The Employee-centered Workplace™ : The Key to Optimizing Business Results

Do you want to optimize your business results? Try focusing on helping your employees become fully successful.

Although many employers insist, “Our employees are our greatest asset,” their actions tell a different story. Too often workers appear to be an afterthought, if not a millstone around management’s neck. Yet organizations cannot optimize their business results unless their employees are fully successful. Consider this question: have you ever seen unhappy workers and delighted customers?

The way to help employees become fully successful is to create an Employee-centered Workplace™, an environment in which every person, process, system, policy, and program is focused on making employees fully successful. When I went to work for FedEx in 1979, one of the first things I learned was founder Fred Smith’s philosophy about how to run the company, which was contained in three simple words: People – Service – Profit. That is, if you take care of your people, they will provide exceptional service, which will result in profit for the company. In the 30+ years since then, I have not seen any evidence that proves him wrong about this point.

As the U.S. economy begins to make its way out of recession, it is critical for organizations to retain their key employees. Yet surveys show that many workers, especially good performers, are ready to “jump ship” at the first opportunity. Why? Many organizations today are employer-centered; some are union-centered (i.e., focused on the union as an organization, not on the workers it represents); others are customer-centered. None of these philosophies are about creating employee success. All of them do a disservice to stakeholders by squandering employee talents and leaving money on the table.

Research and experience indicate that there are four primary areas that collectively determine how employees experience their workplace: (1) supervisors, (2) organizational culture, (3) organizational processes, and (4) rewards and recognition. For additional details about these four areas, including the factors that influence employees’ perceptions of each one, please see our Business Solutions article Revisiting the Employer Performance Scorecard. The good news for employers is that management can influence all or most of the factors in each area. The really great news is that there are a multitude of no- or low-cost practical tools and techniques that will help you transform your workplace into one that supports your employees’ success.

How employee-centered is your workplace? To find out, I invite you to take our brief, complimentary Employee-centered Workplace™ Assessment. Not only will the results indicate how employee friendly your workplace is, the feedback is full of links to free resources for each of the four areas. Contact us with your questions or comments!

Pat Lynch, Ph.D., is President of Business Alignment Strategies, Inc., a consulting firm that helps clients optimize business results by aligning people, programs, and processes with organizational goals. You may contact Pat or call (562) 985-0333.

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