The industrial revolution changed the nature of work. A worker who used to build a chair from scratch was put in an assembly line to perform the same task again and again. This approach shaped how businesses viewed workers for years. Employees became part of the machine, a cog that kept the whole thing running. Leaders used production numbers to evaluate productivity and didn’t focus on the humans that were doing the work. This approach has left the modern worker feeling forgotten, abused, and neglected, as if they are a piece of machinery to be switched out when it no longer works.
A people-centric management approach focuses on people, who they are, their purpose, and why they do what they do. A leader who fosters this mentality seeks to empower employees, help them develop personally, and feel fulfillment and pride in their work. A leader who does this encourages open communication, personal development, and recognition. They don’t demand more from their employees. Instead, they inspire their employees to be more.
Creating a people-centric culture can be tricky. It’s difficult to undo the thought patterns, biases, and habits of the past, but it is possible. It starts by focusing on personal development skills, such as:
- Self-awareness: Psychologist Daniel Goleman, in his book Emotional Intelligence, said: “[Self-awareness] is knowing one’s internal states, preferences, resources, and intuitions.” If you are self-aware, you know how your emotional state affects your thoughts, judgments, and actions. Once you understand this, you are better able to govern yourself, grow personally, and overcome bad habits and behaviors.
- Self- Management: How you use your time, your resources, and your talents are all skills of self-management. People who learn to manage the resources they have will naturally succeed and grow. Instead of trying to find ways to gauge employee productivity and efficiency, a people-centric approach focuses on teaching skills of self-management, so they want to succeed.
- Social awareness: Our culture is gradually starting to accept that the biases and prejudices of the past need to change. We are each a product of our own internal bias and judgments. Social awareness skills help people to be open to others viewpoints, evaluate their judgments, and correct biases and prejudices.
- Responsible decision making: As we are growing up, we learn to make responsible decisions by trial and error, and yet we often continue to make bad decisions. A people-centric approach will help inspire your team to evaluate the consequences of their actions and make good choices. Instead of just creating rules for your organization, teach responsible decision-making skills that inspire people to govern themselves appropriately.
It’s time to focus on the people in your organization, as the building members of your business. It’s up to you to help inspire your employees to be their best selves. They should go home and feel a sense of pride in their work. These self-development skills will motivate your employees in all areas of their lives. Your organization will grow in terms of productivity, fulfillment, and engagement. Invest in your most powerful asset, your people, and you’ll reap the rewards.