10 Ways to Create an Employee-centered Workplace™

An employee-centered workplace™ is one in which all individuals, programs, processes, and systems are focused on helping employees become fully successful. Individuals who feel valued will provide excellent products and service, which will result in the achievement of organizational goals. In such an environment, everyone wins: workers, management, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders.

Management must make a conscious decision to create an environment in which everyone and everything is aligned with employees’ success. Below are ten actions organizations can take to create or enhance a positive workplace that motivates employees to perform their best.

1.  Assess your employees’ level of satisfaction with their supervisors.  For example, consider issues such as whether the supervisor listens to what they say, and how he/she treats employees when they make mistakes.  Take immediate action to correct any deficiencies.

2.  Ensure that every employee sees the organization’s “big picture” and his/her contribution to it.  Employees who feel connected to the organization have a vested interest in its success.

3.  Learn employees’ names and use them often.  As a corollary, learn a little about their families and outside interests.  Ask them about things that are important to them personally on a regular basis.  Be genuine when you ask; people know when you are being disingenuous.

4.  Recognize employees’ contributions to the organization in ways that are meaningful to the individuals involved.  Research shows that the most effective forms of recognition are those that create memories for workers and their families.

5.  Ensure that employees view organizational procedures and decision-making processes as fair.  Research shows that even when employees do not like the outcome of a given decision, they are likely to accept it if they believe the rules that led to that outcome are fair – e.g., transparent, free of bias, and open to employee input.

6.  Ensure that values such as trust and respect are a core part of your organization’s culture. This outcome arises when each employee knows what those values “look like” in terms of his/her behaviors on the job and when leaders exemplify those values every day.

7.  Provide employees with a meaningful voice.  This means they feel that they can offer their opinions freely and safely, even when they disagree with management, and they believe that their views will be taken seriously.

8.  Incorporate appreciative approaches in the workplace.  Seek out things that people do well, and build on those strengths.  Ask questions that have them searching for positive answers instead of negative ones.

9. Ensure that all employees are in the right jobs – i.e., that their talents are appropriate for the work they must do.  Few things are more miserable than doing a job for which one is not a good fit.

10. Hold every manager accountable for helping employees become fully successful.

What are some of the practices your organization uses to create a motivating workplace? I invite you to share your experiences with us.

© Pat Lynch 2009. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “10 Ways to Create an Employee-centered Workplace™”

  1. Stacy Jacobs says:

    Hello, Pat:

    Thanks for this great blog post! There are some great ideas to incorporate in the workplace.

    One question for you! You mentioned “Research shows…” several times throughout your blog. Could you please provide me with the study or article that you found this research? It would be much appreciated for my research!

    Many thanks,
    Stacy Jacobs
    SDJ Consulting Services LLC

  2. Pat Lynch says:

    Hi Stacy,

    There have been lots of studies throughout the years on procedural fairness. I cite two of them in an article I wrote about that topic titled “How to mitigate the effects of economic hardship,” which you may find on the Research News page of my web site at http://www.businessalignmentstrategies.com/research/how-to-mitigate.php. I would be glad to discuss this issue in more detail off-line if you like; just use the “Contact Pat” link on this blog to reach me. I appreciate your interest!


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