A Guest Post by Nikki Beaumont – CEO & Founder of Beaumont People
If you are here reading this, then you are most likely well accustomed to the notions of ‘connected leadership’, ‘human-centric organisations’ and ‘employee experience’.
The driving force behind each of these movements? People. All people. No labels of age, gender, race, level of seniority a considered factor – just people.
Somewhere along the line, society forgot the importance of our fellow human. And although sadly prevalent in all aspects of society, it has been a significant issue within business and leadership. Like most things, the consequences of our naivety (or ignorance) have risen to the surface and shown themselves through low productivity, high absenteeism, difficulty in retaining staff, difficulty in attracting new staff, poor morale laced with little to no trust and ultimately, negative growth.
Thankfully, a large majority of us do learn from our mistakes and in recent years, there has been a significant movement both internationally and within Australia, as companies slowly begin to realise that a new approach to its people must be embraced in order to remain sustainable and competitive.
So how do we move forward and build the foundation of a thriving culture and engagement, focused on the employee experience holistically, considering all the contributors to worker satisfaction, engagement, wellness, and leadership?
By adopting a People First Focus.
What does that mean? It means:
1. Embracing the humanistic side of business starting from the inside with your employees, through to those who you interact with externally such as your customers, suppliers, partners and the communities you operate in.
2. Treating others with kindness and respect regardless of rank, title or authority, and as how you would expect to be treated. Coined ‘The Care Factor’ – interacting from the heart, not always with the head.
3. Embracing a diverse, inclusive and collaborative workplace, where people are encouraged to bring their whole self to work and feel that their employer is supporting them throughout their working life. This is particularly important for women who often are the ones to dip in and out of work and require a flexible and forward-think approach to the structure of the workday and place.
It is without saying (and has been cited endlessly across articles, surveys and reports), that happiness, engagement and fulfilment at work is explicitly tied to individual productivity that impacts team and business priorities. I.e. the bottom line.
You see, the idea is to truly put your people before profit. The irony is, that alongside a thriving culture you will also achieve thriving profits. It’s a win-win!
4. A ‘People First Focus’ needs leaders with both heart and the mind in equal measures. A leader who can regularly express gratitude and recognising contribution and potential of those around them.
By way of example, a workplace centred on transparency, respect, autonomy, trust, compassion and a growth mindset, can be created. With this comes the added benefit of clear and open communication.
This will help you to capture feedback and identify pain points within your business which can then be used to structure the environment and tasks in order to keep people engaged and motivated.
So, the benefits of a People First Focus you ask (if it hasn’t already spoken for itself!)? The rewards are significant.
As SME and Entrepreneur publisher inc.com reported on a study of culture-driven organisations, experienced:
• 26% fewer mistakes
• 22% higher productivity
• 41% lower absenteeism
• 30% stronger customer satisfaction.
Not to mention, happy employees = happy customers. “When your people are happy, your clients are happy–no matter what industry you’re in” says Bob Habeeb, president and CEO of First Hospitality Group.
And the cherry on top! Engaged and inspired employees are more than twice as likely to recommend a company to friends, and the people they recommend are nearly three times as likely to be hired and stay, according to this Harvard Business Review article. So, engagement and inspiration play vitally important roles in attracting and retaining great talent*.
What more could you ask for.
*cited from Inc.com