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What is Human-Centric Team Culture

To be human-centric is to put your people at the heart of everything you do - always. It's putting the 'human' back into Human Resources

From Resources to Human Resources

How do you get the most out of your people? It's a question on the mind of almost every Team Leader. For so long the answer has been focussed on maximising productivity, setting ambitious goals and boosting motivation with incentives and rewards. But what if the human being responsible for those processes and outcomes is struggling?

A human-centric workplace prioritises the most human of values and needs. It embraces communication, encourages feedback, inspires innovation and proritises creating a psychologically safe environment that allows everyone to thrive. Fundamentally the workforce becomes the top priority.

So what is human-centric team culture and how can you make it your competitive advantage in 2023?

At its core, a Human-Centric Culture is:

  • Human generated
  • Led with intention
  • Charged with empathy -
  • Sustained by connection

Human Generated Culture

Human-centric culture calls for a radical change in organisational and job design. Rather than creating a strategy, working environment and culture you hope your employees will want to be part of, human-centric team culture takes each and every employee on a collaborative journey and together you create a working environment everyone wants to be part of.

Intentional Leadership

From a leadership perspective, Team Leaders need to change their focus from 'How can I train people to become high performers and exceed business goals?' To 'How can I look after my people and best support them to become the best version of themselves?' It calls for a consultative, supportive style of management, one where honest, open and empathetic communication and feedback are the norm and where diversity and inclusion are embraced.

Charged with Empathy

When looking to understand what constitutes a truly human-centric team culture, it's useful to consider Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs. At the bottom of the pyramid are the fundamental things we as humans need to survive such as health, wellbeing and safety. As we move up the pyramid needs evolve to include more empathetic elements such as relationships, opportunities for growth and self-fulfillment.

A human-centric workplace prioritises the most human of values and psychological needs including:

  • Belonging - Employees feel like they are safe to bring their full and unique selves to work without fear of judgement. Inclusivity is embraced.
  • Purpose - Employees thrive when the work they are doing is meaningful and aligns with their own collective passions and values.
  • Psychological Safety - Employees are empowered to speak up, take risks and challenge the status quo without punishment or humiliation.
  • Learning Mindset - Employees see new experiences and challenges in the work environment as an opportunity to learn and develop. They are intrinsically motivated by personal growth and their own commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Healthy Norms - Employees understand the behaviors and attitudes that are supported, and which are simply not acceptable.
  • High Trust - Employees thrive in an environment where they are empowered and supported to make the right decisions both individually and collectively based on the evolving needs of the team.
  • Empathy & Humility - Employees are sensitive to each other's perspectives, ideas and working styles and can establish meaningful connections with each other wherever they are working from.

Sustained by connection

Human connection is one of those things we never knew we were taking for granted—until the Covid-19 pandemic took it away. Those passing smiles, water cooler conversations and office best friends were all things that helped make your workplace culture. As humans we are social creatures and the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives and work.

In the age of remote work, businesses like yours need to priortise reinstating the human side of work. That starts with intentionally creating opportunities for employees and teams to meaningfully connect wherever they are working from.

It is the journey not the destination

Building a culture that empowers your employees to thrive is an ongoing, collaborative process. There are no pre-designed structures, or handbooks you can simply pick up and follow. It is a dance, an ever evolving partnership that will be continually nurtured over time.

However, when you embrace the idea of empowering your employees and their Team Leaders to shape your culture together, you end up with an authentic culture that represents them and makes them proud ambassadors of your company. This can lead to a multitude of benefits including improved engagement and productivity as well as an enhanced ability to attract and retain talent.

And that is not all, outside of the business you will create a community of purpose driven, more alive human beings who will contribute to their communities outside of work in a more purposeful and meaningful way.

It's a win for your business, a win for society and a win for them. There really is no downside to a human-centric team culture and that is why we think it's so important.

Interested? Get started with this...

Foundation Programme

The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture

The Culture Academy's Foundation Programme, The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture, is a 12-week, cohort based, interactive learning experience.

Your Team Leaders will join a community of like-minded professionals to explore, experiment and grow together into Human-Centric Culture Champions.

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CPD accredited

Dig deeper into the research.

Learn why building a human-centric team culture from within is crucial for your organisation

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66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to performance than the organisation's strategy or operating model.
PwC, Global Culture Survey 2021
“A sense of employee connection is the #1 challenge cited by C-suite survey respondents, with fully 95% acknowledging that their company culture and sense of connection need improvement.”
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“70% of the variance between average, good and great team cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills and talent of the team leader”
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