“Great things in business are never done by one person.
They are done by a team of people.”
- Steve Jobs
When you think about your development plan and strategies for your company, where do you look at first? Is it the growth of customers, the expansion of current market, or the increase of annual revenue? Although these are important factors for your business, there is an essential aspect - your people, namely your employees - should be placed on top of your list. This is what we call a people-focused or people-oriented approach in business strategies, which has proven to lead to growing numbers of customers as well as business success.
What does ‘people-focused’ mean and why is it critical to your business success?
A people-focused business is one that cares about their employees and is invested in their success. As a business leader, you build an internal culture that respects, values and empowers all individual employees.
This investment in your people tends to bring a chain of profits to your business - both short and long term. In other words, if your people have a great experience working in your company, your customers will have a great experience, and as a consequence the business will thrive. By simply putting employees first, you improve your internal service quality, increase the retention and productivity of your teams, which in turn, drives customer satisfaction and loyalty, and eventually all of these are translated into profit and revenue for your business.
Still not fully convinced? Check out the studies and findings from Focus on the People and the Numbers Will Come.
How to build a people-focused culture in your business?
Rome was not built in one day. When establishing a people-focused culture, the work starts as early as on your employee’s first day, and the work continues throughout different sections in your operation. Here is some quick guidance for to you to start with:
1. Do you have sufficient communications with your employees?
From their orientation on day 1, your employees should have a clear understanding about their prospective contribution to the company’s overarching goals, and they should feel ownership and connection to their roles and responsibilities in your company. Also remember that in most cases you can never communicate too much while working with a team, especially when it comes to company vision and direction and an emphasis on core values.
2. Do the management and HR team provide a people-focused support to employees?
It is worth emphasizing again that it is about people, not slogans on T-shirts or ping-pong tables set up in the office. People-focused support provided by the company embodies a shared value and investment in your employees, and thinks ahead to long-term plans. It allows your employees to build trust with the company, and gives them the tools they need to boost their productivity. In practice, it can include from self-enrolling for health benefits and offering a professional development budget, to online learning courses.
3. As a boss, do you show your appreciation for your team’s good work?
It makes a huge difference when people feel valued and recognized. If you are too shy to express it with words, be creative and personal to show your recognition! A simple invite for coffee, a hand-written thank you card, or a high-five, are some nice gestures to say “Well done!” to your employees.
To get more inspiration from detailed tips and advice, check out the blog here.
How to lead your team beyond COVID-19 with a people-focused strategy?
Depending on where you are, the current pandemic may have had a different impact on your business and your people. Despite all the negative effects brought by COVID-19, this disruption can be an opportunity for people-focused leaders to start doing things differently through their people-oriented strategy, which is the closest link to success in business beyond the crisis. Here are some tips on how to do it better from the article Preparing or Surviving: The Future of People-Focused Business Strategy:
- Embrace digital integration, in the way you hire, onboard, assess, organize, reward, upskill or address performance.
- Reward competence rather than tenure, competences such as leading in moments of uncertainty, selling and working remotely, innovating more quickly.
- Carefully map out transitions and guide your people through the process, which will accelerate their ability to embrace the future.
- Reconsider your approach in performance and results. It is high time for your business to instill a different mindset while ensuring ongoing, honest communication with your employees. It might be a bit difficult to swallow the fact that hard work is not always equivalent to performance rewards or success.
Finally, let’s learn from a Real life example: Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, a leader who puts his employees’ interests first. According to Branson, he believes that this not only inspires them, but also motivates them to work harder and feel at home as members of the Virgin household. Read the full story here and learn how he achieved success by building a great team with a people-oriented mindset.
Want to improve your business through these tips? You have come to the right place! On Ye!, a number of experts in business are ready to offer you with direct guidance and support. Create your Ye! profile here and start reaching out to the coaches!