February 3, 2022

7 Ways To Build An Effective Employee-First Culture

By: sanjay sathe

Companies sometimes believe their best assets are represented by their brands, real estate portfolio, technology, or by a wealth of data on each customer. In reality, the best asset of every company is represented by its employees. Read this blog for insights on how to build and maintain an employee-first culture at your organization.

7 Ways To Build An Effective Employee-First Culture

Many experts and executives of multinational organizations believe that your business will automatically grow if your employees are happy. Prioritizing employees doesn’t only mean giving out extra performance oriented bonuses or encouraging the sharing of anonymous feedback. It means thoughtfully listening to their opinions and taking action, when appropriate. Employee-first culture recognizes that employees are humans with professional and personal lives. This Deloitte study shows companies managing their employee culture properly generate up to 516% higher profits. That’s a persuasive figure. 

Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits employers enjoy from creating an employee-first culture:

  • Attraction of top-tier talent
  • Increases in employee engagement
  • Boosts employee retention
  • Enhances team morale and motivation
  • Creates positive PR opportunities

Now that we know the major benefits of creating an employee-first culture, let’s discuss how you can build an employee-first culture within your company. Some of these points may look familiar. We all have a tendency now and then to gloss over important information. That said, it’s worth stating them, if only to reinforce their importance.

  1. It all starts with the leadership team: Start from the top to build an employee-first culture. Identify the core values of your company that every person in the company can identify and relate with in some fashion. Ensure that the leadership team embraces these values, adopts them, and communicates to every employee how those values will drive the organization towards adopting an employee-first culture.
  2. Encourage employees to share feedback: While the leadership team needs to sign off on any company-wide changes, it’s imperative that all employees are brought into the fold from the start, to share their feedback without hesitation or fear of retaliation. Consider their feedback thoughtfully and use the suggestions to begin improving the company culture.
  3. Recognition for employee contributions: Humans thrive on recognition. Ensure that your organization recognizes the good work of its employees. Praise their efforts openly to encourage everyone to step up and bring forth their A-game to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
  4. Make the onboarding special: Onboarding new employees is crucial for creating a people-first culture. New employees should feel welcome and embraced by fellow employees and the company culture. 
  5. Be mindful of employee experiences: Practice empathy and know about your employees’ contributions, wins, and losses. Understand and dig deep if there are any setbacks and find ways to remove any hurdles. Always be mindful that employees have the tools necessary to get the job done well and how the company will expeditiously help them when they face any sort of challenge. Always show your employees that you care.
  6. Help maintain work-life balance: Be respectful that your employees have a personal life outside of the workplace. Understand their personal difficulties and provide flexibility, when appropriate. Helping employees maintain a good work-life balance shows employees that the company they are working for cares. The company will be rewarded with the benefits we outlined earlier.
  7. Practice transparency and open communication channels: Maintaining transparency in all business operations helps make your employees feel valued. Ensure employees feel involved in larger business decisions, when appropriate. Avoid any disconnect between the leadership team and employees that can breed negativity. Ensure that there is always an open communication channel, and that information flows in both directions.

Employees are one of the most crucial and overlooked pillars of every company. Employees are humans and have simple needs like recognition, fair treatment, feeling heard, a friendly workplace where they are valued, and feeling a sense of pride. After all, 77% of employees believe that culture directly impacts job performance. It’s important to note that this is not a temporary trend that will eventually fade. Start growing your business with the help of an engaged, productive, talented, and loyal team by creating an employee-first culture. 

If you’re a hiring manager, check out SucceedSmart executive search and recruitment software, when you’re ready to start hiring future-ready executives that are ready to help build an employee-first culture to enhance your business’s employee well-being, productivity, and profitability.