Dr Amy Armstrong: The importance of people-centred cultures

Last month, the Sunday Times announced its Best Companies to Work For list for 2018. One factor that appears to remain constant in organisations that achieve the highest levels of employee motivation and engagement is the importance they place on creating people-centred cultures.

If we see engagement as a climate in which people choose to give the best of themselves at work, it is those organisations where employees feel front and centre that crack the engagement code. However, as we move into a new world of work, it will be learning-centred cultures, not just people-centred cultures, that will succeed.

Against a backdrop of technological enablement and automation, the idea of a lifelong career has now all but disappeared and the shelf life of certain skills and expertise is reducing fast. It is, therefore, crucial for those organisations that want to continue to provide a great employee experience to create opportunities for training both on and off the job, so that employees can reinvent themselves as technology, markets and demands shift.

Organisations that adapt their career strategies to help people learn quickly will help them to continue to stay engaged. In the future of work, this is not just a pre-requisite of engagement, it is a business imperative since it is those organisations that provide opportunities for learning that have been found to generate higher levels of innovation, increased financial returns and are more sustainable in the long term.

Dr Amy Armstrong is a member of faculty at Ashridge Executive Education, part of Hult International Business School.