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Published on: Employee Recognition

How to build a people-first company?

Although it may sound cliche, you cannot deny that people are a company’s real assets. Therefore, most companies worldwide, both small and large, are trying to move toward making a people-first company.

As the name suggests, such companies keep their people first and believe in creating an appropriate culture that drives productivity, and eventually, profit and growth. When you take care of people, they care for your customers and business. Thus, keeping the interest of your people at the center while decision-making and defining company values will only translate to the success of your business.

Here are the requisites of a people-first company that you can adopt for your business!

👉1. Shift to ‘human’ leadership

To a great extent, the leaders of a company set the workplace’s tone. For instance, leadership statistics say that almost 76% of job-seekers think their current boss is toxic. Another statistic finds that a poor leader loses up to $1 million a year, whereas a good leader can increase the profit by up to 20% in a year!

Qualities of a goof leader

These stats should be enough to cultivate people-centric leaders! For instance, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson spends almost 200 days annually visiting associates at hotels worldwide. He does not limit his visit to a 30-minute closed room meeting.

Instead, he talks to the front desk, kitchen staff, housekeepers in the hotel’s lobby and listens to their concerns, thoughts and opinions. This way, he can instill company values more organically and effectively into the associates and workers. 

This kind of humble leadership boosts productivity and retention and improves customer service.

👉2. Cultivate diversity and inclusion

A diverse workplace indicates that an organization prioritizes its employees. However, diversity does not only apply to gender equality. For instance, a people-first company would hire individuals from different walks of life with diverse cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

People from the LGBTQ and the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color)  communities often find it difficult to get hired. Therefore, reinforcing inclusivity and diversity in the workforce will be a positive approach to building a  people-first company.

A diverse workplace accepts new perspectives, challenges the status quo and encourages the employees to be themselves in the workplace. Statistics show that diverse teams at work are up to 87% better at decision-making.

👉3. Be empathetic

Now that the corporate world is going through a major shift by introducing a hybrid work system, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is challenging. As a leader, you need to handle this situation with more empathy by humanizing the workplace.

You can do it by addressing burnout, ensuring psychological safety and paying attention to your workforce. Empathy in action can create a more  engaged, driven and motivated talent pool at your company.

Businessolver’s 2022 empathy data states that almost 94% of employees who were offered flexible working hours,  found that their company was being empathetic.

👉4. Keep the communication two-way.

No employee wants to work in a company where he or she is not seen or heard! Therefore, if you want your company to be people-first, encourage open lines of communication.. Schedule one-on-one and team meetings to know what your people think. Similarly, try to incorporate them into the decision-making. Companies that practice regular feedback experience a 14.9% less turnover rate.

These offerings will make employees realize that their opinion matters,  while feeling more engaged and valued. Likewise, your company also must have a routine feedback system where not only the managers or leaders, but also their peers can give feedback on their performances.

This will help your employees understand the company values and operational style better. At the same time, they can work on their shortcomings and ensure individual growth.

👉5. Support virtual work culture

Life after the pandemic changed a lot of things, and work-from-home is one of them. Since people are working from home, it allows employers to bond better not only with the workforce but also with their families. For instance, Jim Bankoff, the CEO of Vox Media, joined a zoom call and read stories to the employees’ families.

Companies have begun having regular virtual coffee breaks, and happy hours to be able to bond over a virtual space. They also do not mind if the kids, pets, and other family members make a brief appearance on the screen.

.  Creating these types of virutal, workplace events helps  employees feel  connected to each other and takes care of their mental health.

👉6. Employee wellness

The pandemic  reinforced an important lesson,  do not take your physical and mental health for granted. As a people-first company, you cannot ignore this aspect.

 Your employees wellness plays a vital role in making your company employee-centric. Through such programs, you can reduce the health risk of your employees and improve productivity and boost their morale.

It also solves the problems of higher absenteeism rates at the workplace, eventually benefiting your company.

👉7. Adopt a strong recognition program

If you are striving for  a people-first company, you need to be mindful of people’s happiness and put them first. While there are several strategies to ensure so, one of the easiest and most traditional ways is to acknowledge and reward their efforts!

This is why you need to have a robust employee recognition program. Ovation is a dedicated platform for employee recognition programs that help you build a people-first work culture at your company.

Building a people-first company does not happen overnight. You need to take baby steps to achieve your goal. However, starting with knowing your workforce and their expectations, both professionally and personally, will lead you in the right direction!

We employ strategies like gamification, incentive layer and innovative solutions to empower people and drive growth. Let us help you build a people-first company and enhance your revenue. Contact us today!