leadership development

Navigating Organizational Success: A Guide to Human-Centered Leadership

Practical steps to implement human-centered leadership using Together's mentorship platform.

Kinjal Dagli

Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Together

Published on 

January 20, 2024

Updated on 

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Navigating organizational success: a guide to human-centered leadership

Leadership is experiencing a phenomenal shift from seeing employees as mere resources to valuing them as contributors with desires, ideas and ambitions. There is a name for that, “human-centered leadership.” The result? Attracting and keeping top talent, increased productivity, employees that are engaged and ultimately a thriving and growing workplace.  

This article will show leaders the importance of human-centered leadership, strategies for implementing it and the positive impact it has on employee satisfaction, productivity and overall organizational growth.

Let’s go!

What is human centered leadership? 

Human-centered leadership is a people-focused leadership that challenges leaders to be attuned to the changing needs of their employees and the organizational goals they must achieve. 

There is a need for companies to create a culture where leaders make meeting the psychological needs of their employees a top priority. This is key to sustaining growth and fostering a thriving community of employees after all, the workplace is made up entirely of humans.

What are the key characteristics of human centered leadership?

We have defined human-centered leadership, here we’ll discuss the key characteristics of this leadership style. 

Sincerity: Human-centered leaders are genuinely concerned about their teams’ personal and professional well-being. They are always looking to create conditions that balance these states of being. 

Empathy: These leaders understand their team are people with different desires, problems and needs, creating an enabling environment for everyone to thrive. 

Active Listening: Building a work culture where employees are confident to approach their leaders and managers for support is crucial. Human-centered leadership provides professional and emotional support for employees to solve potential problems early and nip it in the bud. 

Growth mindset: One of the foremost quality of human-centered leaders is their open-mindedness to learning and growing with their teams. Being open to constant changes, trying new processes, and thinking outside the box helps leaders achieve success faster.

Feedback: Although all leaders should be good communicators, human-centered leaders are particularly adept at communicating. They are willing to provide and accept constructive feedback. They encourage employees to express themselves and let them know their feedback are valuable. 

Michelle Obama is a classical example of a people-centric leader. She genuinely cares about people, communicates, listens and speaks with conviction among other attributes. These are qualities to thrive for as a leader committed to becoming more humane. 

Why is human centered leadership important?

Adam Kingl, an adjunct professor at University College London and author of Next Generation Leadership described human-centered leadership as “bringing humanity back into business.”

The world is changing, employees are no longer accepting being treated as mere resources or talent. They want leaders and managers that deliver organizational value while ensuring the growth and wellbeing of their employees. 

  1. Impact on employee engagement

Employees are more than resources that are expected to work all day long, despite having feelings, desires, opinions etc. When employees are not engaged, they have low job satisfaction and are likely looking for more favorable opportunities.  Employees whose views and contributions are valued are more likely to engage with business objectives, creating a more cohesive workforce. Human-centered leaders help employees engage their initiative, creativity, emotions and ambitions at work, leading to better employee retention.

  1. Builds emotional intelligence

Human-centered leaders have high emotional intelligence which enable them to effectively manage their emotions and those of their employees through stressful times. Emotional intelligence help leaders build strong relationships with their teams members. They understand the strength and weaknesses of their employees and identify the best ways to motivate them. 

Discuss how human-centered leaders adapt to changes and guide their teams through transitions and highlight examples of organizations that have successfully navigated change with a focus on their people.

  1. Encourages adaptive leadership (in practice)

People-oriented leadership leaves space for employees to think creatively and contribute their own ideas. By encouraging creativity and innovation in the organization, businesses can improve how they work and keep ahead of the game.  Leadership is about helping subordinates through crucial changes in their life and career. Flexibility and motivating people to follow your examples by putting their needs ahead of yours. Human-centered leaders adapt to trends and guide their teams through such transitions. 

  1. Promotes workplace well-being

Most people believe leaders are born when they are actually made. By practicing and leading by instruction, leaders are created. There are numerous method to improve your leadership abilities. Human-centered leadership encourages authenticity in the workplace. When employees are open with their personal and professional goals, this fosters a collaborative workplace with a positive work culture ultimately promoting workplace well-being. 

Strategies for promoting/enhancing human centered leadership in organizations 

75% of job resignations are related to direct supervisors, this is according to a Gallup research. Good leaders are excellent managers of people, and go hand in hand with a good organization and ultimately individual and organizational success. 

People must be well in other to put in their best at work. Therefore, leaders need to be open to ensuring their employees are in a good state of mind. In our busy work days it can become difficult to find space for this, especially in fast-paced environments or big teams. An idea to overcome this is to establish check-ins at the beginning of every meeting. Make the first agenda point a quick check in round in which everyone shares how they are feeling at this very moment. Human-centered leadership impacts employee satisfaction and overall organizational success positively. We will discuss some strategies to implement and promote human-centered leadership below.

  1. Build an empathetic culture 

Create a work culture that prioritize the well-being of people. Best believe only healthy and emotionally-present people can contribute impactfully to an organization. It is sometimes difficult to find the space and time, especially in fast-paced environment. An idea is to establish regular checkins that becomes a routine part of your company’s doings. It is up to the leaders to exemplify empathetic attitudes that spread and influence the overall workplace. 

  1. Promote active listening 

As a leader, actively listening to peoples’ concerns is key to making people feel heard and acknowledged. You can relate better with your employees when you know their requirements and desires. The only way to know this is to really listen to their needs and create a culture of respect and inclusion. Employees are more likely to open up and trust leaders when they feel heard and have a voice in decision-making. Successful leaders are receptive to criticism and are ready to listen to their team members no matter the position.

  1. Promote open communication

As a leader, you are better able to connect with employees when you understand their point of view. This is achieved by putting yourself in their position and opening the channel of honest, open communication. Open communication helps you to recognize their thoughts, feelings and emotions. This enables you to establish a meaningful relationship with staff, fostering trust and improving the atmosphere of the workplace.

  1. Encourage collaboration

Leadership centered on human connection recognizes the need of people to belong and be valued. Human relationships have trust at its heart and is based on the idea of people being an organization’s most valued resources. This kind of value-based assertion encourages collaboration. Giving employees the resources, leadership training and support they need to succeed also ensures they contribute their skills to the development of the organization. Because of the company’s investment in their growth, employees are more likely to collaborate and ensure the continuous growth of the workplace. 

  1. Leverage mentorship

Leaders inspire members to work together for the common objective of the organization. Successful leadership guides the organization towards success through mentorship. They effectively convey ideas, inspire people to take on tasks and improve personally and professionally.  Mentors usually have human-centered qualities, they share success stories of leaders who grew from nothing through the guidance of their mentors. 

You have probably heard that Warren Buffet was a mentor to Bill Gates. It was a successful mentoring relationship considering the success both have achieved in their businesses. Even Oprah Winfrey had a mentor in Maya Angelou, these examples are just to highligh the importance of mentoring and how successful people don’t always work the path alone. 

  1. Establish formal mentorship programs

Instead of micromanaging employees, it is best to establish formal mentorship programs that can help employees grow. Mentorship is the fastest way to grow personally and professionally with minimal mistakes. Mentees are learning from leaders with experience and expertise to guide them through their careers, and opportunities to further the organization’s interests. Create awareness about mentorship and its impact on individual and organizational success. Encourage mentees to seek out potential mentors or better still create a formal mentoring program where interested people can sign up. If your company doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, you can create one using a mentoring platform.

How Together strengthens human centered leadership in organizations 

The traditional mentorship models involves constant and irregular back and forth between mentor and mentee. What if there is an application or platform that makes communication easier? Dedicated to mentorship, with resources to ensure the relationship is a success. Think books, articles with tips for both parties, you can also integrate some applications to further ease the process. 

Benefits of using Together

Together is a mentoring platform with ready to use and customizable templates depending on your needs. Ideal if you are just starting out or what to scale your mentoring program to make it more formal. You can get started with the seamless registration, the pairing algorithm assist you with a 100% match of the right mentors with mentees. Integration of your everyday tools in one place to make mentoring a walk in the park. Our numerous mentoring resources, ebooks, articles, handbooks  will guide users every step of the way. You get to run mentorship like never before, organize and manage multiple program depending on your staff needs. Onboarding, learning and development, short and long-term mentorship and metrics to track and present the results of your program to the higher-ups. 

We are not just abou the talking, we have results to prove it!. You can watch live testimonials from companies like Avison Young and Randstad here. We also have case studies that show what Together can do for your organization. 

Facilitating connection and collaboration

Are you heading remote teams and it is hard to connect everyone? Or your team is diverse and has people from all over the world. You can connect employees, Together does all the work based on the data you and your employees supply. 

You don’t have to use separate tool as Together integrates seamlessly with collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, Zoom, Webex, Google workspace and Slack among others to enhance the mentorship experience. 

Scalability and accessibility

If you’d like to scale your mentorship program, Together ensures you do that effectively. You can even start out with a discrete number of employees and scale up to include all your employees later on. It takes off the administrative load that is typical of the traditional mentoring programs. 

Explore the possible solutions that make mentorship accessible to a broader audience. Track and measure the progress of your programs from the administrator’s dashboard. 

Conclusion

Mentorship is a practical way to demonstrate human-centered leadership as it empowers your employees with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed. People-focused leadership creates a new social contract between companies and the individuals that bring organizational ideas to life. Implementing the Together mentoring tool can help you improve and develop new leaders through mentorship. You also cultivate a workplace whose work culture is human-centered. 

To get started on creating a human-centric workplace, schedule a demo to see how things work. 

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