Leaders know that the workplace is a second home for almost all employees. It is where they spend most of their days and the better part of their years. Some employees take the stress and anxiety from their jobs home, which can cause challenges in their personal lives. A place where a person spends so much time and energy; should be a place of respect, support, and care. There should be an environment of personal and professional growth.

The importance of creating a people-centric organization cannot be stressed enough. Businesses that put their people first have reported a growth in employee productivity as well as increases in profits. In this live broadcast of Let’s Humanize The Workplace, Vivian Acquah, the workplace wellness advocate, discusses the significance of putting people first at a workplace.

Workplace Wellness Definition

When questioned about her definition of workplace wellness, Vivian said:When it comes to workplace wellness, everybody has different needs and values. I see workplace wellness as a holistic way of keeping people sustainable and helping them maintain a balance between their physical, mental, career, social, financial,  and environmental wellbeing.”

In this session of her live broadcast of Let’s Humanize The Workplace, she interviewed two experts: Clare Moore and Mark Williams from People First. Clare is an experienced communications professional, working in Human Resource Management. She has a genuine passion for what she does and is excited to see how technological development can enhance a workplace environment.

Mark, on the other hand, is making tremendous efforts in rehumanizing the workplace. He is working on building enjoyable technology that helps managers improve the well being of their employees. Both Clare and Mark work at People First, a cloud-based HR management platform that helps businesses manage their HR administration by connecting people.

Ingredients For A People-Centric Company

To create a people-centric company, it is of major significance that managers encourage and motivate their employees. At any workplace, there needs to be a balance of power between leaders and their employees. It needs to be acknowledged that both parties bring something valuable to the table and are equally important to the company. Moreover, to encourage workplace wellness, managers can carry out wellness audits to ensure that their employees are taken care of and get the support they need.

As Clare Moore says: “Employers need to keep in touch with their employees and know when they might not be at their best emotionally or physically.” 

Furthermore, people tend to change over time. As they continue to grow, their goals and dreams do so too. Employees should be provided with opportunities that help them grow and achieve their ambitions. Their issues need to be addressed, and their needs should be met.

Mark Williams, when talking about supporting changing needs, says: It is about respecting the different needs that people have and different values while giving them a menu of what they can choose to help work on.

People First Leader

Perhaps one of the essential attributes of a healthy and efficient workplace is a great leader. The question that arises is, what is the definition of a great leader? A noteworthy leader has several qualities. They are someone who employees can go to in their time of need. They are a person that people can trust with their professional as well as personal lives.

Clare Moore states, “A leader is somebody that can motivate and inspire people to work towards a common goal.

A leader needs to be able to take the initiative, always be energized, ensure effective communication throughout the organization, be committed to their cause, and be someone who gets things done.

Not putting people first creates several problems; one of the worst problems is burnout. Employees find themselves emotionally and physically drained by their jobs. Working in a toxic environment causes them to become disengaged. Employees need motivation and recognition to be more productive. Not feeling valued at the workplace has adverse effects on morale and productivity.

Prevent Workplace Burnout

“Not being appreciated, or doing something that is below your values,  being hard on yourself,  being a perfectionist, or being in an environment that you always have to deliver. And never have time to recharge and have no work-life integration; that’s when people start to burn out.” – Vivian Acquah’s take on workplace burnouts.

One way to help employees who are overtaxed is following the NBA’s practice of ‘Load Management.’ As the name suggests, load management refers to one managing their ‘load’ or stress. While for NBA players, it means monitoring their physiological stress, at a workplace, it can be implemented to help employees manage their physical as well as psychological stress. Employees can constantly observe themselves and recognize signs of distress to get the support they need from their employers.

A difficulty that managers may find themselves dealing with often is how to know about the wellness of your employees if they are not sharing with you. As a manager, it is not easy to recognize when an employee might be going through a personal issue if they do not share it with you. You may see signs of pain in the mistakes they make at work or the decrease in their productivity or when they call in sick more often. Vivian Acquah gives a solution to this problem: “We need to have some real conversations so that we can get to know the people we are working with.

Trust In The Workplace

There needs to be an environment of trust in the workplace. Trust is not something that happens instantly. It takes time to build trust in a relationship, whether it is personal or professional.

As Vivian Acquah says, “A must-have ingredient within a company is trust.” To build trust, an employer needs to engage with his people. Employers also need to trust their workers too. “You’ve got to be consistent; you’ve got to be honest. And you’ve got to trust your people to do their job,” says Clare Moore when discussing how trust is a mutual understanding at the workplace.

For a business, a healthy work environment brings a multitude of benefits. When employees feel well, they are doing a job that they love and are allowed to be themselves at work; they will become content, productive, and efficient workers. Talking about the benefits of workplace wellness, Vivian Acquah says, “If your employees are advocating about how good it is at that company, you’ll see that you’ll spend less money on recruiting. To see that the people are staying longer and reflecting well on your clients.

We live in a world where information is vital. It spreads like wildfire. A company that does not show employees that they care is telling the world that they do not care for their employees. Such a company is highly likely to lose its best talents and gain a notorious reputation. “You can have a brand with the biggest name, you can give people salaries, but if people don’t feel like you care for them, they are going to talk,“-said Vivian Acquah discussing the impact of not putting your people first.

The Future Workforce

The next generation of the workforce is mindful of who they chose as their employer. They are aware of the importance of their wellbeing and want to work to live rather than live to work. “Before it was companies who were choosing and they were picky about who they wanted to hire. But now the employees have the choice,” says Vivian Acquah about how tables have turned.

When asked about her thoughts on Simon Sinek’s quote, “Leaders are not responsible for the results. Leaders are responsible for the people who are responsible for the results.

Clare Moore said: “If you nurture your people, they’re going to deliver for you.” This shows that companies need to consider the time and resources they spend on workplace wellness as an investment since it brings results. It leads to happier employees who ensure the satisfaction of customers.

The Place Of Technology

The global technology-led environment has although made people more remote and distanced, and it is all about how we use technology in the first place. Technology ought to be utilized to make things better for people at the workplace, where they feel energized when they leave their workplace and are more connected. Ending the live broadcast on a helpful note, Mark Williams talks about how People First is an organization that helps other companies create an environment of engagement and connectivity through software and technology.

He says, “There’s a lot of things that employees could and should do. It’s just challenging to scale. And that’s why we do software to make sure that if you want to have that kind of culture, then you can scale it relatively easily.”

What kind of actions are you or your company taking to putting people first in the workplace?

Connect via LinkedIn: Clare Moore, Mark Williams & People First or via Twitter: Clare Moore, Mark Williams & People First

Related episode:

Women of Color Secure A Seat At The Table

HostVivian Acquah 
As a Workplace Wellness Advocate, Vivian advises managers on how to keep their team members healthy, happy, and safe by using a holistic approach called workplace wellness. She is also the digital strategist for this live stream production.

This live stream will be broadcasted via LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube & Twitter/Periscope simultaneously. Involve your audience by using live streams! Would you like to know more? 
Feel free to send a 📧 via LinkedIn or info@vivalavive.com

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