People Focused Jobs
There has been a noticeable shift recently in the way that companies treat their employees. In the previous business era, a company's Human Resources department was responsible for protecting the company. Whether by enforcing the company policy or hiring, the focus of the department was on the company. More recently, the role has been evolving and is sometimes called Human Capital. The focus has shifted from the company to the individual and is focused on help employees grow personally and professionally, and as a result the company benefits as well. As Forbes put it, the individual now defines the business as opposed to the business defining the individual.
Companies can focus on people by enabling mentorship programs, setting realistic working hours, and building a results oriented work environment, among other things.
What Is a People Focused Job?
A people focused job is just as it sounds – a job that puts its people first. It's important to trust your employees and empower them to do their best work. By giving your people the autonomy and tools they need to improve themselves and be creative, not only do your workers benefit, but your company will benefit as well. There are several ways to create a people-focused work environment:
Allow Remote Work
In the past 5 years, remote work has become extremely popular. Your people no longer need to commute, which can save them several hours per week. Common household chores can be performed asynchronously throughout the day. Many people thoroughly enjoy working from home and many people are more productive when they work remotely. As an employer, you also expand your hiring pool and gain access to many more talented people who may live in a different region.
Focus on Results Rather Than Hours
By focusing on a results oriented work environment, you enable your people to to perform better while focusing less on the number of hours they spend at their desks. Adopting a results oriented environment means that people aren't "playing the game", rather they are focused on what matters and producing tangible output. As a benefit, people are given more autonomy and are able to work less if they are performing well at their job. The ROWE method is proven to improve company performance and employee happiness and health while also keeping employees more engaged and reducing turnover.
Allow Flexible Working Hours
For many people working less can improve productivity and output. This is possible by adopting a 4 day work week or hiring for flexible job positions. Whether you instate shorter working hours throughout the whole company or on a case-by-case basis, you give your people more time to rest and be more focused at work. In some cases, you can make jobs available to those who might not otherwise apply such as new parents or those with a chronic illness.
Focus on Helping Your People Grow
By helping your employees grow personally and professionally, you can help improve their performance at work but you also benefit their lives and the community. It's a win-win! Offer mentorship programs at your company, provide allowances for exercise clubs and gym memberships, and provide a professional development allowance for conferences tickets and books to help your people be their best selves. They will be happier for it, do better work, and stick around longer.
Benefits of Putting People First
Besides the benefits mentioned above, creating a people-focused company can improve your company's financial performance as well. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, "For the third year in a row, the largest percentage of respondents have indicated that respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was a very important contributor to their job satisfaction." Additionally, "flexibility to balance work and life issues" was the second most common reason one might leave a job listed only behind compensation. With the average cost of hiring a new employee being $4,129, retaining your existing employees is extremely important. And this doesn't even touch on the immeasurable benefits of building a close-knit community-oriented business where people love to work.
It is also helpful to focus less on the number of hours worked and more on productivity and output. The Results Oriented Work Environment, for example, is an excellent way to put people first. ROWE enables every employee at a company so that each person is 100% accountable and 100% autonomous with their work. Everything is measured and there is no such thing as tardiness, only a lack of performance. Instead of hours worked being measured, only productivity and performance is measured. Companies that have adopted this management model have seen increased productivity, improved service quality, and improved employee engagement.
While it may not seem intuitive and may seem daunting, by investing in your people, you are investing in your business. It's important to trust the people you work with and give your team members the autonomy they need to excel. By helping people grow both personally and professionally, you will see a return on your investment in the growth of your business.