Creating An Employee-Centric Company Culture Will Not Be The Death Of Your Business

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Does your company fear giving power to its employees? Here are some of the benefits of granting them freedom to drive the company.

Three out of four employees are disengaged at work. Meaning that they are just getting by in order to collect a paycheck or they just absolutely hate working for their company.

Though the statistic may sound surreal, is it really that hard to believe?

If you go around a large enterprise that has an old-school, bureaucratic system set in place, would you expect a larger number of the employees to be satisfied with their position?

What's worse is that some of the better performing employees are disengaged at work; causing them to burn-out or look for positions at other companies.

Related Article: Your Most Valued Employees Are Unengaged: What Do You Do?

Disengaged employee bored at work

A Solution to Disengagement

As we are well-immersed in the era of the quantifiable employee in which employees can now be measured and improved, human resources departments are looking into platforms that provide people analytics in order to engage their best employees.

This reinvention of human resources departments asks that we stop trying to cut the fat and getting rid of low performers or dissatisfied employees, but for companies to start doing research on employees in order for them to continually be engaged at their office.

In order for a company to start seeing where their disengagement problems lie, they must look at three things:

  • Current turnover rates at their office
  • Overall employee engagement levels
  • If their employees have the ability to grow within their role

Turnover rate typically goes hand in hand with engagement level and job satisfaction. This correlation proves that there is a big return on investment for engaged employees; that has gone unnoticed for way too long.

Only now are companies starting to see the benefits of a great company culture, what it brings to an office and how it affects employee happiness. The solution to creating an employee-centric office is simply finding out weaknesses, addressing them and coming up with solutions. It is easier said than done, that's why it is beneficial to make sure that employees have a voice during the analyzation part of it.

Management and HR departments should not have to have that much of a say in the matter; in fact, they should just be managing the initiatives and responding to any requests.

This completely goes against the usual "management is always right" approach, and it may sound radical, but companies promoting this kind of creative autonomy are the ones that are considered progressive and forward-thinking.

Related Article: Why Company Culture Matters More to Employee Than Pay

happy coworkers enjoying pizza

How To Create An Employee-Centric Workplace

If you measure your overall engagement, you need to have an action plan set up to create an employee-centric work environment. The first step is to analyze all employee engagement metrics that were measured.

When you start seeing common patterns and issues across the departments, you should come up with a strategy. Being proactive and taking care a lot of issues right off the bat will allow employees to see that management cares.

Sometimes, you don't even need a tool or suggestion box to know that there are obvious flaws within a workplace. Whether it is some kind of  tool, process, work flow or project that can be improved upon, you should look back at some of the best practices within other organizations and see if it is a good fit within yours. Creating an employee-centric workplace does not have to be complex, however, it should be based off data-driven observations and assumptions.

A company can improve by simply listening, taking action, and letting their employees be people. Something as simple as giving employees the autonomy to make their own decisions and come up with their own projects will go a long way. If an employee is given complete autonomy at work, meaning to work without having to worry about management's policies and approval, allows for work to get done in a creative fashion. Who knows what kind of workflows and unique concepts employees will bring to the table if they are given the ability to run their own ship.

Human Resources Is Changing

The future of human resources is looking bright. Companies are becoming more data-driven, tech-friendly, and decisions are being based off employee feedback, as opposed to management calling all the shots.

Companies now have a lot of data that proves that employees are more productive than ever, however, they are investing on engagement for the mere fact that stress, burnout, and turnover are worse than ever.

So much so, that the Center for Disease Control has employee stress written as one of its potential long-term "killers," as it kills productivity and lowers life expectancy. At the end of the day, it will be the leader's decision to make, but a company needs to start finding its weak points and addressing them, or it will not succeed in the long-term. Especially with the current type of employee out in the job market.

Do You See Future Offices Being More Employee-Centric?

If you'd like to know more in terms of what type of data to be collecting and reviewing for employee engagement, check out the science behind employee engagement.

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