Most professionals spend approximately a third of their lifetimes at work. Therefore, it is safe to say that your work influences your quality of life. Understanding how your workplace culture and environment influence your employees’ job satisfaction, motivation, and sense of fulfilment is crucial, as they help you design the best employee experience.
Assess whether your employees find themselves frustrated, unworthy, and stressed. If yes, focus on creating an environment that will uplift their morale, productivity, and relationships. An organization following an employee-centric culture benefits in several ways- from improved productivity and retention to offering better services to its customers.
Before further ado, let us understand the meaning of employee-centric culture and explore the best ways that help your organization follow such a culture.
A People-Centric Culture: What is it?
A people-centric workplace revolves around its employees and prioritizes their requirements. An organization following the culture welcomes open communication, encourages feedback, offers psychological safety, and inspires innovation.
Salient Features of a People-Centric Culture
If you are following an employee-centric culture, your organization must comprise these three unique elements:
Empathy: The organization genuinely cares for its employees. The top-level authorities of the organization must empathize through self-immersion within the community.
Promote diversity and inclusion: The organization makes every employee feel safe and vital regardless of their socio-economic-cultural background or role. The employees experience complete support and inclusion in all areas of the workplace.
Cultivate trust in leadership: An organization must make a conscious effort to walk the talk. Leaders must keep their promises and align their behaviour with the expectations of others. Often leaders keep the basics and include additional sets of trust-inducing behaviours like accessibility, credibility, confidence, appreciation, dependability, consistency, and openness.
3-proven ways that organizations must adopt when designing an employee-centric culture.
- Create a Psychologically safe environment at work
- Care for employees’ health and well-being
- Empower the employees to grow
1: Create a Psychologically safe environment at work
Amy C. Edmondson of Harvard Business School professor first coined the term in Administrative Science Quarterly in 1999, she defined Psychological safety as the shared belief your team members hold that the team can safely take an interpersonal risk.
Have you ever punished or shamed an employee for making mistakes? Do you often punish employees for disagreeing with the boss or suggesting innovative ideas that never worked out? If all your answers are yes, your workplace environment is not psychologically safe.
Here are some of how you can create a psychologically safe organization.
Welcome curiosity: Focus on building a culture that embraces curiosity. Curiosity promotes a culture of learning and inquiry, despite the risks of uncertainty, discord, and vulnerability. Nurturing a curious culture makes an organization present to the journey, more creative, better communicative, and more agile and adaptive to what might happen when there’s an obstacle.
Promote healthy conflict: Conflict is one of the riskiest personal endeavours. Therefore, organizations must strive to create conditions for the healthiest conflict. When leaders within an organization ask questions in a specific way, your juniors feel respected. Moreover, when you ask questions in a specific way, you debate their ideas rather than judge them for their ideas. Practising so promotes healthy conflict, encouraging all your team members to put forth their ideas that might be invaluable.
2: Care for employees’ health and well-being
Your organization might feel proud for being a good employer. However, even with the best intentions, your company might compromise your employees’ health and well-being. Are you wondering the reason behind it? It’s due to the way you organize their work. Working conditions and demands of working environments are signs of stress for most professionals.
Here are simple ways to care for your employee’s health and well-being.
Identify the possible stress drivers: You can never solve a problem if you fail to understand them. If you are trying your best to reduce stress among your employees, you need to pinpoint how the workplace stresses them.
Some common stress drivers among employees include:
• Boredom and unchallenging tasks
• Long hours of operation
• Poor equipment and work environment
• Job insecurity
• Workplace harassment and discrimination
Encouraging mindfulness in the workplace:
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that makes people aware of their thoughts and feelings and calms the mind and the physiological symptoms of stress.
According to a few studies, mindfulness in the workplace improved productivity by 120% and dropped absenteeism by 85%. Practising mindfulness meditation for ten days reduces aggression by 57% and increases compassion by 23%.
Organizations can conduct meditation workshops and sessions in the workplace, offer them free subscriptions to meditation apps, and subsidize employees to attend mindfulness courses outside the workplace.
3: Empower the employees to grow:
Employee empowerment is an essential tool for organizations. Through this, you can support and enhance employee engagement, offering them the autonomy to make their choices. Research states that 79% of frontline workers believe frequent learning opportunities will help them feel engaged at work.
To empower employees, consider the following strategies.
Set clear expectations: Organization leaders must define the boundaries within which the employees are free to act. When you set clear expectations, you permit your employees to make decisions, ensuring that they match your company goals.
Accepting ideas and inputs: You must involve your employees in decision-making and goal-setting whenever possible. However, if you struggle to involve them in the preliminary processes, you must listen to their ideas and inputs. Besides employee empowerment, it opens up your organization to excellent ideas.
After all, humans like to work in human-centric workplaces. Often business executives want their employees to consider a long-term career at their business. In such a scenario, you must create a workplace environment that fulfils their need for recognition, rewarding teamwork, and personal development.