“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
Employees are the linchpin of companies. They help companies move forward and achieve goals. Gallup’s survey shows that employees need trust, compassion, stability, and hope to succeed. However, according to McKinsey’s survey, 54% of employees quit because they don’t feel valued, 52% because of their managers, and 51% because they don’t feel a sense of belonging at the workplace. At a time when companies are scurrying to find skilled talent, retaining employees, and fulfilling their needs have become critical. To do that, companies need human-centric leaders.
Human-centric leaders possess qualities like empathy and prioritize employee needs over others. They value the team’s contributions, encourage open communication and collaboration with members, and mentor employees to perform their best. Several studies show that companies with human-centric leaders thrived during the difficult days of the pandemic.
As more employees bid adieu to the hustle culture, companies need to rethink the leadership roles and bring human-centricity into it.
How To Become a Human-centric Leader?
Here are a few things companies and leaders can do to become human-centric.
Create a safe and inclusive space for employees
As more companies hire people from different races, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. the onus lies with leaders to build a safe and inclusive workspace.
Several studies have shown that employees thrive in psychologically safe workplaces. In psychologically safe workplaces,
- Employees feel safe taking risks and don’t feel humiliated for sharing their concerns and ideas with others.
- Employees are not punished for committing mistakes or failures.
- Team members are encouraged to innovate and experiment even if the outcome doesn’t guarantee success.
Human-centric leaders play a huge role in creating a safe and inclusive space for employees. They lead by example by displaying vulnerability, accepting mistakes, and showing accountability. They believe in building trust with their team and taking everyone along to achieve shared goals.
Companies found that teams that had regular check-ins and 1:1 interactions with their managers performed better during the pandemic. A human-centric leader understands the importance of communication. They follow an open-door communication policy and encourage team members to communicate with them freely. They conduct regular team meetings and one-on-one interactions with teams to understand their challenges and build connections and trust. Human-centric leaders maintain transparency and regularly share knowledge and ideas with the team members. They ensure that the team understands the management’s goals and leaves no scope for misunderstanding or miscommunication. Leaders can begin by taking time from their routine work to communicate with team members, listen to them, and find ways to solve problems or implement new ideas. They must establish continuous communication to build trust among team members and ensure every member feels included and safe working with others.
Read: Employees leave their managers, not the organization
Coach team members
A human-centric leader understands the power of coaching.
According to a report by MetrixGlobal, coaching can help businesses achieve a 529% return on investment. Coaching improves employee well-being, empowers employees, and facilitates employee development. Since every employee is different, leaders must plan individualized career paths for every team member. They must hold one-on-one coaching programs and customize the goals and outcomes based on the employee’s skill set and growth potential. Leaders must also regularly monitor the employee’s progress and conduct follow-up sessions to help them unlock their potential and grow in their careers. Coaching enables employees to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and use those insights to improve their performance. All leaders are not born coaches. Companies must nurture and train leaders to become efficient coaches.
Also read: Why Does Coaching Need to be a Manager’s Primary Job Function?
Become a connected leader
According to Denise Ruso from SAP, human-centric leaders shift their focus from compliance to building connections. Connected leaders believe in creating human relationships. They are self-aware, empathetic, and unapologetically vulnerable. They nurture their team members to become the best version of themselves. It enables them to build a strong bond with diverse and multi-generational team members. They can guide the team to work collaboratively and become more solution-oriented. Connected leadership doesn’t come to leaders naturally. Leaders must consciously attempt to become more self-aware, separate themselves from personal biases, and develop emotional intelligence.
How To Get Started?
There’s a famous saying that people don’t leave bad jobs. They leave bad managers. To retain top talent, companies must build a psychologically safe workplace that values and recognizes their contributions. Companies must provide their people managers with an opportunity to become human-centric leaders and build better teams.
At Numly, we understand the need for nurturing human-centric leaders and building a thriving business. That’s why we have designed a special 60-day pilot program for leaders. The 60-day pilot program will help leaders:
- Work on improving dialogue with team members and learning skills like active listening and giving them feedback
- Conduct virtual coaching sessions with team members
- Get access to exclusive content and guidance from experts on becoming better leaders
- Network and learn from other people’s managers
Join the program and become a better human-centric manager.