The Employee Centricity Issue
Employee engagement might seem like it is the be all and end all for HR. After all, engaged employees – as contemporary business thought argues – increase productivity, improve safety and wellbeing outcomes, innovate to a better degree, are less likely to leave or be absent and, in themselves, attract better talent to your organisation and more loyal customers.
Yet, despite this seemingly almost-total raft of benefits that come from successful engagement programmes, some argue it doesn’t go far enough. This school of thought suggests that employees should be at the centre of everything that HR does. Employee centricity, as it’s known, would use design thinking to create an inclusive, organisation where wellbeing and a strong culture are actively fostered to keep employees safe, engaged, and importantly, creative and productive.
In this issue we foreground firms who are taking this employee-centric approach. Some doing so successfully despite the unprecedented challenge of the pandemic and others by pivoting away from more traditional structures of work and people management. A cover interview with international insurance giant Zurich explores its people-first pandemic response whist a longform interview with a FTSE 100 firm explores what an individuated employee response to difficult business conditions looks like. There’s also insight into how Patagonia, Microsoft and Dan Price, the CEO-who-pays-everyone-the-same, make the employee experience consistent.
As ever, stay safe and enjoy.