How can organizations succeed with a “people first” approach?
In the last decade, there has been a change in the way employees view work, especially after the Corona period. They expect work to fit in with their lifestyle, ambitions, values, skills and personality. A positive workplace culture leads to high performance for both the employee and the organization.
In order to increase performance, many businesses are trying to develop a cultural change in their workplace by developing a “people first” approach.
That is, putting people first.
Why is a “people first” approach important to business strategy?
As we know, employees are a critical key to the success of the business. A “people first” approach prioritizes life satisfaction over job satisfaction. Putting people first is not just about allowing them to work remotely but giving them the time off when they need to proactively reduce potential burnout. Happy and healthy employees tend to perform better at work and therefore this approach requires a change in attitude, behavior and basic actions. In practice, this can be expressed by providing supplementary classes, holistic experiences such as yoga and workshops for employees to reduce stress in order to help and improve their mental and physical health.
Proper training for senior managers in the organization can help create a comfortable environment for employees to express their opinions and even share concerns, thus strengthening the employee’s belonging to the company.
What are the important values?
You can see the big companies like Apple, Facebook and Google taking an employee-centric approach. These companies are in growth trends and there is a huge demand to join them due to the conditions of the employees.
People are motivated by factors such as:
A sense of freedom of action
You could advance without limit
Purpose and meaning at work
Support from managers and colleagues
A group of people looking at the sunset
The 9-17 mentality is dead. Today’s employees want to feel a sense of meaning in the actions they perform and that this has an impact.
A change in the relationship between people
These changes were largely due to the corona virus that made us look at things from a different angle. At a time when people felt lonely, the need for person-to-person connection and building relationships with employees is more important than ever.
A “people first” approach also affects customer relationships. Customers are aware of the brands they buy from and prefer to align themselves with companies that reflect positive ethics, empathy and a strong sense of social responsibility.
How can your business benefit from a “people first” approach?
This approach increases engagement, retention, productivity and creativity. For example, when people work flexible hours, they can choose the times when they are more productive, especially if they are dealing with a disability or long-term health condition. Employees who feel engaged and motivated act informally as brand/business ambassadors outside of work.
Flexible working can also reduce absenteeism and staff turnover while increasing responsiveness to market changes as happened with the Corona epidemic.
Bottom line, no matter how technologically developed our world is, companies still need human resources in order to progress and grow and people in the 21st century are looking for meaningful work, opportunities for personal development and flexible working conditions. A people-first approach allows the manager to enjoy both worlds.