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.

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

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

Margie Bunting
HR Manager

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

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

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 exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

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