- What exactly is an employee-centric culture?
- The Advantages of an Employee-Centric Culture
- How to Develop an Employee-Centric Culture
Employee-centric cultures benefit organizations in a variety of ways, from increased productivity and retention to better customer service
Employee satisfaction can contribute to a company’s success. Employee-centric culture can influence workforce contentment by prioritizing needs and desires. Learning how to incorporate employee-centric culture into an organization can help you and your coworkers interact more effectively.
Many employees say they are disengaged at work. They may be only interested in getting a paycheck and may even dislike working for the company(possibly due to negative practices prevalent in the company such as workplace manipulation). This arises the need for employee-centric culture in the business organization.
Let’s look at the definition and benefits of an employee-centric culture, as well as how to develop one in your organization.
What exactly is an employee-centric culture?
An organization with an employee-centric culture encourages open communication, feedback, psychological safety, and innovation. The workforce is elevated to the top of the priority list.
When employees believe their organization is looking out for their best interests, it contributes to a positive employee experience, resulting in an engaged, happy, and productive workforce.
Everyone can freely express their ideas and suggestions in this work environment without fear of being penalized or facing consequences.
A company is made up of its employees. So encouraging them to be creative and innovative is critical to the success of your company.
The Advantages of an Employee-Centric Culture
Building an employee-centric culture has numerous advantages for the company:
Employees who are engaged and productive
When employees have positive relationships with their direct supervisors and believe that their employer cares about them, employee engagement increases. Employee experiences include having a good rapport with their managers, having the right tools to do their jobs, and having the authority and freedom to make work decisions, all of which are key components of an employee-centric company.
It all boils down to employees’ desire to be valued, respected, and recognized for their efforts. Employees feel empowered and motivated to work harder when they feel accepted and at ease in their jobs. They can be their true selves at work.
Employees who are highly engaged are more productive and committed to the organizations for which they work. Furthermore, engagement leads to productivity, which benefits the bottom line.
According to a Salesforce study, feeling included, listened to, and supported at work has an impact on employee productivity and satisfaction.
Employee turnover has been reduced.
A pleasant work environment in which employees are prioritized results in a positive employee experience. Employees who are happy and engaged are more likely to stay with their companies for a longer period of time.
On the contrary, a negative experience may cause an employee to leave the organization abruptly, even if they do not have another job. These reactions are caused by unfavorable circumstances such as a lack of flexibility or the perception of being underpaid.
In the midst of the Great Resignation and growing global skill shortages, organizations must adopt an employee-centric culture in order to retain exceptional employees who support business strategy while also lowering recruitment costs.
Customers who are happier
When HR and leadership teams create an employee-centric culture at the workplace that engages employees to do a good job – with fair pay, the right workload balance, and a strong company culture – they instill in their employees a positive attitude toward work.
That positive attitude pervades their customer relationships, resulting in happy and satisfied customers.
Customers who are satisfied are more likely to be loyal, to recommend your products and services to their friends and family, and to provide more feedback to help you improve your offerings. Finally, customer satisfaction, loyalty, and promotion lead to repeat purchases, which contribute to increased sales.
Increased revenue and ROI
Willis Towers Watson discovered a compelling and predictive relationship between employee experience and the company’s superior financial performance in a study.
According to the study, high-performing companies place a strong emphasis on how their employees feel about their organization, including being inspired by the company’s mission and purpose, being able to achieve their career goals, and having a strong trust in upper management.
Other employee experience factors that distinguish high-performing organizations include:
employees’ basic understanding of work objectives, local managers support their employees
and work for the organization via scheduling and internal structures, efficient processes, and workplace flexibility
How to Develop an Employee-Centric Culture
After considering the benefits of employee-centricity, consider how you can implement employee-centric culture values in your organization:
Consider employees to be consumers.
Employees should be viewed as customers by HR leaders. They have needs and desires that must be met, such as the desire to be heard, be fairly compensated, and advance professionally.
We should shift from a process-oriented mindset to consider how we design processes/workplaces to meet these needs.
As a result, we must use design thinking to take a human-centered approach that focuses on creating meaningful employee experiences:
- Understanding employees’ needs and pains first allow you to empathize with them.
- Moving on to the problem definition
- Brainstorming to identify and choose the best human resource ideas and solutions
- Constructing prototypes to see what works and what doesn’t
Here are some companies that have used design thinking to improve the employee experience:
CHRO at IBM Diane Gherson used design thinking to improve the learning and development programs at her company. She explained that they had gone the ‘Netflix’ route. Individuals build their own personalized learning platform with different channels that are tailored to their role and include ‘intelligent recommendations that are constantly updated.’ They are guided in their course selections by a chat advisor as well as ratings from colleagues who have taken the courses. They also implemented Net Promoter Scores to assess the effectiveness of the training.
Zappos: The company wanted to provide a fun and memorable experience for new employees. New employees spend their first month learning about the company’s history, and core values, providing WOW customer service, and forming meaningful bonds within the team through games, activities, and projects. According to Corporate Trainer Stepanie Hudec, the goal is to establish relationships and ensure that new employees feel at ease in their roles.
Improve your employee (digital) experience
People can choose work arrangements that allow them to be most productive as more organizations embrace hybrid or remote work. The management team should invest in digital tools that facilitate remote and hybrid work arrangements.
With this in mind, the digital employee experience (DEX) is becoming a more important part of your overall employee experience: in managing projects and workflows (Trello, Asana, Zapier); collaborating and communicating with team members (Zoom, Microsoft Meetings); and gaining access to HR services such as providing feedback (Officevibe), employee rewards (Fond), and so on.
Consider how it contributes to an excellent digital employee experience, whether you’re getting these tools for the first time or updating your current set:
- Usability and implementation
- Increasing output and efficiency
- Software usage standardization (make sure everyone has access and uses the same tools to communicate with other teams)
- The mechanism for collecting feedback before (software training) and after (usage) to determine if tools were effective or if better tools are available.
- To create an employee-centric digital organization, you must first develop your own digital dexterity.
Furthermore, employee-centric organizations should consider redesigning their physical workplaces to include more meeting and conference rooms in order to increase collaboration when people do come to work.
Request and act on feedback
Speaking of feedback, you must solicit feedback from your employees in order to learn what is and is not working in your organization.
Conducting stay and exit interviews, as well as organizing employee focus groups, are excellent ways to hear what your employees have to say. Inquire about your organization’s employee experience by asking pertinent questions such as:
- How would you describe the employee experience at this organization?
- What employee experience initiatives would you like our organization to implement?
- Do you feel valued by the organization for what you do?
- What could the organization change to improve the employee experience?
- On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = not at all, 5 = very high), how would you rate your employee experience with our organization?
After you’ve analyzed the feedback, it’s time to come up with a game plan on how you’re going to improve things.
Encourage psychological safety.
When soliciting feedback, it is critical that employees feel free to speak up without fear of being punished or humiliated.
You’re creating a psychologically safe environment for your employees to thrive by promoting mutual respect, leading by example with active listening, and encouraging DEIB.
Managers, for example, should inform employees that their responses to employee surveys will be kept confidential. If possible, have a third-party vendor conduct the survey to alleviate people’s concerns about being identified on surveys.
Make a comfortable environment for employees to participate in the conversation. Any allusions to real people should be removed. Your employees should be able to provide and receive feedback in private.
Strengthen your total rewards strategy
Create a total rewards strategy that takes into account and meets the diverse needs of your employees. Determine which elements require your attention.
You should empower employees to understand their worth and compare your offer to industry benchmarks or those offered by competitors when it comes to compensation and monetary incentives.
Alternatively, if your employees are leaving due to a lack of learning and development opportunities, your updated total rewards strategy may emphasize employee development and career progression.
Another possibility is that people resign because they want more work-life balance. Allowing employees to work remotely or with flexible hours allows them to devote more time to their personal lives.
Encourage your employees to advance.
According to a recent survey, 58% of Millennials and 52% of Gen Z believe that having a successful career requires frequent upskilling and reskilling. Employees of all generations who engaged in learning on a regular basis reported feeling more fulfilled, accomplished, and motivated.
It is critical to provide opportunities for your employees to learn and grow.
Implement a variety of L&D initiatives to support this goal, such as peer mentoring, micro-mentoring, formal and informal training, and targeted training.
Of course, this benefits your organization as well. You will retain top talent and help your organization become more agile and resilient in the face of unexpected shocks such as the global pandemic.
Prioritize employee wellbeing
When planning to improve employee well-being, you need to consider multiple aspects of well-being such as:
- physical wellbeing,
- mental wellbeing,
- emotional well-being, and
- financial wellness.
Start with researching initiatives that you can implement to boost employee well-being. Again, it’s essential to first address the most pressing needs of your employees.
To support your employees’ well-being:
- Create workspaces that promote health and wellness. They should be well-lit, have good air quality, minimal noise, and ergonomically-designed furniture and equipment. Create guidelines for creating a healthy workspace at home for your remote and hybrid employees. Provide them with a budget to set up a home office if you can.
- Make sure that your organization’s safety policies adhere to industry standards.
- Offer healthy eating choices in the office cafeteria. Alternatively, you can provide meal vouchers to your remote and hybrid workers.
- Design smoke-free zones and places for physical activities.
- Develop work policies that enhance people’s health and well-being including healthcare benefits and leave policies covering different types of leave. You can also add health perks to your total compensation strategies like gym and fitness club memberships.
Companies will experience reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs, enhanced employee morale, and lower turnover.
Employees who work in a business organization with an employee-centric culture are more committed and engaged. Employees also engage in positive and effective communication and interpersonal relationships both within and outside of the organization. When employees feel valued, they prioritize their customers and ensure their needs are met.
In an employee-centric culture, employees are supported, encouraged, and their ideas are requested and heard when making decisions about business practices, products, or services.
Fostering such a culture requires commitment but will help you build and retain an engaged workforce and customer base.