Few companies that conversed highly about the “CUSTOMER FIRST” approach had to rethink and reframe it to “PEOPLE FIRST” to fight the COVID-19 challenges. From a choice, it became a necessity. In a literal sense, leaders accepted that taking care of people enduringly takes care of everything else.
It is enormously complex than it reflects on having all employees standing on the organization’s side and supporting the claim that the culture is employee-centric. It will take considerably longer than thought for employees to recognize and believe that it’s in their favor.
Human nature is such that we find it unmanageable to accept changes, be it good or bad. For apparent reasons, when policies and processes disrupt their comfort, they worry about the difficult phase of stepping in. When the developments stated sound in favor, inner voice bothers indicating that there must be some hidden agenda. How do they achieve a level where the employees say that we are part of a great organization that cares?
Few states (source: Builtin) before I express more on this:
- 46% of job seekers indicate business culture as very important when applying to a company.
- 47% of active job seekers indicate company culture as their driving purpose for looking for work.
- 15% of job seekers turned down a job offer because of the company’s culture.
- 24% of Employees are more likely to quit, who don’t like their organization’s culture
We all acknowledge that people and culture are intrinsically linked; they define and can regulate, control, flourish or destroy each other in an inclusive capacity. It’s crucial to realize that defining a culture is probably the easiest; the challenge is getting people RETAIN THE AURA (Accept, Understand, Relate, Appreciate). In my view, here are five approaches that can enable leaders to retain a PEOPLE FIRST culture by consistently investing in the people process and strategy.
- Talk about It, Let People Know: People should know that the system values them. They should know that organization understands and appreciates their uniqueness and will fold and mold to fit in. It is required to let the team know that organizations will never compromise on employees’ growth, wellbeing, and safety. When they know, they co-own, and they make it happen when they co-own.
- Personalize: Culture will always be diverse; still, each should feel that this is so good that I can exist and passionately grow. Don’t hesitate when there is a need to bend a little to adjust to employees’ requirements. The days would not be the same, and a slight exception would not harm. Personalize to the core!
- Stay nimble and Adaptable: Re-set, re-adjust, re-align, and re-design as many times as needed. Organizations should expeditiously transform to stay relevant as per the interest of the time and people.
- Empathize: “I understand your situation” are those magical words that would bring any two closer. Organizations may have best-in-class culture designed, but what if it’s not engaging, empowering, and enabling people. What if organizations are not able to give solutions to individuals’ issues? Stay HUMAN in all your approaches, care to care!
- Monitor and take feedback: What gets measured gets improved. Be a good listener and have a culture that encourages your employees to talk about organizational initiatives openly. Become genuinely interested in knowing the pros and cons, how employees take it, and your culture is attaining the level through processes, values, principles, and people. Ask questions, analyze and act.
Staying committed to providing a good company culture is not easy but doable. The rigmarole will continue to exist and persist; it is all about adjusting the sail at the right time and many times as needed.
It’s never about top-down or down–top models; it is about people, individuals to be more specific. Be extremely clear in what you were, where you are today, and what’s in store for tomorrow.
People would do everything to grow with you; all they need is clarity, support, and a place where they are valued and appreciated for their existence and contribution.
Following the “5 As” model will always help organizations keep the People first culture. ASK, ANALYZE, ADJUST, ALIGN and ACT.
The key is staying relevant and following the ‘Of the people, for the people and by the people” approach. Don’t shy away from saying, “We need you, and we are proud of you,” as, in return, you will get a loyal, engaged performer who is thrilled to be a part of your family.
The more leaders recognize the power of creating people-centric organizations, the more powerful the organization becomes.
A great culture is a space created by organizations where each individual can proudly say, “It’s my space, and it’s beautiful!”
Create one and retain all!