The Rise of Human-Centered Management
Challenges of the Modern Workplace
In this digital era, businesses have more tools than ever to “take the temperature” of their employee satisfaction.
Yet, many enterprises struggle with:
- Making their people feel appreciated, valued and empowered to make decisions
- Fostering engagement and a sense of purpose
- Motivating staff to do their best, towards a common goal
- Inspiring clarity about the company’s purpose
- Differentiating their business from others in the marketplace
- Defining and sustaining an organizational culture which aligns with a clear vision
- Providing an environment where communication is encouraged
Human-centered management addresses these challenges and many others.
What is Human-Centered Management?
Does your business have leaders or managers? Gary Yuki, Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Albany offers these definitions:
Management – “An authority relationship directed at delivering a specific routine.”
Leadership – “A multi-directional influence with the mutual purpose of accomplishing real change.”
In response to the clear differences between these two terms, an article in the PM World Journal explores the four perspectives that define human-centered management, a foundational tenet of future leadership:
Four Perspectives of Human-Centered Management
- Ethical – The idea that we are all driven to make decisions based on personal moral codes of ethics and conduct.
- Social – The consequences of the decisions of leadership on society, both inside the company and externally including on partners, customers, investors, and the community.
- Economic – How leaders influence relationships between buyer demand, competitors and product quality on the financial performance of a company.
- Institutional – Leaders influence, and are influenced by institutions, such as laws, practices, and customs.
Hierarchical organizations utilize intertwined, multi-tiered relationships, ideas, and perspectives which are limited to the definitions above. Comparatively, modern employees look for an additional sense of a supportive peer community at work, found in human-centered management.
Five Factors Leading to Adoption of Human-Centered Management
These five trends and statistics demonstrate why companies are rapidly adopting human-centered management into their organizational cultures.
- The record-high employment rate, which currently hovers around 96%.
- There are over 7.1 million job openings which companies are having trouble filling due to skill gaps and/or regional talent availability.
- Increased demand for the ability to work remotely means candidates will pass over companies that can’t or won’t offer that flexibility are getting passed over for those that will.
- Changing millennial and GenZ habits and motivators – According to a 2018 Global Culture Report by employee recognition and reward program OC Tanner, 79% of millennial employees want a coach or mentor instead of a “boss” in the traditional sense.
- Flexibility – The OC Tanner study found 88% of millennial employees demand work-life integration, including flexible work schedules and freedom to work from home, at least on occasion. Consequently, technology innovations like Unified Communication applications and SaaS are making remote working options more effective.
Human-Centered Management Is Not a Fad, it is the New Normal
Many companies are going to great lengths to ingrain collaborative human-centered management styles into their businesses. In particular, GenZ and GenY (Millennials) employees and leaders,who represent the future of the workplace, remain the most invested in fostering these workstyles.
- A Workplace Trends study found 83% of HR leaders said employee experience is more important than organizational success
- 90% of companies feel the competition for talent will only get fiercer
- 51% of businesses are creating collaborative work environments to foster teaming
Innovative companies like Dropbox find out what employees are good at, what they like to do, and empower them with the proper tools, training, and time.
Human-centered management empowers employees to do their best work, clearly communicates the company’s goals, and shows them the path to success. Moreover, employees remain a company’s most valuable asset. Thus, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to treat their employees with respect and appreciation.
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