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Nearly three years after the pandemic hit and the job market turned over its head, companies are still trying to understand the best way to engage and retain their employees. After all, A recent Gallup poll showed that only 20% of all employees were fully engaged at the workplace globally. The same study showed that companies with low engagement have a 37% higher absenteeism rate and lower productivity, costing companies across the globe up to $7.8 trillion annually.
So how can companies fix this? Can we create an atmosphere that makes employees jump out of bed all excited to get to work?
The answer lies in creating an Employee-centric company. What does that entail? Establishing a work culture that enables the organization to run like a well-oiled machine – in other words, allows everything to run smoothly and efficiently.
Let’s see what it takes to create an employee centric culture.
The Employee Centric Business Approach
Tech Giant Google conducted a multiyear research initiative in the early 2010s to understand engagement, productivity, and management across the organization, to help the organization scale.
The initiative ‘Project Oxygen’ focused on analyzing data on the factors contributing to the organization’s most productive, successful employees. The study found that the most influential factors were ‘being a good coach,’ ’empowering the team and not micromanaging,’ and ‘providing Constructive feedback -clean and actionable.’
These findings further highlight that management support and effective delegation can lead to better engagement and performance.
So what exactly is an Employee-Centric Business approach? An approach that prioritizes the needs and well-being of employees by creating a positive environment, offering opportunities for professional and personal development and growth, and aligning the employees with the values and goals of the company.
A company culture developed along the above-mentioned approach breeds engagement and productivity, resulting in increased employee satisfaction, retention, better customer service, and a significantly improved overall business performance.
Why An Employee Centric Culture is Key for Businesses
Most companies, to maximise efficiency, become process and system driven, forgetting THE key element, PEOPLE. We forget that systems need PEOPLE to guide them.
How does an Employee Centric Culture benefit your business? Let’s take a look at some widely realized benefits.
Engagement and Revenue –
When employees feel valued and supported, they are motivated to deliver better than their best. In turn, it leads to more sales, higher revenue, improved customer service, lower turnover, and more profitability and growth.
A survey by Aon Hewitt showed that publicly listed companies with highly engaged employees delivered 3.9x times the earnings/per share (net profit) compared to those with low employee engagement.
A study by the Association for Training and Development found that companies that invest in employee development programs had 218% higher income per employee than those that didn’t. These surveys reiterate that supporting and nurturing employees impacts the organization’s financial success.
Creating a Friendly Workplace –
Employees want to work where they enjoy working. Enjoyment is directly linked to an individual’s mental well-being. So, organizations with a work culture that addresses employees’ psychological and physical well-being will end up retaining employees for the long haul. It requires organizations to allow open communications and inculcate a culture of respect for all and their viewpoints.
A study by Deloitte found that highly engaged employees in the workplace were 87% less likely to leave their company than those who feel undervalued.
A study by Glassdoor also found that 89% of job seekers considered the employer’s reputation when applying for a position. By creating an employee-centric culture, organizations can pave the way for growth opportunities, incentivizing the current employees to stay and attracting top talent from other organizations.
Collaboration and Productivity –
A culture that builds a community creates a sense of sharing and respectful dependency. It helps cultivate teamwork and shared achievements, promoting collaboration and improved productivity.
Harvard Business Review’s survey revealed that organisations with collaborative and positive work environments exhibited a 31% higher productivity rate, 300% higher innovation, and 37% higher sales growth than the more disconnected organisations.
Companies must invest in employee development, networking, and collaboration to create a more productive and innovation-focused environment.
Building an Organisation That is Employee-Centric
Whether transforming to becoming an employee-centric organisation or upping the ante of employee-centric organisation here are a few things to consider, especially in this post-pandemic era:
Flexible work arrangements: this could mean flexible work hours or flexibility in place of work. Post-pandemic work from home is a new reality; employees now expect that flexibility, and companies need to learn to accommodate that.
Promote Work-Life Balance: While deliverables and deadlines rule professional life, organisations need to inculcate practices that encourage employees to maintain their work-life balance. E.g. Canon had in place a norm of ‘all systems shut’ at 6.00 sharp or by instituting a recognition of employees that achieved their goals while maintaining their work-life balance.
Provide resources for employee well-being – new roles and responsibilities can be overwhelming, and the same holds for employees. Having advice and a support system for them, whether tax planning, parenthood or anything else, is a great way to keep them stress-free and focused on work.
Learning and Development Program: Growth and development is a natural ask of each employee. To ensure that your employees’ skills stay relevant; they grow and develop for new roles and responsibilities, or they upskill; a robust L&D program is a must. Every employee will not be a star performer, but to support stars, you need worker bees; hence training and coaching should be implemented across the board but may change in content depending on the audience for more details on this, check out my blog on Employee Training Program.
L&D programs also play a crucial role in helping align employees to the company’s values and goals.
Sharing the Company roadmap
One effective way to do this is to be transparent about the company’s mission and values and involve employees in decision-making. It helps to create a sense of purpose and direction and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal. It helps to build trust and create a sense of ownership among team members and allows for diverse perspectives and ideas to be brought to the table.
An employee centric culture is an essential ingredient for business success. As Richard Branson says, look after your employees, and business will be taken care of. Happy employees result in happy customers and improved business.
Organisations prioritising employees’ well-being and development will create a positive and supportive work environment that fosters engagement, innovation, and collaboration.
While implementing an employee centric culture approach requires effort, thought and continued effort, the long-term benefits are clear. It helps you tap into the collective power of your team and create a business built to thrive. So don’t wait – start prioritising your employees today and watch your business reach new heights of success!