3 steps to create and maintain a people-first culture - Dignify
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3 steps to create and maintain a people-first culture

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - Dignify

Practice servant leadership

Servant leadership is defined by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership as “a non-traditional leadership philosophy, embedded in a set of behaviors and practices that place the primary emphasis on the well-being of those being served.” In other words, servant leadership is people-first leadership. A servant leader makes it their first priority to serve the needs of those around them.

When you adopt a people-first leadership philosophy, everything else falls into place. Understanding your team members and their concerns becomes clear, because you are practicing empathy. People under empathetic leadership are far more innovative, engaged, healthy, and loyal than those who aren’t. How you should support your team becomes clear when you are practicing active listening.

By practicing each of the core tenets of servant leadership, you are paving the way to building a people-first culture in your organization.

Create a world-class employee experience

In the aftermath of the Great Resignation and a quiet quitting trend, creating a world-class employee experience has never been more important. Job seekers are searching out employers that offer the best employee experience possible, meaning those that take a people-first approach in everything they do. Here are some things you can do to create a world-class employee experience and maximize retention:

  • Compensate fairly
  • Offer comprehensive benefits
  • Support a healthy work-life balance
  • Purge toxicity from your culture
  • Provide plentiful opportunities for career development and advancement
  • Have a well-defined mission – show your impact
  • Make your core values clear and live them every day

For many job seekers, some, if not all of these aspects of the employee experience, have become non-negotiable. Putting your people first is all about action, not just words. By implementing direct measures that have a tangible impact on the quality of your employees’ lives, you are showing them, through action, that they are your priority.

Track, monitor, and report

The most important part about building a people-first culture are the people themselves – the only way you will know if your efforts are working is by asking them directly and frequently. Ensure that they have a safe platform to provide their candid feedback on the culture of the company, what they think is going well, and where they want to see improvements.

Anonymous surveys are easy to set up and work wonders for this. Leaders can then use the data they receive to gain real-time insights, address overarching issues, and power their people-first leadership approach with data. Tracked over time, leaders will see trends and realize the impact of various workplace situations on engagement and culture. Even more importantly, they can make informed decisions moving forward.

Creating an employee-first culture comes down to adopting a people-first approach to leadership. Read up on servant leadership and apply its principles in your own leadership style. Take the time to understand what job seekers and employees are looking for in an employer through both research and direct insights. Once you have a plan of action, start moving on it and be sure to keep track of your progress with information and insights from your team.

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