Creating An Employee-Centric Culture: Why It Matters

Philip Cleave
January 20, 2023
Picture depicting the building blocks behind a better organisational culture

Employees are like the building blocks of an organization. When they’re happy, engaged, dedicated and working hard, they provide the solid foundations for business success.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that when staff are happy, they can be up to 20% more productive in the workplace than their more unhappy counterparts, which is one of the biggest benefits of building an employee centric culture.

So, what does employee centric mean exactly?

‘Employee centric’ definition

When we refer to the term employee centric, we’re essentially talking about a new way of managing staff within a company.

Employee centricity is built on a concept that places staff at the heart of a company’s strategy. It’s also central to the design and formulation of talent management policies.

Under this approach a company’s activities are centered on employee needs. So, instead of just focusing on company outputs such as revenue and customer satisfaction, the corporate culture focuses on the professionals who make those outputs possible. It strives to treat staff well because it recognizes their importance to its ongoing success.

What is an employee-centric culture and why does it matter?

An organization with a staff centric culture is all about encouraging ideas, creativity, free-flowing communications and fresh ways of doing things. An employee centric workplace strives to make staff feel secure in expressing their suggestions and questioning anything in an organization that may be restricting productivity and performance.

Under employee centricity, no one is made to feel afraid about speaking up, for fear that they could get into trouble or lose their job. This matters, because when staff feel that their company is looking out for their best interests, it makes them feel good about working there. And if an organization can combine this with delivering a positive employee experience, this helps to nurture a happier, more engaged and industrious workforce.

Benefits of an employee-centric culture

There are many wider benefits to nurturing an employee centric culture. These include:

Increased productivity

Although we’ve touched on productivity benefits a bit already, it’s worth detailing how an employee-centric culture helps increase this outcome.

Essentially when staff feel more content and valued by their employers, the engagement and commitment they give to their role helps them to become more productive. It’s also worth pointing out that engaged staff are more likely to provide new, innovative suggestions and ideas that can further benefit your business.

Improvements in communication

Giving staff the opportunity and channels to express their thoughts, feelings and concerns is important for any business.

Prioritizing employees’ needs and wants in this way helps encourage them to connect and constructively commit to your organization. This not only helps them to form positive relationships with high level managers, but also motivates them to communicate more effectively with current and prospective customers.

Enhanced staff retention and recruitment

When you place staff at the heart of what you do and prioritize their wellness it can significantly reduce absenteeism and employee turnover rates. In fact, studies have found that organizations who prioritized wellness were able to reduce absenteeism rates by nearly 20%.

Similarly, the culture of an organization is becoming increasingly important in a new recruit’s decision over whether to join that company. Again, studies back this up, with 86% of all job seekers claiming to screen potential employers according to the type of company culture they have. With the majority of these job seekers choosing not to work for a company with a perceived bad reputation where employee needs are not prioritized.

Subsequently, building and maintaining an employee centric approach to your organizational culture can be extremely useful for both retaining and attracting new talent.

Higher revenue and profit

Having an employee centered culture will also help to increase your revenue and profits, thanks to improvements in your productivity and efficiency.

A fully engaged staff member will always perform better and be able to satisfy more customers than a disgruntled employee. In fact, research has shown that companies with engaged workers are 21% more profitable than their less engaged counterparts.

How to create an employee-centric culture

Having read about the many benefits you can gain from building an employee-centric culture, I’m sure many of you will be keen to nurture something similar for yourselves.

Well, here are 4 pointers to think about in helping to create your own employee-centric culture:

Embrace unique perspectives

To help nurture employee centricity, your team members need to speak to each other frequently and openly. Try to facilitate conversations that encourage staff to say what they think, even if this goes against your organization’s standard way of thinking or operating.

When organizations are operating with an employee centric leadership structure, staff are given more autonomy to perform their jobs in the way that they want, if they can demonstrate that they can deliver better results. When this is combined with the freedom to talk openly about any problems they may be experiencing, this can go a long way to making them feel more appreciated.

Nurturing more positive communication helps make your workplace more diverse and welcoming, while a more honest and open culture should make it easier for managers to any resolve conflicts when they arise and keep employees happy.

Focus on professional growth

Every employee likes to feel that they’re developing in their role and contributing to their employer’s bottom line. So, helping staff improve their skills is another great way to create a more employee-centric culture.

Supervisors can help with this by offering constructive criticism about where employees can improve, while staff can also observe how their boss works and where they excel, to help them to improve their own skills.

Recognize quality work

Putting staff first and motivating them also relies on praising them for their work when they do a great job.

Whenever an employee completes a task well, you can show your appreciation by praising them in public and detailing how they helped the company.

Whether it’s via the company intranet or during a team or wider company meeting. Try to establish a way of celebrating successes at work.

Such recognition also encourages employees to congratulate one another on their accomplishments, which can further strengthen teamwork and workplace culture. Team members can get also get inspiration and ideas from what their co-workers are doing, which can help them to perform even better in their own roles.

Ask for and act on employee feedback

Finally, and most importantly, besides giving feedback to staff, it’s just as crucial to get their feedback.

You could try issuing employee surveys that give staff the chance to anonymously answer questions on a range of related topics ranging from their job satisfaction, feelings about work/life balance, and opportunities to progress to questions about your leadership and culture. Handy tip: our HR survey templates help you get up and running quickly.

Whatever topics you decide to survey, once you’ve collected their feedback, it’s important to be able to demonstrate that you’ve listened to your employees’ concerns and have some plans in place for acting on them. If you can do this, you’ll be much better placed to develop a more pleasant and staff-centered environment for everyone.

A win-win for staff and businesses alike

We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and have found some interesting ideas, which you might like to try incorporating into your own business.

Ultimately, moving to a more employee centered culture can provide a win-win situation for both employees and your business alike. This is because when staff are happier and more engaged, they’ll work harder for you, which will make you more productive and help boost your revenue and profits. There’s never been a better time to get started.

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