With so many people leaving their jobs and looking for new opportunities, it’s more important than ever to be intentional about being a people-centric organization by winning the hearts and minds of your employees. Many are looking for a place where they belong to something bigger than themselves. They are looking to fit work into their life and not the other way around. People want the flexibility to work when they are most focused and productive rather than when they’re distracted by other responsibilities. Your employees may not stay forever, but in the long run, you will have created a place where people want to be, contribute, and thrive. This will lead to an engaged and people-centered culture.
How to Create a Workplace Where Employees Want to Be
Winning the hearts and minds of your employees can help create a great workplace. The Centricity team developed this list to help you engage with employees and begin creating a more people-oriented culture.
1. Treat them well from the get-go
Deliver great experiences from the beginning. Treat your people well from the moment they have their first interview. Better yet, wow them the very first time they learn about your company. Tell your story and explain your organization’s vision and strategy in a way that inspires and motivates others.
2. Onboard like a champ
Don’t forget to onboard every employee thoroughly and invest in their development right from the start. Make sure you introduce them to colleagues throughout the organization. Have a welcome breakfast or, if they’re remote, send them a box of company branded swag in advance of their first day and a note expressing how excited you are to have them join the team.
3. Foster connections
Look for ways to create connections among everyone on the team. Creating a great workplace means making people feel connected. This leads to being more collaborative, building stronger relationships, and proactively sharing knowledge. Feeling connected can manifest through people, projects, or with company values and purpose. The more connected your people are, the more efficient your workplace will be. Connections are what bring teams closer together and make for a healthier company culture.
4. Put your employees front and center
Always ask yourself, “What is in it for our people? How will this make them feel? What will this message have them doing, thinking, and feeling?” Be empathetic.
5. Set clear expectations and listen for theirs
Your people want to know clearly and specifically what is expected of them. Be crystal clear with people about goals, responsibilities, available resources, and timelines. Ask them what they are expecting and listen carefully to them. Managers, check in on a regular basis to see that you are still aligned. Ask them if there’s anything you can do or provide to help them meet expectations.
6. Listen up buttercup (actively listen)
Everyone wants to be heard. Make sure you have multiple ways to listen to your people. Listen to the questions they are asking and make sure you completely understand what they are saying. Ask questions for clarification and validate that you have heard them correctly.
7. Communicate effectively
Communication barriers are costly, resulting in low productivity, unmet expectations, misunderstandings, and disruptions. Talk with your people, not at them. Take action or be open about why you aren’t taking action. Regularly reinforce important information and check for clarity across various employee levels. People need to hear a message at least seven times before it sinks in. Communicate in a variety of ways.
8. Minimize ambiguity
Are you being clear and concise? Make sure your people have a clear understanding of the value they bring to the organization and how their contributions align with company’s strategy and goals.
9. Leaders set the tone
Have a clear understanding of how your words impact people. While there is no perfect organization, there are ways that leaders can create a great workplace. Your words are capable of inspiring and guiding those around you. This can help you win the hearts and minds of your employees.
10. Keep your promises
Do what you say you’re going to do. Be true to your values and walk the walk. Your people will feel safer, and they’ll respect and trust you.
11. Health and well-being matters
Help your people stay focused on health and well-being by providing opportunities to create healthy habits. Provide programs that support personal wellness goals and needs.
12. Support their growth and development
Take care of your people’s needs and provide personal development opportunities. Help them learn new skills, ways of thinking, and behaviors they need to achieve their goals.
13. Take time to know them
Make time to learn about your employees’ families, their fur babies, hobbies, activities outside of work, and other responsibilities they may have. Properly engaging with your employees can help you build rapport.
14. Include people in problem solving and change
People make change happen. Cross-functional teams can work together to help make your organization a great place to work while benefiting from getting to know new people and hearing fresh perspectives. Putting your people at the center of problems to be solved has them owning solutions and outcomes and feeling like they are contributing value to the organization. Being part of the solutions can foster a sense of belonging.
15. Include your people in innovation efforts
Before employees can be expected to contribute to the innovation process, they must understand what innovation means in the context of the company and why it matters. Whirlpool’s mantra is, “Innovation comes from everyone, everywhere.” An environment that supports creativity can also raise employee engagement.
16. Be flexible
Enable flexible team and work design. People want to work when they are best able to focus and be productive. For some, not offering flexibility could be a deal-breaker.
17. Inspire your teams
Celebrate the wins and learn together from the losses. Giving your people heartfelt recognition will have them feeling appreciated and inspired. Always tie initiatives back to your purpose and review the connection between what employees contribute and the overall purpose and strategy of the organization. Make them feel important and valued.
18. Show gratitude
Showing your people that you appreciate them brings down barriers and builds trust. Recognize them at a group meeting in front of their peers (provided you haven’t learned that they do not like public recognition), send them an e-card of thanks, a gift card or company-branded swag. Give them the tools to show gratitude and support for one another as well.
It’s time for lasting change. If you haven’t already, re-thinking how your organization will genuinely put people first is a win-win. We understand that it’s hard work and can be difficult when you have so many conflicting priorities. However, you can get started by using some of the ideas we’ve shared here. Take one step while you craft or expand the larger plan. Don’t forget, people make change happen. Enlist your employees in helping you to create a more people-focused company. Organizations that put people at the heart of all they do are the ones that will come out ahead. We believe putting people first is the right thing to do.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. One step at a time is all it takes to get you there.” – Emily Dickinson
We are here to help you take that first step.
At Centricity, we’re dedicated to helping businesses elevate their workplace experiences through employee engagement programs that foster deeper connections, enhance performance, and improve the employee experience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our organizational platform that elevates the workforce experience with CentricityOne.