Crises are of often a trigger to business opportunities, innovation and sometimes to major shifts in the way we define being human, and COVID-19 is no exception. This epidemic forced organizations all over the world to step out of their comfort zone and adopt new strategies to survive in this rapidly changing environment. In doing so, we learned the hard way, that it’s foolish to believe that you can go from point A to point B without any obstacles. Organizations today need to learn to adjust their mindset: instead of thinking about mere survival, they should focus on thriving.
The focus on survival limits one’s imagination, as changes are viewed as emergencies that should be resolved. Organizations expect to go back to their “normal” routine after the storm has passed. However, a thriving mindset orients companies to accept each new reality and rethink norms and assumptions in previously unimaginable ways. The thriving perspective is awareness that disruptions will continue happening. In other words, it views them as a stimulus for progress rather than an obstacle.
For example, while the survival attitude might tell a company that they need to make more profit or lose out in the market, the thriving mentality would figure out how they can innovate to meet those needs without compromising their core mission. These should probably be the biggest contribution of leaders in their work culture.
Organizations can only be successful if they embrace the fact that they are essentially human. This means, as an organization, you should make sure to stay true to your purpose and do what works best for your employees.
Too many corporates are making decisions based solely on business models or best practices, even though the world is ultimately unpredictable. To have a better business outcome, and to stay relevant in an ever-dynamic environment, it’s not enough to think like a machine. You’ll need to look at every topic or problem through the eyes of a human being and be willing to take risks accordingly. The results might not always be predictable, but you’ll grow your customer base and improve profits with every risk you take.
The foundation of any organization that’s considered human at its core lies in the values it lives by. The human emphasis these values bring to the organization is what allows a company to thrive, even as change affects everything else around.
How to start the shift towards a human centric culture:
Integrate work and well-being
Promoting well-being in the workplace not only helps you create an environment that inspires a positive culture but promotes a more productive workforce. It gives people the opportunity to have a healthy lifestyle, and it allows both employees and employers to work towards improving well-being through action-based interventions – well-being cannot be learnt in an awareness session, it can only have impact through regular practice.
Promote lifelong learning not just training
Create meaningful learning opportunities for employees. Giving them the flexibility to learn about topics that interest them can help boost their engagement levels by allowing them to focus on areas that are important to them. Investing in their passions and interests will also increase their performance, because their passion is transferred into the company’s success.
Transform the standard training content into resources to promote skills for organizing, promoting, and manage one’s own mindset, actions, and learning processes. Instead of just pushing knowledge through long hours of live sessions or eLearning, teach people how to learn and then apply it in real-world situations in the flow of work.
According to the World Economic Forum, some of the top skills that we need in the workplace are critical thinking, self-management, resilience, creativity, leadership, and emotional intelligence.
Use Technology to serve humans, not the other way around
This implies creating teams that use technology to promote human-based working methods. Technology makes the most of people’s unique skills by improving collaboration and creating connection. It also enables teams to pursue new, more efficient, and more effective outcomes faster than ever before.
If you want to instill a human-centric company’s culture, promote individual wellbeing, develop lifelong learning skills, and make technology a tool for enhancing the need to belong – these are must-win goals for any business that wants to thrive in this age of change and opportunities.
In 2022, Ivan Palomino and Zuleka Kaysan launched a non-profit platform to promote human centric work cultures – this platform advocates and shares stories of corporates that are people first, inclusive and collective. If your company walks the talk for these values – Join the Simply Human Pledge at https://bit.ly/SimplyHumanPledge