Should You Create a People First Corporate Culture? 6 Steps to Take

6 teammates in a circle to show a people first corporate culture

Does a People First Corporate Culture Make Sense?
Most employees believe that a people first corporate culture makes sense.  Their argument? Employee engagement and employee happiness result in more customer loyalty and more profitable customers.

Should People Really Come First?   Before Customers?  Before Investors?
The short answer – it depends on your business strategy regarding whether you should invest in a people first corporate culture.

Everyone Wants to Work in a Healthy Culture
Regardless of whether you put employees, customers or profits first, every company needs to maintain minimum levels of organizational health to thrive.  And people want to work in a healthy environment.  In general, the health of an organization encompasses the well-being of your employees and their ability to function, adapt, grow and perform.

But, Cultural Health is Just a Ticket to Play the Game
While cultural health has been proven to be necessary for success regardless of industry, it rarely, in and of itself, differentiates the performance of one company from another.  An organization must be healthy enough to be set up for success; but health alone will not set you apart from your peers.

What Does Set a Corporate Culture Apart?
Our organizational alignment research found that workplace culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.  The secret sauce of the high performance was not organizational health, but the level of alignment between the workplace culture (how things get done) and the business strategy (what gets done and why it matters).

What Matters Most?  People, Profits, Products or Customers?
So now that we know the difference between a healthy culture and an aligned culture, should your corporate culture put people first?  It depends upon your strategy and how you want to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

Some Examples

  • Products First: Apple puts products first. Their strategy is to produce the most innovative and desired products.  They do not put their people first; but they are wildly successful.
  • Profits First: Goldman Sachs is famous for putting profits above all else; they are also one of the top firms in their industry.
  • Customers First: Amazon is known for putting customer service first; they now dominate consumer retail.
  • People First: For the sixth year in a row, Google has won Fortune’s 2017 Best Company to Work For award’ they believe that making workers happier really pays off.

Six Steps to Take If a People-First Culture Makes Sense for You
So if you decide that, for your unique business in your specific industry with your desired workforce and overall strategy for success, people really should come first, here are six initial big picture steps to consider:

1.  Reduce Layers of Management
Excessive bureaucracy can wear anyone down. Even engaged and committed employees get discouraged when they have to wade through numerous levels just to have their voices heard or ideas implemented. In a flatter organization, workers feel they have more influence over their job and responsibilities.

This is both engaging and empowering.

2.  Simplify and Minimize Work Policies
Practices that can be easily read and simply understood are a far better guide to desired behaviors than multi-paged tomes. Basically, you want to create a respectful workplace. That should be the expectation.

With that philosophical umbrella, specific policies are simpler to list and define.

3.  Identify and Hire Your Ideal Employees
Know just what attributes you want in your employees and then hire for them. Define the behavioral competencies that you know can help your company succeed and make them a central part of your employee onboarding, career development and performance management processes.

4.  Resolve Conflict Quickly and Fairly and With Empathy
Nip incipient conflict in the bud. The more you maintain an open environment, the less likely conflict is given a chance to grow. Encourage employees to discuss disagreements objectively with the aim of resolution.

Give employees the necessary tools to acknowledge different perspectives and to negotiate fairly.

5.  Establish Personal Relationships for Team Cohesion
When coworkers have a personal as well as a professional relationship, they are much more likely to cooperate and strive for the common goal. Recognize and reward collaboration for the good of the team.

6.  Provide Development Opportunities as Part of an Individualized Career Path
Each employee should have a clear path forward. What are they good at? What do they like to do? What are their ambitions?

Find out the answers to these questions and create, together, a plan that helps the employee learn and grow.

The Bottom Line
Assuming it makes sense for your business strategy, each of these steps takes you further toward a workplace where the employee is first priority. The good news is that we know engaged employees create loyal customers and higher profits.

If you want to learn more about whether a people first corporate culture makes sense, download 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture Strategy

Comments are closed.

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

We partnered with LSA to pilot a customized behavioral interviewing program to help ensure that we continue to hire the best and brightest as we continue to rapidly scale. LSA’s ability to understand our business and our unique culture combined with their desire to ensure that the best practices framework truly fits our performance environment and is highly adopted by our people is a real blessing. Most other firms want to just ‘give you training.’ Not LSA, they are focused on helping me hit our hiring forecasts and attract A players.

Jennifer Remling
Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More