Keys to a True People-Centric Culture at Work
Experts share their insights on how to create the kind of good work culture that shapes long-term success.
According to the 2023 Workplace Learning Report, 83% of organizations want to build a more “people-centric culture.” More than four in five organizations (81%) have even enlisted their L&D departments to help them with this.
But what does “people-centric” mean? And how are you supposed to go about building a people-centric culture in the first place?
Motivate employees to take the lead
First thing’s first: If you’re going to create a people-centric work culture, you have to understand what kind of culture your people actually want. In the course Organizational Culture, leadership strategist Sara Canaday spells out how to gain this understanding:
“To create a winning culture, you want to begin thinking about how you create the ultimate employee experience,” she explains. “You'll want to serve your internal employees just like you would your external customers. Work to understand their mindsets, interests, their needs, and then figure out how to meet those needs. Developing a new culture means working to better understand the people you wish to hire or have hired, what they like, what makes them tick, what motivates them.”
Start by assessing the current state of your culture. “Get feedback directly from the people who are experiencing it,” Canaday suggests. “Talk to employees at every level in every department. Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, whatever feedback tools will give you an accurate view of your existing culture. Your goal is to find out what's important to your employees.”
Once you know what your employees truly want from your work culture, use their responses to recalibrate your company values.
Keep employees in the driver’s seat, and elevate champions
You can start the process of creating a positive work culture, but ultimately, if you want your values to take root and truly guide cultural practices, they will have to be driven by your employees.
As culture consultant Catherine Mattice explains in Creating a Positive and Healthy Work Environment, “people have to feel valued by their peers and leaders. They have to feel like their ideas are heard, that they are appreciated, and that they are trusted to get their work done. Employees have to feel connected to the mission.”
To help employees connect with the mission, Mattice recommends deputizing “culture champions” within the ranks of your employees to form a culture committee.
“While leaders should lead culture, they surely shouldn’t do it alone,” she explains. “You need some culture champions on your side, and that’s where a culture committee comes in. What does the committee do? Three things: They champion change, they spread positive gossip about the things the committee is working on, and they develop and execute your strategic plan. So they aren't just committee members executing action items, they are cheerleaders for your organization.”
Strive for a consistent work culture
As Canaday says, “Meaningful change isn't going to happen if you don't follow through and back it up. Consistency is mandatory. The values of your new culture need to be part of everything you do, who you hire, how employees are motivated and rewarded, and how supervisors interact with their teams.”
“From employee manuals to HR policies,” she adds, “the tone of every component needs to send the same cohesive message. When you use a well-defined plan that includes consistent communication and practices that support the new culture, you will pave the way for real progress within your organization.”
For more information on how LinkedIn Learning can help you provide your employees with the motivations and resources they need to build a good work culture, click here.