A people management specialist explains why being human-centric is key to scaling your startup

- April 7, 2023 3 MIN READ
Human centric Jade Green
People management specialist Jade Green
As a savvy startup founder, the mission is clear: scale the business like a boss. But the secret sauce to achieving that mission lies in attracting and retaining the crème de la crème of talent and maximising their potential to boost profitability.

In today’s cut-throat job market, it’s not enough to offer just a paycheque; we need to prioritise employee engagement, satisfaction, and gasp…show genuine concern for them as human beings.

So, how do we make sure we’re attracting top-tier talent, retaining superstar employees, and unlocking the full potential of our entire team to fuel sustainable growth? The key is to cultivate a Human-Centric culture by meeting the 7 Human Needs of Peak Performing Employees.

1. Wellbeing

As a wise person once said, “health is wealth.” This is true not just for individuals, but also for businesses.

Employees who feel physically and mentally well are more likely to be peak performers, and they’re also more likely to stick around. So, invest in employees’ wellbeing by creating a culture that prioritises their health.

Not only will this help build a positive employer brand, but also keep star employees from burning out and bouncing to the competition.

2. Connection

We all know that work can be tough, but having a friend in the office can make all the difference.

Studies have shown that employees who have a best friend at work are more productive and engaged.

So, don’t be afraid to encourage the team to socialise and connect with one another. After all, humans are social creatures with deep-rooted needs for safety, survival, and social connection – it’s in our DNA!

3. Clarity and Certainty

Confucius once said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

The same goes for work – clear communication and goal-setting are the GPS that employees need to navigate their roles with certainty and confidence.

When employees’ basic need for safety and security is met, they can focus on more fulfilling work and higher-level goals. This leads to greater engagement and productivity, which can help businesses scale to new heights.

4. Significance

Everyone wants to feel like they matter, especially in the workplace.

Employees need to know that their contributions count and that they matter as individuals if we want them to stay engaged. So, take the time to recognize and appreciate our employees.

Remember, what gets recognized gets repeated – so don’t be shy with the high-fives and the “You’re awesome!”s.

5. Challenge

As the saying goes, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

Challenge equals growth, but it’s important to strike a balance. Help employees achieve their full potential by providing opportunities for growth and learning.

This leads to a state of flow and a whopping 500% increase in productivity, as reported by the Flow Research Collective. Plus, who doesn’t love a good challenge?

6. Future Vision

We’ve all been on a team where operations felt like everyone was paddling in different directions with no clear direction towards the goal.

Without a shared vision of the future, there can be mixed messages and unproductive activity resulting from unknowingly working against one another.

To avoid this, develop a unified vision that creates direction and boosts engagement and productivity steaming from dedication rather than pressure from management.

7. Happiness

When employees are happy and engaged, they are more likely to stay with a business, which in turn increases the speed at which the organisation can scale. Happiness is not just a feel-good concept; it’s the greatest hack to unlocking productivity and profitability in the workplace.

If we’re aiming to unleash the full potential of our team, it’s time to put on our detective’s hat and get to know our people on a deeper level.

Dig deep to uncover what makes them tick – what causes their stress, what brings them joy, and the goals they’re working towards. Armed with this knowledge, we can coach and support them not just professionally, but personally too. After all, happy people are productive people both inside and outside of the workplace.

In a nutshell

Building a human-centric culture is not just about slapping the impressive vision, mission and values a marketing agency concocted to impress the customers on the wall.

It’s about walking the walk! You can’t just “fake it ’til you make it” when it comes to culture. Employees can smell inauthenticity from a mile away, and they won’t stick around for long if they feel like they’re just another cog in the machine.

Culture is caught, not taught so it’s all about creating an environment where actions speak louder than words, where the leadership team’s own habits, behaviours and routines model the way you want your team to show up.

It’s about YOU being the ripple effect for the change you want to see in your workplace. 

After all, top performers want to join teams of top performers, so the best time to start building a human-centric culture was before your first hire, and the second-best time is now!

Trust me, investing in the whole human in your human resources will pay dividends for your bottom line and your team’s success.