People-Centric Leadership and Its Impact on The Future of Leadership

People-centric leadership has transformed the face of leadership in the ongoing global health crisis.

Most leading organisations across industries have embraced agility and empathy in leveraging employee empowerment, innovation, and cross-functional ways of working.

Conversely, this is a new world for many traditional managers as they are used to managing stable environments wherein the outcome can be easily predicted and controlled.

You cannot control a VUCA environment, but as an organisation, you can prepare to respond fast, seamlessly, and adapt to the changes as they come. Here is where people-centric leadership comes in.

People-centric leadership is a form of leadership that puts employees first and foremost when setting organisational strategic objectives and in decision-making. It seeks to ensure that people understand the vision and purpose of the organisation and how they can contribute to the shared vision and business objectives.

Although many companies have robust strategic visions, development programs, and processes, developing a solid people-centric leadership culture eludes the many.

Developing the right leadership ethos that puts people at the heart of strategy while reflecting the company values and vision takes time, and is central to the future of leadership.

How People-Centric Leadership is Impactful to the Future of Leadership

Research shows that companies which invest in a strong people-centric culture are able to leverage their cultural "capital", especially when navigating tensions as a result of the changing business and leadership context in today’s VUCA world.

 

Attracts and Retains Top Talent

Whereas work cultures are unique and different across organisations, one fact remains the same. The workforce of today is looking for purpose, meaning, and impact.

People are intentionally looking to work in companies where the organisational values align with their own.
 
To win the war for top talent and retain brilliant minds, organisations need leaders who can foster people-centric cultures that will authentically, purposefully, and effectively unite people around a common goal.
 
A recent LinkedIn survey showed that (65%) of the people would prefer lower pay, and (26%) would forego a fancy title than work in a toxic work environment, not in alignment with their values. The survey further showed that (47%) employees cared more about whether companies foster environments where they can be themselves, feel valued, seen, and supported in their purpose.

A strong people-centric leadership culture will provide frameworks fundamental to creating a sustainable alignment of the vision, purpose, and goals of both the workforce and organisation.

 

People-Centric Leadership Embraces Diversity

It is no secret that the future of leadership is diverse. People-centric leadership builds on the fundamental principle of putting people at the heart of everything you do as an organisation.
 
By focusing on the people first and then on the business objectives, organisations demonstrate empathy towards each employee’s individual needs and goals.
 
Empathy is the willingness and foundation of creating an environment that understands, respects, and is receptive to the uniqueness and individuality of the workforce.
 
An environment that promotes a sense of belonging and psychological safety is one where employees feel supported, represented, and valued.

When people can show up as their authentic selves, they are productive, innovative, and loyal. Positively impacting the organisation and communities while reaching their potential creating a win/win situation for all parties involved.

 

Builds Trust

When leading in today’s unprecedented pace of change in the market and technology, prioritizing building relationships and forging alliances rooted in trust is critical to successfully navigating this change.
 
A people-centric leadership culture lays a strong foundation of honestly and transparently communicating goals and strategies around the future and direction of the organisation.
 
When employees understand how their work impacts the overall vision and business objectives, they feel valued, develop ownership, and increase the trust in their leaders and the organisation.
 
With this trust, they are more open to collaborating, sharing information, and finding ways to create synergy to achieve higher levels of engagement across the organisation. This boosts the employee's trust in their capabilities and enables them to expand their capacity.
 
A recent PWC study showed that 50 % of CEOs believe that the lack of trust is the main threat to their organisations. It is time for organisations to think critically and find ways of building trust throughout departments, teams, and the workforce.

 

Maintains a Competitive Advantage

Leading in today’s knowledge era demands a paradigm shift in how organisations manage and lead.
 
The greatest competitive advantage an organisation can have today, is the ability to put people at the heart of their strategy, business objectives, decision-making and know how to leverage the innovation and creativity of the workforce.

This ability is a fundamental skill of the future that will keep organisations

relevant in the current dynamic business environment.
 
For organisations to stay ahead and thrive in this unprecedented pace of change, they must aim to apply a people-centric lens to every key aspect of their organisation and truly make people a priority.
 
The impact of embracing a people-centric leadership approach in organisations is unequivocally tangible.
 
So, whether you are a large corporate, an SME, or a non-profit, do not neglect the long-term detrimental impact a poor leadership culture can have, even if your need to focus on the things over which you have more tangible control might overpower the need to cultivate a sustainable people-centric leadership culture.
 
You do not have to do it alone. We provide insight, tools, and strategies to help you craft a successful and sustainable response to the changing leadership landscape.
 

Natalie Schrogl - Author

Founder & Managing Director, The Interface Leadership

Natalie Schrogl is a sought after leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and creator of "The ARMOUR of Leadership", a template for leadership transformation and a solid guide to crafting a sustainable response to the changing leadership landscape.

www.interface-leadership.com