What does it mean to be a people-centric organization in 2020?

Karl R. LaPan, President & CEO, The NIIC
Photo by Shutterstock

Human capital, talent, associates, cast members — whatever you call them — they matter to every organization. People are perhaps the most critical piece of the puzzle. And while many businesspeople know this to be intuitively correct, it can be hard to know where to start.

Let’s take a look at a few tried and true principles exhibited by some of the world’s people-centric organizations and how you can apply them to your business.

Foster, a culture that engages people.

As Peter Drucker famously said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” If workers feel appreciated and valued, they tend to feel more confident in taking on new challenges and demands. How can you involve your team members in important decisions and encourage them to speak up when they think it’s necessary?

The Walt Disney Company sets the bar high with its employee-centric reputation. In a Disney Institute post, the author describes an incident in which Belle went above and beyond:

“What motivates employees to go above and beyond the call of duty to provide this kind of memorable customer experience? It’s not magic, but the method. The theme park team didn’t consult a script or take instructions from their manager. They did what they did because Disney has created a culture where going the extra mile (magical moments, take 5’s) for customers comes naturally.”

If you’ve ever been to a Disney theme park, you probably have experienced this “magic” firsthand. I have.

Re-examine how you define success. 

The most plugged-in leaders today know that while the financial aspect of the business is essential, that’s ultimately not what motivates workers. It’s a sense of common purpose. By identifying and speaking to the core drives of their people, leaders will inspire their teams to assign more significant meaning to their tasks. By being intentional in integrating purpose into your operations, people-centricity will become second nature.

Lean into diversity and inclusiveness.

Most breakthroughs don’t occur when people come from homogenous backgrounds and points of view. On the other hand, a more diverse team – whether gender, ethnicity, cultural or socio-economic backgrounds, education levels, perspectives, backgrounds, or ages – can be a boon to innovation.

Break down internal silos to create opportunities for employees from different backgrounds, experiences, and job functions to collide and collaborate. Encourage employees to share different opinions and celebrate people and teams who are willing to push back on the status quo. This type of cross-pollination of ideas and skills can prove to be a recipe for a more robust and forward-thinking organization.

Applying a people-centric approach to process and products is not an option in 2020. It’s a must to remain relevant in a competitive market. People make a place, so treat them accordingly. In turn, the culture will thrive, innovation will flourish, and your employees will be inspired to make an appreciable difference every day. I know, firsthand, the difference our employees make every day in creating memorable experiences for our clients and guests. They go the extra mile to deliver surprises and delight to advance the NIIC Pinnacle customer experience. We are very fortunate to have such capable and energized people looking out for ways to deliver an exceptional customer experience.



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