A company’s employees can make or break an organization. Motivated employees can take a company to new heights, while lazy ones can cause bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many companies fail because they spend too much time focusing on shareholders, the C-Suite, or the customer and not enough time to develop their employees. If you find yourself in a leadership position, there are some things you can do to help your employees shine. Here is how to be an employee-centric leader.

Why be employee-centric?

As we mentioned earlier, employees can make or break a company, but there are other benefits. For example, by focusing on building interpersonal relationships between employees and leadership, you can increase employees’ satisfaction with management and the job itself. This means employees will work harder at their job and stay with the company longer, reducing the turnover rate and how much time and money you must spend on training new employees.

Reinforce the positives

Organizations are built on rules and regulations. When an employee breaks or violates one of these rules or regulations, the first instinct could be to scold them. But an employee-centric leader would instead ask why the employee broke the rules. For example, consider this story about a man who came into work for an early meeting dressed shoddily and was criticized by an executive. The executive didn’t take the time to find out why the employee was underdressed, which was that they had just come from a hospital after their child had an accident and didn’t want to be late for the meeting. Instead, they chose to be on time rather than be late and appropriately dressed. An employee-centric leader would praise their dedication to being punctual, not their perceived neglect in how they looked.

Follow the Five C’s

The Five C’s of being an employee-centric leader are Commitment, Care, Communication, Celebration, and Community. Commitment comes first because you have to be committed to your employees’ development and the other four C’s to see them grow. Then comes Care because you have to have empathy and kindness to foster those interpersonal relationships. Communication is, of course, important in any organization, and Celebration is about giving them credit for their hard work so they understand how vital their contributions are. Finally, there’s Community. Many organizations like to pay lip service to being a “family,” but few organizations practice what they preach. Ensure your organization is one of the few that walks the walk and makes their business a community.