In my last article, I spoke about how many employers realise the benefits of an engaged workforce and know that they should build a more employee centric culture in their organisation. Yet, some obstacles remain in the pursuit of this culture.
In this article, I will take a brief look at what an employee centric culture is and why it is important when seeking to engage employees. Then, I will give you a practical first step that you can carry out with your team or share with the managers in your organisation.
Over the next few weeks, I will add further practical steps that any team leader, senior manager or business owner can follow to build an employee centric culture.
What is an ‘employee centric culture’?
An employee centric culture is where creativity, ideas, innovation and free flowing communication is encouraged throughout the organisation. Employees feel safe to suggest ideas and challenge assumptions and habits they feel is inhibiting performance and productivity. Employees also feel a connection with their team and organisation and have a strong sense of identity at work. They have a stake and want to care for the business.
All this is possible because in this culture, all ideas, innovations and challenges are received positively. Employees feel respected and valued. They avail of opportunities to develop and grow in the company. They feel critical to the team/organisation’s success and will work diligently to deliver its vision.
Step 1: Know and value the individual
This first step is one to communicate to all line managers in your organisation. They should carry this step out in their teams in order to communicate that each employee is critical to company success and their contributions are welcome.
For the individual employee to feel connected, s/he will need to feel that the organisation knows and values him/her. This activity is best conducted at a team level, by the direct line managers with their team members.
Over the next month, reflect on how well you know and value each member of your team. Consider each team member, how well do you know them personally and professionally. Do you value each one? Do you want the best both in relation to their impact on the team but also what is best for them as an individual?
Examine and reflect on the following questions, considering each team member in turn.
- What strengths do they bring to the team?
Examine each member of the team. What qualities and strengths do they bring? How do they help you achieve your team goal? Why did you hire them?
2. Have I done everything I can to help them succeed?
Are you supportive of their individual development? Have you found ways in everyday work situations to coach them? Have you given feedback regularly and set individual performance goals?
3. What training or resources can I provide for them that will allow them the best chance to succeed?
Has your team member all the resources necessary to complete their role? Do they lack the skills to achieve in their role? Do you know their personal career goals? How does their role align to these? Is there anything that you can do to help them achieve these?
4. Can I move them into a role that will be more suitable for their strengths and abilities?
Or, what projects can you make available to them so they can apply and develop their own particular skills? What will help them feel good about working here? How can I help each person experience a sense of challenge and achievement at work?