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A survey conducted by Glassdoor shows that 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitments.

Gone are the days where employee engagement and well-being are a nuance on the management and are only the responsibility of the HR department. It is very evident that employees’ productivity, innovation and the general atmosphere of the workplace will be negatively impacted when employees are dissatisfied and uncomfortable.

Happy employees = happy employers = happy customers

Below are two concepts that if applied correctly, would create a genuine and honest company culture that empowers its employees and builds a stronger workforce.


Human-Centered Design (HCD)

HCD is a process that focuses on the people you are planning for and creates a tailor-made solution that fits their needs.

This requires a deeper understanding of the work process as well as emotional and behavioral relations. Rather than giving your employees what you think they need; it is best to understand and know what they really need either through observing their behavior and relationships with their colleagues or by asking them to voice their opinions and concerns.


Energy Leadership (EL)

EL goes hand-in-hand with Human-Centered Design. It is a personal style of leadership that leverages competencies in order to help others shift their energy levels from negative emotions (such as fear, anger, etc.) to positive and more productive ones.

With empathy as their major foundation, EL practitioners focus on shifting their internal energies to deal with challenges and achieve their best, while inspiring others to do the same. When combined with human-centered design, EL creates a holistic environment (physical and emotional) that is perfect for harmonized teamwork, problem-solving and creativity.


Here are three tactical ways you can shift the classic mindset of employers with a people-centric approach, to create a better workplace and avoid any struggles ahead: 


1. Offer choices rather than restrictions
To have someone choose between two options is more empowering than forcing them into one. Such is the case with employees and workplace design. 

One way organizations can create a choice and a human-centered workplace design is by allocating a portion of the office space to offer a more informal and ‘chill’ area. This will empower your employees, and create an environment that fosters productivity, innovation and growth, rather than restricting them to an assigned desk. This additional choice, of either working from a desk or a couch, will give them the satisfaction of choice. 


2. Infuse in the homey element 
Employees spend more time in the workplace rather than their own homes, and it is highly crucial to make them feel comfortable, at ease and not in need of anything. 

Employees would feel more at home by including more human-centered design elements in the workplace that give it this residential overall look and feel. An example of this would be, a small gym or meditation room, where employees can take a break and do what they love. 

By meeting your employees’ needs during the workday, they create more value, appreciation, and respect to your company. Small gestures such as offering better quality coffee and snacks allow the employee to feel comfortable in the workplace and not want to leave during the day to simply to get certain things that are missing. 


3. Practice empathy to enhance energy levels 
While human-centered design can increase employee morale, collaboration and productivity, Energy Leadership (EL) and further enable empathy, observation, and reflection amongst the workforce.

By applying empathetic listening and employing time observing their employees’ behaviors, EL practitioners may shift the overall situation or specific outcomes.

Being empathetic and there for employees in crucial times would immediately create a powerful connection that builds a strong and loyal workforce. Such cases would be if an employee is having a low day, for the manager to show some care by asking about their well-being and if anything at the workplace is bothering them. Some managers may even offer spa packages to their employees or perhaps just give them some time off until they feel better. 


Key Takeaway:
There is a great need to prioritize employee engagement and wellness for your organization to increase productivity and overall well-being of the workplace. Human-Centered Design coupled with Energy Leadership will get that job done for you.

By applying the above 3 tactical ways, you can start creating a more people-centric culture and watch your employee morale and productivity increase.  

Diala Al-Otaibi
Senior Executive

Copywriting & Research


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