How Putting People at the Heart of What You Do Can Transform a Business

Hello, I’m Nicola from The People Mentor and welcome to my Leadership podcasts.

In this series of podcasts, I want to share with you some of the wisdom I’ve gained in over 30 years of managing and leading teams.

One of the many things I’ve learned during that time is that the most successful businesses put their people first. This is more important now than ever, with the times we are living in.

The coronavirus outbreak has left people stressed out, anxious, and fearful for the future. Lives have been lost and so has a ‘normal’ way of life for many people.

It’s a precarious time to be in business, but it’s also an opportunity to say, ‘you know what, the old ways can no longer be counted on, so let’s respond differently.’

For businesses to not only survive this time but to continue to thrive well beyond it, there needs to be a people-first response from leaders.

You will need an engaged, motivated, and hard-working team more than ever to help you get things on track.
The secret to achieving this lies in creating a thriving working environment where people feel trusted, supported, listened to, and appreciated. Do this, and your people will want to go the extra mile.
Here are my tips on how you can make sure that your people are at the heart of what you do, and how this can make a difference to the business.

First, showing employees that they are appreciated is so important. Recognise and reward hard work, introduce things into the workplace like social events (when rules allow, they can be virtual for now) which will build a sense of being a team, and inspire people to rally behind some common values and a mission that’s bigger than them. People have an innate need to belong and to contribute; make them feel they are part of something special and they’ll reward you by getting behind you and going the extra mile.

Part of allowing people to feel like they contribute and understand where they fit into the bigger picture is creating a culture where everyone has a voice and all ideas and opinions are listened to and considered. By encouraging collaboration, the business can benefit from innovative ideas for improvement that could set it on a lucrative new course for the future.

As well as feeling the need to contribute, most employees will want to grow and develop in their role. Actively encouraging them to learn new skills and gain experience will make them feel more confident, more invested in doing well, and also less likely to leave for pastures new. As a leader, this is the perfect time to show employees that you are not only a boss but a mentor who wants to help them build their self-belief and who wants them to succeed. Businesses don’t grow if employees don’t.

To be successful, you need to attract, retain, and develop the best talent, and offering opportunities for personal development, giving constructive feedback, and giving them access to an experienced mentor will help you do just that.

Another extremely important thing to consider when you want to create a thriving workplace where people want to go the extra mile is looking after the health and wellbeing of your employees. This is only going to be more important going forwards after people return to work after the coronavirus.

You might consider introducing or extending flexible working practices to protect your employees and promote a healthy work-life balance. Although remote working took a lot of getting used to for many businesses, remember it was mostly forced on us in a crisis. With proper planning and processes in place, could it be an option that will make the business more agile in the future and make employees happier?

As well as offering more flexibility, now would be a great time to put a well thought out workplace wellbeing strategy in place. Employees are going to be coming back to work feeling anxious and exhausted, so this is really important. Think about introducing things into the workplace that will benefit physical and mental health, like a team walking group or meditation sessions, and make sure that everyone knows about the support that’s available if they’re struggling, as many will be after going through such a difficult time. Send a clear message that you value employees as people, not just as workers.

We are in a unique situation at the moment, where there are certainly plenty of challenges, but also many opportunities for businesses to thrive and grow. But if you want to transform the business, you have to take your employees on the journey with you. When your employees are happy, and they feel listened to, trusted, and supported, the business will flourish.

Leadership can be a minefield, especially at times like this. Knowing how to navigate the workplace and team issues can overwhelm even the most experienced manager.
I know you want a harmonious and supportive workplace where people pull together and are willing to go the extra mile.

You don’t want to feel constant panic and uncertainty when it comes to dealing with employees, especially when right now, they are looking to you for answers.

What you need is a mentor who has been there and got the t-shirt.

Someone you can share your issues and problems with, so you don’t feel alone, and you get some answers that will point you back in the right direction.

I can help.

I’ve spent years mentoring Managers and Leaders throughout their careers.

My only requirement for working together is that you genuinely care about your employees, want harmony and happiness in the workplace and want to make a real difference within your role.
My Leadership Development Mentoring and Coaching package can provide you with that safe place to unburden that will take the pressure off you both at work, and at home. It can help you start to see your teams go the extra mile for you and help the business grow.

If you want to see a real difference in your team and the business both now, and in the future, get in touch for more information on my Mentoring and Coaching package.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast; watch out for more in the Leadership series coming soon.

This is The People Mentor, signing off.

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