A people-oriented culture can make the difference between a successful company and one that is not. The traditional model, where productivity was a result of a strict hierarchical system is gone. And so is the idea of repaying an employee’s loyalty with continued permanent employment. What truly motivates employees and what drives business in the 21st century is a people-oriented culture.

In the words of Shannon William Hurn, an Australian rules footballer and captain of the West Coast Eagles, “culture is what you do when people aren’t looking.” In other words, company culture is defined by the employees’ behavior when they are not under direct supervision and when they act on their value-based instinct.

Creating a company culture involves selecting a series of values that define both the company, itself, as well as the products it stands to represent. As a leader, you will have to encourage those values in your employees’ everyday behaviors.

What Is a People-Oriented Culture?

One element that seems to reappear in many jobs and a requirement for today’s economy is empathy. Empathy allows a person to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, allowing them to understand and anticipate the other’s situation. Many HR leaders already have this skill, whether they know it or not. Other’s in leadership positions, such as product design, can also benefit from some empathy. They can, for instance, anticipate how end-users will react and feel about the new product in their hand.

Anyway, empathy in the workplace is only one step in achieving a people-oriented culture. Two other driving forces are praise and recognition. 59% of employees today see these two elements as almost as motivating as a pay bonus.

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It is for this reason why giving thanks can have such a potential in the workplace. When using it correctly, it can help identify the right behaviors. Giving thanks is feedback, as it tells the employee that they’re on the right track. It can also be used as a sort of icebreaker, making it easier to go past social or emotional barriers. Last but not least, giving and receiving thanks will create trust, both horizontally and vertically.

Last but not least, giving and receiving thanks will create trust, both horizontally and vertically.

A Positive Work Environment

Another element in reaching a people-oriented culture is positivity. Positivity is a great tool for success. On the one hand, it will allow leaders to use the tools mentioned above in case of a business win. While on the other hand, positivity will help a business learn from its mistakes, in case of a loss.

This type of work ethic will inspire employees to do better, experiment more, and feel more encouraged to share their ideas with colleagues and superiors. There is no shame in failure, after all, but there is shame in trying to hide it. And a positive work environment will ensure that this will not happen.

What you should also try bringing into the mix are authenticity and transparency. What it means is to enable communication in the workplace and ensure that everyone (the CEO included) will follow this people-oriented culture.

Recommended: How to Give Top Performers Constructive Feedback

Focusing on the Right Elements Creates a People-Oriented Culture

By focusing on these elements presented here, namely empathy, praise, recognition, and positivity, you will create a company culture that focuses on the staff. And as all of us know, a business is only as good as its employees.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of well-developed company culture, let’s connect: http://meetme.so/GregNichvalodoff or greg@inscapeconsulting.com

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