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Bringing More Heart into HR: The People-First Approach

How to Put People First in HR

As we get into the full swing of 2023, now is the ideal time for companies to re-evaluate the relationship they have with their employees, and to consider taking a people-first approach.

The people-first approach in business encourages organizations to prioritize their employees above profits and company goals.

In return, companies often see an increase in employee retention, improved productivity, and a healthier company culture overall.

With that in mind, here are a few ways HR can play a role in adopting or strengthening a company’s people-first approach.

Improve the Employee Experience with Clear Company Values

One of the biggest impacts HR can make is to emphasize the company’s values at every stage of the employee experience, particularly during hiring, onboarding and induction.

According to one study, 72% of employees who felt aligned with a company’s values reported a higher sense of accomplishment from their work.

Having a clear vision of what the company stands for and why fosters a sense of connection and meaning between employees and their workplace. This, in turn, helps employees feel more valued as active contributors to the company, rather than as another “cog in the machine”.

Clearly stated company values are also the foundation of the company’s identity and culture, and can improve:

  • The quality of customer service
  • Employee retention and engagement
  • Ability to hire top talent

Advocate for Greater Employee Autonomy

One of the conversations going on in the remote and hybrid business world right now is whether or not these work models should come with more or less employee autonomy.

Many companies choose to implement the use of productivity monitoring tools, which can help employees stay on track rather than getting distracted. However, these tools can also make an employee feel as if their privacy has been violated and their character called into question.

On the other hand, employees who are given more control over their work lives are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their job, according to the Harvard Business Review.

HR can advocate for greater employee autonomy by playing a role in strengthening the sense of trust between employer and employee by prioritizing items such as cascading communications, professional development and training opportunities.

Communicate the Reasons Behind Company-Wide Changes

Closely related to advocating for greater employee autonomy is placing a priority on open communication from the top-down within an organization.

Respecting employees enough to inform them of major changes goes a long way towards building and maintaining trust.

Communicating major policy changes is a good start, but explaining why the changes are being made and what the company hopes to gain from them will help your employees feel included.

If you want to take it a step further, ask for employee feedback before, during, and after implementing a major change so you can gauge the impact on your workforce. A minor increase to your bottom line may not be worth it if it makes the lives of your employees more difficult.

Give Back

Finally, HR can lead by example and encourage a greater involvement in the community.

According to one statistic, 71% of employees put great value on a company culture that supports and encourages charity and volunteering.

There are numerous ways that a business can increase community engagement, including:

  • Providing opportunities for underserved communities, such as internships, paid-training programs, or student loan repayment assistance for qualified employees
  • Matching employee donations to charities
  • Hosting company-wide service days and events
  • Sponsoring charities that match the company’s values

Companies can even offer paid time off for employees to volunteer with a charity or special interest of their choosing.

Learn More About the People-First Approach With CuraHR

At Cura HR, we wholeheartedly believe in putting people first. Taking steps to let your employees know that they are valued and cared for can have massive company-wide impacts, and can noticeably improve everything from customer service and revenue generation to talent acquisition and employee retention.

Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help you put your people first.

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