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How to build a Human-Centric Team Culture

Creating a Human-Centric Team Culture requires intention and with the right guidance from leadership anything is possible.

How many of your employees would be able to articulate the Mission, Purpose and Values of your company if asked?

The answer is probably less than you might think. Your company culture was likely created by your founders and senior leadership team in a moment of brilliance, around the board table during the early stages of your company's life. But then two things happen: 1) it doesn't get regularly nurtured or updated to reflect the ‘current' company and 2) the message gets lost as the company grows and there are more layers to get through. This results in the dilution of your company culture over time.

A new model for Culture Creation

Fortunately, gone are the days of a top down, autocratic approach to culture creation. The future of work requires a decentralised, democratic approach. A culture that is created by your employees, for your employees - this is the foundation of creating a truly Human-Centric Team Culture.

The way we build culture needs to change.


Culture created by management, driven top-down

Right arrow

Culture is created from within, both top-down and bottom-up

In a Human-Centric Culture, senior leaders understand that their people are their competitive advantage and that these people all have unique skills, backgrounds and needs. Only by creating an environment that fulfills all of these human needs can they expect to get the most out of their people. Creating a Human-Centric Team Culture means putting your employees at the heart of everything you do. From onboarding to exit planning, every process, decision and business function should be led by the people.

Curation, Intention and a Work in Progress

When considering what a Human-Centric Team Culture could look like in your organisation, it's useful to keep in mind the following:

  1. Culture is curated, not created - Your teams have an existing culture whether you like it or not. Only with a commitment to continually nurture culture over time can you expect to see it move in a more human direction.
  2. Strong organisational culture takes intention - Culture change isn't easy. As with anything in life that is significant and meaningful, true transformational change takes time and commitment. This means it will also take time to see a ROI from a more human-centric team culture.
  3. Culture is a Work in Progress - There isn't a final destination when it comes to team culture. Just like many of your business processes it requires upkeep and refreshing to remain relevant and meaningful.

The real beauty of culture is that it is constantly evolving over time. Ignore it, and it's likely to head in a direction that you don't agree with, but nurture it and you can expect it to develop into something truly wonderful that helps each and every one of your team to thrive?

But where do you start? Fun office perks like free beer and a half day on a Friday are a thing of the past. Culture of the future is about creating a high trust environment where all employees feel safe, psychologically accepted and empowered.

The Human-Centric Team Leader

The creation of this high trust environment starts with your Team Leaders. Human-Centric Team Culture requires a Human-Centric Leader. Why? Because 70% of the variance between average, good, and great team cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills, and talent of your team leaders.

Human-Centric Leaders are authentic and genuine, they always remain true to their values and they connect with their employees on an emotional level. Connection and Collaboration are the driving forces behind everything they do.

Putting People and Purpose over Profit

Helping your Team Leaders take those all important first steps and opening their minds to becoming a truly authentic leader of the future is a great place to start.

Below are some top tips to help your Team Leaders get the ball rolling:

  1. Adopt a Growth Mindset - Human-Centric team leaders involve their teams in decision making - they understand their own limitations and commit to creating a culture of continuous learning where employees feel safe to push boundaries, challenge the status-quo and learn new skills.
  2. Coach don't Manage - Gone are the days of autocratic leaders. Human-Centric team leaders take the team on the journey with them. They remove blockers and barriers and trust team members to make the right decisions based on the coaching they provide.
  3. Make Diversity & Inclusion a priority - Fostering psychological safety is a fundamental pillar of a human-centric team. Employees can only thrive if they feel included, represented, valued and supported. Team Leaders of Human-Centric teams prioritise diversity as a way of broadening skill sets and perspectives in the team.
  4. Put People and Purpose over Profit - This doesn't mean ignoring the need to generate a profit. But leaders of human-centric team cultures recognise that the future workforce comes from a generation more motivated by purpose than profit. Employees are proactively seeking roles that align with their values, where their daily work has purpose and is meaningful to them. Understanding the motivations behind why your employees come to work is a great place to start.

For organisations like yours to win the war for talent and create happy, healthy, engaged teams, you need to put your people at the heart of everything you do. This starts by empowering your Team Leaders to lead with intention. They must lead in a truly authentic, empathetic way, constantly aligning the wants and needs of their team members with those of the wider organisation.

This isn't an easy process and will require commitment, resilience and some re-learning, but with the right tools and a leadership team that holds them to account, it is possible to create a truly human-centric organisation. And when you do, the results will be extraordinary!

Interested? Get started with this...

Foundation Programme

The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture

The Culture Academy's Foundation Programme, The Fundamentals of Human-Centric Team Culture, is a 12-week, cohort based, interactive learning experience.

Your Team Leaders will join a community of like-minded professionals to explore, experiment and grow together into Human-Centric Culture Champions.

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CPD accredited

Dig deeper into the research.

Learn why building a human-centric team culture from within is crucial for your organisation

Why Human-Centric Team Culture?

The last 3 years has seen a transformational change in the way people work. However it is the evolution in why people work that is much more significant.

By Rich Westman
What is Human-Centric Team Culture

To be human-centric is to put your people at the heart of everything you do - always. It's putting the 'human' back into Human Resources

By Rich Westman
The Evolution of Why We Work

Your future workforce is living in a Social Revolution. They are motivated by quality of life and looking for a more human work experience.

By Rich Westman
The Business Case for Human-Centric Team Culture

Investing in your culture makes good business sense. It is much more than just a competitive advantage in the war for talent.

By Rich Westman
Company Culture vs Team Culture

When it comes to the development of company culture, encouraging team leaders to build subcultures from within is the future.

By Rich Westman
66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more important to performance than the organisation's strategy or operating model.
PwC, Global Culture Survey 2021
“A sense of employee connection is the #1 challenge cited by C-suite survey respondents, with fully 95% acknowledging that their company culture and sense of connection need improvement.”
Deliotte, State of the Global Workplace 2022
“70% of the variance between average, good and great team cultures can be found in the knowledge, skills and talent of the team leader”
Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2022

Teams of every shape, size and sector are using Kaido to boost their Team Culture.

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