15 Human-Centric Ways For Leaders To Promote High Performance

Expert Panel® Forbes Coaches Council

A company that cares as much about its employee experience as its customer experience not only enhances well-being, but also increases productivity. Moreover, a survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. showed that employees who work in human-centric workplaces are significantly more likely to perform at high levels, plan to stay in their roles longer and experience less fatigue.

Below, Forbes Coaches Council members explore key priorities for business leaders aiming to design a human-centered organization that cultivates a culture of excellence. From fostering open communication to prioritizing employee growth and well-being, these tips can help leaders elevate their organizations to new heights of performance and success.

1. Reduce Stress And Teach Boundaries

Start by reducing stress and teaching boundaries. When teams honor their boundaries, create manageable workloads and know how to sustain themselves in high-demand environments, it improves outcomes. Proactively offer permission and shift mindsets around overwork. Utilize change management to address work structures that keep teams stuck. It will drive innovation, improve decision-making and improve communication. – Woodrie Burich, The Integration Group

2. Emphasize The Company’s Purpose And Values

One way to design a human-centered organization that promotes high performance would be to focus on purpose and values. Ensuring that the organization’s mission, vision and values are communicated clearly and consistently will help employees understand how their work contributes to the larger goals of the company. – Chris Aird, With Purpose

3. Create Opportunities For Authentic Connections

The focus for high-performing, human-centered organizations should be creating opportunities for authentic connections. High performance relies on buy-in, motivation and accountability. When employees feel seen and valued for who they are—and care about the people they work with—they are open and inspired. Offer them a vision and a path to reach the company’s goals, and success will follow. – Shanti Gold, Grow with a Pro

4. Encourage Autonomy And Provide Clear Goals

Leaders can empower and trust their teams. Encourage autonomy, provide clear goals, and trust employees to make decisions. When individuals feel empowered and trusted, they are more likely to be motivated and innovative and perform at their best. This approach fosters a culture of responsibility, which is vital for achieving high performance while keeping your people at the forefront. – Jessica Hill Holm, Hill Holm Coaching & Consulting

5. Gauge Progress With Quarterly Reviews

To promote a high-performance organization, allocate time to assessing the current organization, and then spend time once per quarter—ideally during business reviews—to gauge progress. The process is best started with a 9-box exercise that brings the managers in to contribute. – Ben Levitan, Cedalion Partners

6. Genuinely Value And Appreciate Employees

In conducting pre-screening interviews over decades, I have learned that the key reasons people leave are that they either don’t feel they are valued and appreciated or don’t feel challenged enough. Work-life balance has also become a huge factor for employees. All of these factors speak to the importance of appreciating the whole person coming to work. People who feel genuinely appreciated are more motivated to perform. – Sherre DeMao, BizGrowth Inc

7. Build Psychological Safety

Prioritize building psychological safety to promote high performance. Measure it (it’s a thing). Talk about it. This necessitates a human-centered mindset. Focus on relationships and experience. In difficult situations, this requires strong emotional intelligence around self-awareness and self-management. Without it, when difficulties arise, we turn to judgment—seeing others as objects, not people. This is edgework. – Duncan Skelton, Duncan Skelton Coaching Ltd

8. Focus On Purpose-Driven Leadership

In the pursuit of human-centered organizations that drive high performance, prioritize purpose-driven leadership. Embrace empathy, foster collaboration and empower your workforce to make a meaningful impact. By aligning individual aspirations with the organization’s vision, you unleash a wave of innovation, resilience and collective success. – Karina Ochis, Prof. Dr. Karina Ochis

9. Foster Open Dialogue; Embrace Diverse Perspectives

To create a genuinely human-centered organization that fuels high performance, leaders should prioritize psychological safety. This entails fostering an environment where employees feel secure to voice opinions, share ideas and take calculated risks without fear of reprisal. Encourage open dialogue, embrace diverse perspectives and show that mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning. – Martha Jeifetz, MJ – Executive Coaching & Advising

10. Align Core Values With Employees’ Values

Employees increasingly want more than a paycheck. They want to work for organizations that align with their core values. For many Gen-Z and Millennial employees, this means that human-centered organizations are those that care about the eradication of bias, support the mental health and wellness of their employees, and are doing everything possible to mitigate the current climate crisis. – Carol Geffner, CB Vision LLC.

11. Establish Open And Honest Communication

Establish open, honest lines of communication to build trust and ensure employees feel valued and heard. This transparency fosters a collaborative culture that encourages engagement and high performance. – Chelese Perry, The Chelese Perry Group

12. Make Your People Feel Unique And Visible

Prioritize your people and how you acknowledge them individually and collectively. When individuals feel unique and visible, and when teams are activated to connect and work wholesomely, the organization is rewarded with high performance, high levels of trust and high levels of loyalty, too. How do you do that? Be intentional about what impression is created at every touch point with employees so they can thrive. – Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory

13. Replace Software Processes With Human Communication

Identify one key process step done by software now that can be replaced by human communication. Program management systems, for example, can become garbage-in/garbage-out tracking mechanisms if the cross-functional teams involved don’t trust each other. Supplement the updates received via data input with human interaction regularly. You’ll see better results and less finger-pointing immediately. – Amy Feind Reeves, HireAHiringManager, Formerly JobCoachAmy

14. Foster A Culture That Values Collaboration And Creativity

Prioritize cultivating a culture of psychological safety by encouraging employees to express thoughts and take risks. Implement open communication channels, recognize and reward innovative ideas and establish collaborative initiatives. This practical approach fosters a human-centered organization that drives high performance through a culture that values collaboration and creativity. – Sheila Goldgrab, Goldgrab Leadership Coaching

15. Build A Culture Of Empathy And Understanding

Business leaders should prioritize building a culture of empathy and understanding. This involves actively listening to employees, recognizing their needs and valuing their contributions. Fostering an environment where staff feel respected and heard leads to increased engagement, creativity and overall performance. – Joshua Miller, Joshua Miller Executive Coaching