To forge ahead to a thriving workplace, it has become increasing necessary to adequately define the “ideal organization” — the human-centered organization.
The human-centered organization is one that exists to fulfill a purpose for its users, customers, and community, and aligns innovations, operations, and activities around those people. These organizations are committed to creating better human experiences (both internally and externally), building diverse, empowered teams, and weaving resilience into the very fabric of the organizational structure.
The human-centered organization is the utopian ideal in the professional leadership landscape. Below are five strategies in beginning to mold businesses to meet the standards of the evolving workplace.
A Focus on Human Outcomes
The human-centered management approach is an evolution of purpose, not just operations. Everything the organization does is focused on driving better experiences for users, customers, the community, and its employees and shareholders — the focus of human outcomes.
Rather than framing objectives, projects, and operations to metrics and logistics, the human-centered approach reverses the role and develops processes and functions to not just fit the user but involve them in the design and delivery of the experience.
The primary hallmark of beginning this journey is to align every aspect of the organization to the needs and objectives of your team, empowering employees, shareholders, and suppliers just as much as users, customers, and the community.
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Leveraging Strength Finders
Utilizing “Strength Finders” helps to build team coordination, morale, and cooperability. The term Strength Finders refer to individuals actively sharing their strengths with teammates to support objectives and understand the dynamic of team operations.
“Each person brings a certain level of strength to the team,” said Amy Potter, Director of North American Sponsorships at BMO Financial Group. “I actively hire against my own strengths and the strengths of existing team members to diversify skills and build a stronger dynamic.”
The team as a complete unit is as unique as the individual teammate, with an expanse of strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Uniting, blending, and focusing these experiences and objectives pivots the unit toward success and, ultimately, the organization.
The Office “Love Language”
Just as the individual pieces of the team create a united workflow, they also cultivate a workplace culture and dynamic.
“As a leader, I used the love language of the office as a reward mechanism,” said Potter. “With thoughtful thank you’s and targeted gift cards, I have a way to commend my team specifically and intentionally.”
The human-centric approach revolutionizes the functions of the workplace, offering ways to recognize and support team members in individualized ways. Understanding the office “love language” allows leadership to better understand the reward mechanisms individual to the team, ultimately allowing for intentional gratitude toward employees.
Professional development, training, and coaching are an integral piece of the professional landscape. “Coaching out” refers to the process of actively allowing your individual team members to grow, personally and professionally, even if this means growing away from the organization to other opportunities.
This practice truly embodies the human-centric approach to leadership, putting employees first and foremost in the development process and providing opportunities for growth even at the cost of employment.
Being straightforward and honest about conversations revolving promotions and growth creates an environment that supports vertical growth of employees on a human-level rather than on the macro professional scale. This ideology breaks away from the original organizational mold and away from traditional mindsets of leading employees.
Providing employees access to insight and information on their hierarchical journey creates a unique trust between team members and leadership and allows authentic discussion of future planning and growth.
Authenticity, Empathy & Accountability
Authenticity that rests on a bed of accountability creates the building blocks of the human-centric organization. Blending the practice of putting employee experience first while upholding company mission and objectives is the foundation of the approach — the balance of this blend altering to team dynamics, but a balance, nonetheless.
Transforming conditions to foster sustainable organizational conditions for human-centered design to scale and ensure continuous growth while pivoting focus to the employee experience rather than primarily operations and metrics. Investing in development opportunities, guiding teams with an empathetic, authentic hand while maintaining accountability, and strategically balancing individual strengths and weakness builds a workplace setting focused on the human experience.
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