace is a core pillar of the future of work, and being more people focused definitely leads into this direction. When aiming at enhancing the well-being of your workforce, there is a high chance flexible working arrangements are among the main changes you want to tackle. 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 in mind to take their needs, requirements and opinions into your equation.
To put it in a nutshell, creating a people-first culture has so many positive outcomes that may really make your business more successful. This is largely thanks to an increase in productivity, engagement, 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.